Looking for a new job? Dan Kirkpatrick’s tips for success

Dan Kirkpatrick is Head of Customer Success at Hunter, The Manufacturer’s Official Talent Partner. Below he shares his tips to be successful in your job hunt.

Looking for a job can be time consuming – a full time job in itself! First of all have a think about what you’re looking for in your next role: this is really important as it may influence the content of your CV and will help focus your job search.

Next, write your CV. I wrote an article about this in the March/April issue so will only remind you here to make sure you get somebody to read your CV to check for grammar, layout and spelling – it’s often hard to spot spelling mistakes and typos in your own writing. You may be open to different types of role. There’s nothing wrong with this but I would suggest writing different CVs for each type of job you’re searching for and then submitting the most relevant one.

I’m often asked whether you should tailor your CV and/or write a specific covering letter. If you’re applying direct to a future employer, I would suggest doing both, although I do sound one note of caution – if you’re going to send an accompanying covering letter make sure it’s not a generic one as this will not reflect well. If you’re applying for a role via a recruitment company, don’t tailor until you’ve seen the full job description and know who the employer is (although do ensure the CV you are submitting shows you have the skills to do the role you’re applying for).



Before, during and after your interview

Now you’ve applied for the positions you’re interested in, it’s likely that the interviews will start to come through. I wrote an article about this in the January/February issue so will simply recap some of the most salient points:

Before the interview – research, plan your journey, practice and dress well.

During the interview – answer using STAR where appropriate, use “I” not “we” and ask questions (an interview is as much for you to find out if the company is right for you as it is for them to find out if you’re right for them).

After the interview – write a thank you note and follow up (if it’s close between you and another candidate this could sway things in your favour).

If you would like any further advice or have any questions, please email me on [email protected] – I’d be happy to send you a CV writing or interview preparation guide that we have put together which goes into more details on these two topics.

Help is at hand in your job hunt

Now you have your CV and you know what type of role you’re looking for, here’s a number of ways of finding a new position:

Online job adverts – There are a huge number of online job boards, some generic and others specialist. The generic ones account for a large percentage of online job advert coverage so I would suggest looking at these as well as the specialist boards. You can set up saved searches that will send you an email when a new role comes live – this will ensure your CV is one of the first to be viewed. Where possible, follow up your application with a call to make yourself stand out – job adverts (depending on skillset) will often receive 100+ applications.

Online CV databases – Most job boards also have accompanying CV databases so register your CV to make it searchable by any employer or agency with a subscription to the site. When signing up to an online job board you’ll be given the option to either show or hide your CV. There is both a positive and a negative to showing your CV. Positive – it means you’ll be approached for roles that you may not have seen advertised or, in some cases, haven’t been advertised all yet. Negative – your current employer may have access to the CV database and, thus, may come across your CV!

Recruitment agencies – There are a huge number of agencies in the UK and, as with any industry, some are better than others. Develop a relationship with a small number of agencies who are specialists within your skillset.

Networking – Everybody you speak to in the course of your job could be somebody who could help you find your next role. Are there events within your skillset that you could attend to meet other people in the industry?

Referrals – Has anybody you know been employed by a company you want to work for? If so, they might put a good word in for you.

Direct approach – If there are companies that you really want to work for, reach out to them direct. Do some research on LinkedIn so you can contact the HR Manager and/or the person who you think your manager would likely be and contact them by name – these little things really can help you stand out.

Forums – Are there online forums that you could join to extend your network and, potentially, use to display your technical skills?

LinkedIn – Include detail on your profile as many employers and recruiters search LinkedIn for future candidates – the more relevant information you have on your profile the more likely you are to appear in their searches.

More information: www.trusthunter.co.uk


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