Headstart: Employment – Beat the rest by being the best!

When you are newly-qualified, job searching tends to be a largely reactive process.

Indeed, for many, registering with one or more agencies can result in an apparently endless supply of opportunities.

It consequently will come as something of a shock when any subsequent career moves prove increasingly difficult to achieve, with more people chasing fewer jobs the higher up the ladder you go.

You therefore need to realise you are having to compete and, to beat the rest, you need to market yourself at your best. This comprises:

– Make a career assessment. Where are you now? What are your future plans?

What do you need from your next position? What can you offer to win such a position?

– Preparation of a good marketing document you will use to promote yourself, ie your CV.

– Preparing yourself for ‘sales’ meetings, ie interviews with both recruitment agencies and potential employers.

Only now are you ready to undertake a search for any suitable job opportunities!

This, for most, will be made up of a mixture of:

– Answering specific job advertisements with a letter that sells your CV, specifically picking up on the requirements of the job

– Registering with agencies/consultancies – but bear in mind that for senior positions there is a surfeit of supply over demand and that they are working to ‘fill jobs’ not find a job for you!

– The internet – it needs to be covered, but for most accountants it is taking them back to agencies and consultancies rather than directly to the employers themselves.

For any senior positions, and those looking for opportunities that are in any way out of line with their background, more success can be generated from:

– Networking – development of contacts through opportunities – Direct approaches to employers.

Both of these require a degree of expertise and application. Indeed, outplacement consultancies (ie commercial organisations which provide assistance, coaching and resources to job seekers) quite rightly put much emphasis on these avenues of a job search.

Networking is a powerful route to obtaining jobs. If applied well, it can account for up to 50% of job opportunities and is effective for those looking for a different type of role or who have some perceived difficulty in competing (eg due to age), in which case it may need to account for 100% of job opportunities. For effective job hunting you need to be proactive in undertaking a thorough campaign to market yourself. ?:

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