‘Own Your Job Hunt’ 7 Practical Tips For Job Seek

Practical advice from Universal Recruitment and Interim Solutions can help you optimise your job search for faster success.

Job hunting is a maze. Where do you start? What’s the etiquette expected at each step and how do you push forward when ATS bots are your CV’s first point of contact? Navigate these issues easier with your own personal job search guide - Guy Denison-Smith, Managing Director of Universal Recruitment and Interim Solutions (URS).

URS connects employers with job seekers who rise above the pack. We know what makes a successful candidate, in today’s market. Whether you’re fresh off a course or transitioning out of a career in a wide range of industries (from business and finance to the Armed Forces and beyond), there are some simple ways to optimise your job hunt. Here are URS’s 7 top tips.

1. Keep Your CV Personal and Professional

At URS we recommend seeking out advice and help, but however daunting it may feel it is always important to write your own CV. Employers can tell if a CV is professionally written.

“Never ever pay someone to write your CV; it is so obvious,” Guy says. “They tend to be bland and templated. Your CV is you and you should own it…I know of someone who spent £1,500 on having their CV written; the end product made no sense and needed to be re-written. A waste of money.”

There’s a wealth of CV help services out there, many of which are accessible through local jobs councils and industry-specific resource hubs. For example, if you are a military veteran you can have your CV reviewed free by professionals at the Forces Employment Charity.

7 Expert Tips for Making Your CV Stand Out

    2. Networking Pays Off

As the old adage goes, ‘it’s not what you know but who you know.’ Make an effort to build your contact base through social media and make the best use of your existing contacts by letting everyone know what kind of work you’re looking for.

It is very seldom that people won’t be happy to speak to you. Now’s the time to put yourself out there.

As Guy Denison Smith (MD URS) puts it: “This skill isn’t natural to all, but you need to make it work.”

    3. Showcase Your Good Manners

On the job hunt you not only have to sell your technical and professional skills, but your personal skills as well. Employers want to hire people who will be pleasant team members.

Show off your polite professionalism by using basic manners. (Sounds easy, but many forget!)

A moment of kindness can go a long way, it takes nothing to say ‘thank you’ in an email after someone has offered you their time for free. People will also be more inclined to help you again.

    4. Think Beyond the Salary

It’s tempting to prioritise money when looking for your ideal next job, but this can be a mistake. When you’re willing to be flexible, you may open doors for better earning opportunities down the line and a better quality of life.

“Be prepared to take a hit. It doesn’t always happen, but you should consider it,” Guy advises. “It is far better for your own happiness to be in a great job that pays slightly less than your previous salary than being in a job that pays more but you hate. You will be miserable, and this will affect everything you do. You are also far more likely to be productive in a job you enjoy and therefore the rewards of higher salaries will come.”

    5. Negotiate Your Employment Package

You may not be used to negotiation, but it’s an essential job hunting skill. An employer’s first offer of salary, pay reviews, benefits, leave, or all of the above and more CAN be changed if you’re willing to advocate for your own needs and wants.

“This isn’t something that necessarily comes naturally, but always negotiate your package,” Guy explains. “For instance, if the starting salary is slightly lower than expected, ask for a rise in salary on successful completion of your probation period, or make sure you have a pay review written into your contract at the 6 month point and then annually from then on.”

It can’t hurt to ask.

6. Keep a Spreadsheet of Your Progress

“Sounds an odd one but it will help you keep a tally of who you have spoken to (contacts, recruiters/headhunters), what jobs you have applied for through what source and what agencies you have registered with,” Guy explains. “It will also give you an idea of when to follow up on opportunities.”

A simple MS Excel sheet will do the job, and you can access the Excel platform even without a Microsoft subscription if you opt to use its in-browser version. More details on building your own job search spreadsheet can be found via Forbes.

7. Take Accountability with a Proactive Attitude

Out of your control: which jobs are available, what companies are hiring, who’s making the decisions. In your control: almost everything else.

In Guy’s words: “This is your ‘hunt’ and you must own it. No one else will own it for you. There is no blaming others as ultimately it is your responsibility to land your dream job. Yes, people will help but you must own the process. Lean into it, if not you will loose out.”

Be proactive. Don’t make the mistake of passively hoping a great role will fall into your lap. Take the steps above, stay focused, and go take it for yourself. 

If you’d like more support on your job hunt journey, feel free to reach out to the team at URS. You can read more about what we do at the link below. Good luck and happy hunting!

NEXT: Connecting You with Perfect Hires - Universal Recruitment and Interim Solutions

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