Category Archives: Job Hunting

How To Avoid A Career Plateau And Grab A Promotion

This recession has been going on for a while now and getting a job is tough, never mind trying to progress in a successful career. For this reason, many people are finding that making progress in a job is hard; but it’s certainly not impossible.

If you are ambitious, hard working and a little bit optimistic there are plenty of opportunities out there, and improving your job prospects in 2013 is easier than you might think. All you need to do is work smart and be a little bit strategic. Try a few of the tips below and you will find your career on the up in no time.

It’s All About Networking

Being the best at your job is not sufficient on its own – you also need to be the best connected. Networking is all about knowing the right people and being open to job opportunities when they arise. In fact, being well connected can often get you a job even when you don’t necessarily feel like you are the best qualified.

Networking can be done online, and you should of course set up a LinkedIn profile and connect with all of your peers and clients. But you should also make the effort to go to conferences; either with your company or on your own if necessary. Let your boss know that you are going to the main conferences and you might even find that he comes along with you.

going up

Training To Improve Yourself

Most people are put off taking further training courses because they can be very expensive. The truth is though, that education is one of the best long term investments you can make, particularly if everyone around you is reluctant to do likewise.

Taking a training course, or even hiring a personal tutor, will help you to be better at what you do. It will also show your superiors that you are dedicated to your profession and that you are willing to invest in yourself.

Do Some Volunteer Work

Anything that sets you apart from the crowd is a good thing and since most people don’t want to spend their time working for free, doing so might help to boost your career.

If you have all the right qualifications but you lack experience, then consider volunteering for work experience in a company you would like to work for. You never know who might be paying attention, and working for free demonstrates a great deal of determination and dedication.

Often, work experience will lead to a real job, but if not, it provides experience and sets you apart from the crowd at the same time.

Ask To Be Promoted

Whilst you are busy doing work experience, training and lots of networking, you should also make sure that your boss knows that you exist and that you have big ambitions. Be open and let your boss know that you want to succeed.

You don’t have to ask for a promotion right now, but let it be known that you want more responsibility and that you want to progress. Once again, this will set you apart and means that you will be the first person your boss thinks of when an opportunity comes along.

Whilst you’re at it, ask for feedback on your current performance and find out if there is any way that you could make yourself a better employee. Regularly assess yourself and ask for more feedback so that you are always getting better and more valuable.

Guest post curtesy of the guys over here at uk Tutors.

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

On the 8th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

…8 Maids A-milking! Well all sorts could be read into that, but we’ll go for: On the 8th day of Christmas the CV righter gave to me 8 mistakes of applications, 7 deadly sins of job hunting, 6 Key Achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV.

A popular article is “What’s the worst that can happen? 8 gaffs when applying for roles” – which talks through some very valid points which I have seen over the years in my recruitment capacity; although they seem obvious these mistakes are still made by eager candidates.

The key to making a successful job application is not to rush – yes there are deadlines but if you have planned and researched from the outset then you will be in a position to start making applications, rather than deciding off the cuff to just start applying one day.

Make sure your CV is up to date – I’ve lost count of applications from candidates who sent in CVs which hadn’t been updated since securing a new role 3 years ago. Or worst still, an updated CV which has a garbled one line about the current role which tells us nothing and doesn’t follow the format of the previous roles so it is obvious they have rushed something to make the application. It does not create a good impression and if anything, says a lot about how you work and where you are willing to put in effort. Not good for a project person – not good for anyone but really, for a project professional!!!

Research your field and understand the basics such as skill-sets required, salary bandings (and where you sit), recruitment agencies specific to your needs, job boards yielding your types of roles and get networking in the right circles.

Putting that extra bit of effort in can be the difference between securing interviews with the lucky few or being discarded with the hundreds of competitors also looking for a new job.

On the 1st day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me a Killer CV

On the 2nd day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me Two Referees

On the 3rd day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me Three Networks

On the 4th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 4 calling cards 

On the 5th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 5 golden rules

On the 6th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 6 Key achievements

On the 7th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me the 7 deadly sins of job hunting

On the 8th day of Christmas The

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

On the 7th day of Christmas my true love gave to me…

…7 Swans A-swimming! Ah lovely, as long as you don’t get too close and then they hiss like geese. So we’ll steer clear of the swans and go for: On the 7th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 7 deadly sins of job hunting, 6 Key Achievements, 5 Golden Rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV.

  1. Lust – Lusting after a new role can land you in trouble. The recruiter in me loves passionate project people, they are so easy to sell on to clients and the need for challenge over remuneration package is truly a refreshing change. But calling up recruiters to tell them how much you hate them and will never work with them again because this IS the job of your dreams and you must be put forward is verging on the stalker / psycho behaviour.
  2. Gluttony – move away from the job boards; stop eating up every role with the word “Project” in it. It is quality not quantity, pick your roles carefully and apply in bite sizes to keep track of your efforts.
  3. Greed – money isn’t everything; look at what else is on offer and I don’t mean pensions and healthcare. What is the organisations training policy? What are the chances of career progression? Are the projects going to add something to your portfolio?
  4. Sloth – make an effort, don’t just bulk apply with the same cover and CV. Tailor your letters and CV for each application. Making the effort does make a difference and lazy candidates become quickly apparent to employers.
  5. Wrath – sits close with Lust this one; keep your cool when looking for a job. I know it is frustrating and scary and you feel like you are putting all the effort in to a black hole. If you come across aggressive and grumpy to others then you are not going to get very far at all.
  6. Envy – don’t sit there thinking your colleagues / friends seem to have something you don’t as they seem to manage to score interviews and job offers whereas you never hear back from applications. Get some feedback on your CV and ask to see your peers CVs to understand what it is about them that attracts employers.
  7. Pride – stop being so proud, ask for feedback and listen to what you hear. Just because your CV reads fine to you, doesn’t mean it is!

 

On the 1st day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me a Killer CV

On the 2nd day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me Two Referees

On the 3rd day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me Three Networks

On the 4th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 4 calling cards 

On the 5th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 5 golden rules

On the 6th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 6 Key achievements

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me….

On the 5th day of Christmas my true love gave to me….

….5 Gold Rings! How generous, but in-line with our theme today we are going for: On the 5th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 5 golden rules, 4 calling cards, 3 networks, 2 referees and a killer CV!

The 5 golden rules of job hunting:

  1. 1.   Research – that’s right, when looking for a new role you need to put in the effort and research roles which meet your skill-set. Just because your current job title says XXXXX doesn’t mean that your skill-set matches the market standard for that role and job titles are always misleading so look through some job descriptions and get to understand where you sit in the current job market.
  2. 2.   Make a list – Make a start by putting a list together of the types of jobs which fall under your remit and list out key skills you have. You can use these as search criteria for job boards and also by searching directly in the search engines – you’d be surprised how many “hits” you get with direct employers, leading you to company websites advertising the roles direct.
  3. 3.   Focus – Keep to the roles you can meet 90% of the competencies listed, by doing so you keep your applications and own admin down to a manageable size and can spend more time on fewer applications making sure you are tweaking your CV and writing relevant cover notes.
  4. Make another list – put together a spreadsheet of where you have applied to and through which websites, when etc. so you can be organised when you start getting calls from HR / recruiters etc. it does make all the difference when you sound organised on these calls.
  5. 5.   Follow up – follow up applications with a call, not immediately after clicking “send” but a day or two later to speak with the person handling your application. Make sure it has arrived and ask if there is anything else they require from you at this point. End the call asking when you can expect to hear from them with a response.

On the 1st day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me a Killer CV

On the 2nd day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me Two Referees

On the 3rd day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me Three Networks

On the 4th day of Christmas The CV Righter said to me 4 calling cards 

On the 5th day of Christmas The CV Righter gave to me 5 golden rules