Author: Mary Lou Nolan, Cor Consulting

Looking for a new role can feel daunting at first and then demoralising if you prove unsuccessful. The process can flow better if you stick to a few basic principles:

1.  Know what you offer and what you want; Before you start looking for that next role be clear what your skills are and the value you offer an employer. Then look at the market to understand where your skills and value are in demand. This will narrow down your search to opportunities that fit your goals in terms of work, location and type of company.

2.  Keep it simple; Your CV should be the right fit for the role you are applying for. If an algorithm is the first review of your CV it will check for keywords from the job specification make sure you have these captured in your CV. For the human reviewer making your CV easy to read and navigate will ensure it makes it into the next round. If your CV is overly complex and not an easy fit with the role it won’t make it through.

3.  Network; Applying reactively online to roles is about 15-20% effective. Absolutely do it but manage your expectations of success. You are 3 times more likely to be successful in landing that new role by leveraging your network of contacts. Get the message out there you are looking, be specific as to what you are looking for and be clear who can help you by sharing information or making introductions. People are usually delighted to refer you through their internal referral scheme (which can be lucrative for them) and helps your application bypass the algorithm stage.

4.  LinkedIn; If you are in the market for a new role, having a presence on LinkedIn is not optional. You must have an up-to-date profile, picture and be active by following, liking and posting. It is also useful for setting up job alerts and seeing who in your network works at which companies that are currently hiring – making no.2. above much easier.

5.  Don’t be put off if you don’t possess all the skills listed. Most job specifications are wish lists; employers know they will not get candidates with all of the skills and experience listed, they are looking for candidates that have a lot of them, not all. Ensure you have what is specified as mandatory and if you have about 80% of the remaining requirements you already qualify to apply.

6.  Thank you; it pays to write a short Thank you note to the person/people who took the time to interview you. It can be a way to stand apart from other candidates and to remind the interviewer that you remain interested in the role. When two candidates are very similar in experience and fit and thank you note can make the difference in a hiring decision.