You’re in the wrong job, it’s making you unhappy, but it’s keeping you too busy to search for a new one. Familiar dilemma? You’re not alone. Good news is that, like so many items in the too-hard basket, this can be outsourced. There are great recruiters out there who can help you in what can sometimes seem like an insurmountable, dreaded task. The job search.
However, the reality is that recruitment professionals are client-led. Recruiters need to focus their efforts on searching for people for jobs, not jobs for people. As such, it’s important to be in the line of sight of the right recruiter so that, when the perfect job comes up, you hear about it.
Another certain reality is that recruiters are busy… and only human. So rather than sit and hope for that dream job to find you, there are ways to increase the chances of it happening. Investing a small amount of time at the front end, allows you to return focus to your current job while wheels are turning in the background.
First, identify the right recruitment partner for you. We all have industry focuses and specialty areas, and we’re not shy about it – it’s plastered all over our profiles. Take the time to search for an agent who works in your space and make yourself known to them. Again, rather than hope, specifically ask if they specialise in your field and, if not, then if can they refer you to someone who does. During your initial call or meeting, ask them some questions to assess their knowledge, network, experience level and ultimate ability to help you.
Partnering with the right recruiter will help your chances exponentially. It’s not about quantity here, but all about quality. Too many recruiters can lead to overlap and confusion; too few can limit your exposure to opportunities. Identifying and building relationships with a few experienced industry-specialists will keep you on top of what’s happening in the market.
Conversely, help recruiters find you with a clear online profile. This doesn’t have to be your entire CV, but an abridged version with the key skills/experience relevant to what you want to do next. If you are interested in hearing about new possibilities you should indicate so via LinkedIn’s “Career Interests” function. Click on that and you can then hit the “Open to new opportunities” tab (only “Recruiter” users can see this status and LinkedIn takes steps to hide it from users at your company). It’s usually these candidates who hear about the best opportunities first.
Of course, there are other ways of getting noticed - writing blogs, publishing articles, public speaking, attending events and so on – but for those who are time-poor and bogged down in their current role, a strong LinkedIn profile is the best bet. The uniformity of the platform makes assessing large numbers of candidates easier and opening up a CV is often the second step, if there is interest. That being said, choose your profile picture wisely – it’s the first impression you make.
In this digital age, think in terms of keyword search. You may spend hours pouring over and perfecting your CV, but remember a recruiter (and hiring managers) are doing so for hundreds, if not thousands of CVs. Too much and you’ll lose your audience. Verbose vernacular of soft skills, aggrandizing achievements, corporate jargon, redundant wordy waffling blah blah blah… see what I mean? Keep it concise. Keep it relevant. Will you come up in my keyword search? The rest I can figure out by meeting you, but first I need to find you.
Whilst it’s not the most exciting thing to do on a Friday night, try to frequently update your CV with new wins and skills. When you do, share the love! Send it to your recruitment partner - it’s those recent additions that will influence which roles you are presented (not the CV they have from 3 years ago).
Lastly, keep in touch. Recruiters are often spread thin and will appreciate you doing the work from time to time. They might not be able to respond with suitable roles each time, but at least you will stay on their radar. Whether it’s just to touch base, to refer a friend or share some market knowledge, nurturing these relationships will ultimately, in the words of Jerry Maguire, “help me, help you”!