Job hunting during a pandemic presents new challenges. Here Jordan Burns from the talent acquisition team at Simon Acres Recruitment provides his top tips on how to succeed when hunting for a new job in the current difficult climate.
"Securing your dream job during lockdown can seem daunting, but focussing on what you want and taking time to research and prepare well will pay dividends.
"There is a wealth of information at your fingertips and desk research has never been so easy. Schedule time to gather information on what is available and the companies that you would like to work for. Draw up a wish list, and find out all you can about those companies and what they are looking for. Sometimes it is a case of timing – don’t just look at vacancies that are being advertised, consider approaching your target companies and see what may be in the pipeline. Check your network of friends – do you know anyone that works at these companies who could provide some additional information?
"The pandemic does present some opportunities that will help, such as access to online training. This is now more readily available and affordable, so take time to look at your skills set and consider how you could enhance or update your skills. Be open-minded about what skills may be useful, and consider looking outside of what you have done before.
"With more people working from home and less opportunity for networking in person, make full use of social media and digital networks. LinkedIn is a great place for networking. Start by keeping your profile up to date and ensure that it is comprehensive about your current skills and objectives, and that you highlight your recent experience. Maximise your network by searching out people that you have worked with in the past, or have studied and let them know that you are looking. Join and engage with relevant groups, making yourself visible and showing your expertise.
"Review your CV and make it as good as it can be. If you add a photo to your CV, make sure you look happy and approachable. Your CV should let your personality shine through as well as your experience and skills. Don’t make the photo too casual though – think about what will make you stand out from the crowd and make an interviewer want to meet you.
"If you are responding to a job advert, tailor your experience to match the job description. You don’t always have to have the right experience, if you highlight your transferable skills. Maybe consider having several different CVs, each one specific for particular position.
"Enlist the help of your friends and maybe your former colleagues to help identify your strengths and ensure these are clearly communicated. If you know any HR or senior managers ask for their input too.
"Finally, stay positive and don’t take any rejections personally – ask for feedback, learn from it and move on. Good luck!"