So you’ve created the perfect CV and have been applying for roles only to find a lot of them seem to be put on hold or aren’t quite the opportunity advertised, what else can you be doing to ensure you aren’t missing out on jobs. There are a high percentage of roles which aren’t actually advertised; therefore you need to be doing more than just applying for advertised roles.
Here’s a list of areas which should be on your to do list:
- LinkedIn – employers are increasingly using this business networking site to find fresh talent, avoiding recruitment costs they are making contact with individuals who look like a good fit to the team. Make sure your profile is up to date and not just a carbon copy of your CV, add in some interesting pieces of information which will draw in attention. Also make sure you join some groups and join in the forums, you’ll be surprised how this actually opens doors for you. Not only will you be making new contacts, you might just gain attention from hiring managers looking for solutions to their issues.
- Twitter – I know this may feel like a daunting thing for some but twitter is fast becoming the place for networking, there is a strong PM network which can really give you a heads up to current practices, PM needs and building your network.
- Personal network – put the word about that you are available, people like nothing more than to help each other and you might just find you are being recommended for pieces of work or at the very least, being made aware of roles coming up which have yet to be advertised.
- Events – there’s a fair few free events across the country, even those run by APM have a low fee for their branch events. Meeting other professionals in the field and learning something too – what’s not good about that?
- Agencies – register with relevant agencies and try to make contact with a recruiter to get in their heads, make sure you know what you want to discuss and make a good impression. Databases are vast so it is ideal to be speaking with someone and keeping in regular contact to ensure they are keeping you in mind when new roles come in.
Make an effort to do more than just apply for roles online, demonstrate your tenacity, motivation and professionalism by taking extra steps to secure that next role.
I thoroughly enjoyed presenting at the APM PM CV Workshop on Thursday 5th Dec – not only was it a pleasure to give something back to the PM community but it was also great to meet a bunch of really enthusiastic and engaging PM professionals. I was in talks with Graham the NW Branch Secretary about running a session back in April 2013, and I hadn’t expected the year to fly by as quickly as it did. Unfortunately on the evening we were met with horrific storms which lead to a reduced number attending the session, but this in no way reduced the energy in the room. For those who missed out here’s a synopsis of the evening. The session was broken down into sections, first we talked through an introduction lead by myself on who we were and a little about our backgrounds so we could establish a relevant theme to take throughout the evening. We then talked through structuring the CV and the importance of getting the right kind of information presented without producing a lengthy document. We discussed what employers look for in a CV and how the market has changed over the years, delving into experiences from the recruitment aspect and also how the delegates had found the shift. It was interesting to have a mix of delegates from permanent and contractors to those happy in their roles but recognising a need to have an up to date CV. We had stories from those who had never really needed a CV as their contract assignments had usually been secured through word of mouth and networks but had seen this type of behaviour dip over the years and those who had been in their current employment for over 10 years. It was interesting that one of the delegates pointed out that the demographic of the attendees was 40 year old plus, which sparked a discussion about ageism and how this could play a part in recruitment whether beneficial or discriminatory. However as the group was reduced due to the storm it was not a true reflection of parties interested in improving their CVs, although the willpower to attend against the blocked roads and gale force winds was noted. The session lasted a good hour and a half due to lots of discussions about various aspects of the CV and talking through examples, lots of great questions were asked and by the end of the session although some felt their CVs needed shredding and starting over. Everyone felt reenergised about how to put together a winning CV. I also gave some personal CV reviews after the session and provided all attendees with a CV template sample and guidance notes to achieve the winning CV. Asking around the room (also receiving some fantastic feedback afterwards via twitter and the blog) everyone felt the session had been a real eye opener and useful for them moving forward.
I must say I tend to find presentations quite stale when too formal, so taking a more collaborative approach to delivering and sharing information came as a refreshing change and a style I shall adopt for future workshops.
I have been asked to present at future APM events, which I look forward to – hopefully next time we won’t be faced with adverse weather conditions!
As some of you will be aware, I am due to present at tonight’s APM branch session in Golborne – the session is has been fully subscribed with a waiting list for a few months. I have been asked to present at further events and we are currently in discussions. The essence of the session is to take a look at what employers and recruiters expect to see in a CV and work through the core elements of the CV structure. I have designed the session to be interactive rather than a PowerPoint presentation style, which I feel will be much more constructive for delegates. The PM job market is a difficult one to crack if you haven’t got a strong CV which says all the right things and there are a great deal of job hunters out there who remain oblivious to the fact that their CV just isn’t hitting the mark – blaming lack of interviews and call backs on the market being flooded. It is true to say the market is flooded but the reality is that there are very few who really know how they should be presenting their CVs for job applications. It is often the best CVs not the best candidates who secure short-listing.
We will discuss individuals experiences of job applications, talk through job specific areas for the CV and I will also be providing reviews on individuals CVs. Delegates will walk away with a good insight into what employers and recruiters look for and will have the knowledge and tools to put together a winning CV.
The bi annual Project Management event Project Challenge is back with us 15-16th October at Olympia, London.
A must for those wanting to network, learn about new tools, make contact with recruiters and learn something from the various presentations being held throughout the event.
It is a free event but you do need to register online to receive a pass into the building, if you are local to Olympia then you should pop in even if over your lunch break. Those who are currently looking for new opportunities should also put the dates in your diary so you can keep your hand into what is new in PM but also the networking is invaluable. Take a few copies of your CV and talk to recruiters, also make acquaintance with your peers – I have done this time after time and yielded some fantastic leads for future initiatives.
Project Challenge Expo 2013
Location: Olympia, London.
Dates: 15th & 16th October