“There’s a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot. “
I love this quote as it sums up the very essence of the modern landscape of Recruitment. No longer is it the job of a Recruiter to sift through CV’s and trawl through online CV databases to find the best candidate. In today’s world it’s all about ‘Personal Brand’ and how you market yourself to stand out from the crowd. This goes both ways for the Recruiter and the Candidate.
For candidates, gone are the days of simply posting your CV on to a jobsite or sending your CV in application of a role and waiting for a Recruiter to get in touch. The job market has been spun off its axis by a double dip recession, thus reducing the number of good opportunities out there. Companies are tightening budgets and have therefore reduced the amount of job advertising they do – you’ll find many of them will only advertise roles on their website and on Linkedin hoping candidates stumble upon these somehow. However, take a closer look and you’ll discover that in fact job advertising is falling second to ‘Social Media Recruiting’. Teams of Recruiters are using sophisticated search tools to seek out those of us savvy enough to have created profiles on professional social networks – not least the giant of them all – Linkedin!
Now, I am not here professing to be the messiah bringing enlightenment as I assume almost all of you out there are well acquainted with the concept of Linkedin. Basically, the message is very simple: If you don’t already have a Linkedin profile, Get one! If you do, make sure it portrays your skills and experience in the best light possible. Also, for those paranoid androids out there afraid they’ll be giving out too much ‘private’ information – get over yourselves – we live in an age where privacy no longer prevails and those who scream the loudest will be heard!
Another way to find opportunities is to take a very targeted approach. Start by writing down what you would ideally be looking for in a company you work for, this could be related to industry, location, salary, benefits, innovation or the culture. Decide whether you’d prefer to work in a corporate environment or prefer a smaller and quirky environment. From this list, research companies that fit your requirements, visit recruitment fairs or attend open days or networking events to get further information. You could even be bold and get in touch with employees in your chosen companies through Linkedin to ask them about their experience working there.
Once you have compiled a definitive list of organisations you’d potentially like to work for, visit the careers section of their website to search for any jobs that may be of interest. Most of them will have functionality for you to apply to their roles directly through the website, if not, follow the instructions provided. If there are no suitable opportunities available, many larger organisations provide the opportunity to sign up to ‘job alerts’ or their ‘Talent Network’ by creating a tailored search and providing your email address or by speculatively uploading your CV through a portal.
It is also worth noting that many companies now run referral schemes, therefore if you know anyone who is working for a an organisation you are interested in, ask them to forward your CV to the relevant department within the organisation as it is often perceived that referral schemes yield more trustworthy and credible applicants and hiring Managers can also get some background to the candidate through recommendations from the referrer whom they already know and trust.
If you are a graduate, be sure to link in with your course leaders and set up access to the university careers portal as many companies advertise graduate, intern and entry level roles on these sites – a good one to look at is Prospects.net. Also, speak to presenters at graduate job fairs and try to make a good impression and ask lots of good questions.
Finally, I’d like to still advocate the importance of checking job sites such as Monster, Jobsite, TotalJobs and S1Jobs (in Scotland) as you will still be able to search and apply for good opportunities here, but remember, this isn’t enough if you want to find your perfect job!