Job Seeking Best Practices
Along with moving house, getting married and imminently entering parenthood, finding your way to a new job is one of those universally stressful periods we all dread encountering. Sure, it can be an exciting process but actually getting through it can be harrowing.
There’s a definite paranoia that comes hand in hand with seeking that next professional stepping stone. What if they find you out (they naturally being your current employer who would definitely cast you out immediately should they uncover your career hunting activities)? How can you be sure you’re going to find the right thing? What if they find you out (they being prospective employers who might discover the fact that you’re not a proper grown up)? What should you even be looking for? Are you doing everything you can to smooth the transition?
This is where a checklist can come in handy. There are four simple stages to tick off in which you can cover off everything and feed a content peace of mind.
Planning and preparation…
… is when you can take a moment or two to stretch your contemplative muscles – you can check out my previous post on how to handle a career rut for some tips – and spend some time to consider a few questions:
• Why do you want to move jobs?
• Is there any way to remedy this where you are now?
• What do you want to be doing?
• What roles would make this happen for you?
Once you’ve figured out the what of your situation (and presumably at least some of the other logistics including the geographical where and how much you’re looking for) you can start to make some progress on the how to make it happen. Which means that it’s time to dust off and update that old CV.
Depending on the state it’s currently in you may want to rip it to bits entirely and rebuild it from the ground up. You can see my pointers on what not to do here. However, do make sure that each application receives a tailored CV emphasising your relevant skill set.
They should also come accompanied by a succinct covering letter. This should get people excited about meeting with you rather than simply regurgitating information from your CV. It’s your opportunity to show that you’ve done some research on the company and have something specific to bring to the table to aid their business offering.
… is more than clicking through a few job boards every now and then. There are plenty of ways to tech it up. Also, work your contacts – you may not have yet got wind of your ideal dream position but a trusted someone else in your professional circle may have. Get your face out there through networking, attend relevant meetings and conferences which can also have the handy effect of adding to your existing knowledge base.
Take the chance to scope out companies you’ve always wanted to work for and investigate speculative application options. It can be helpful to do these through a recruiter – one you can trust, naturally, not to get trigger happy with your CV – in order to make sure they wind up under the nose of the right person.
Off the back of your applications you will of course be invited to interviews. You can find some basic interviewing tips here and ideas for coming up with questions to ask at the end of interview here. If you’re especially nervous you can try out mock interviews so that standard questions don’t catch you as off guard as you might.
Afterwards, if the outcome isn’t quite what you might wish it make sure you get as much feedback as possible – it’s the only way to make improvements for the next time round.
And once you’re through to the other side, free and clear and reveling in your fabulous new role you’ll definitely need a few pointers on conduct pertinent to leaving a job and how to best get through the first day at a new one. I don’t like to think of my multiple back links to my own work as shameless recycling of content. It’s definitely more like a clip show – only in a good way.
If you would like more advice for your job search, please feel free to contact myself firstname.lastname@example.org or the rest of the MedComms Professionals Team on email@example.com or alternatively you can call us on 0118 9522 792