Part Nine: Routes to Market

This is the eighth part of a series of mini guides which aims to help you find a career you love. They include tips from me but also practical advice from some of the hundreds of individuals who I have coached over the last 10 years, the sort of things they may have shared with friends or family going through a career move.

Now that you have your CV, your elevator pitch and your LinkedIn profile sorted it’s time to take your message to market. There are three main routes to market: recruiters and job boards, your networks and direct approaches.

The first thing to do is identify the right job boards for your sector and for your functional area. A way of finding out the better ones is to ask your networks which job boards they use. There are two types of job boards, firstly specialist job boards for different functional areas and sectors, for example GAAPweb for finance roles and charityjob for the charity sector. secondly job board aggregators like indeed which go out to a number of different job boards and collate the information into one site. You may find that the same job might be posted on several different job boards which is annoying but just one of those things. It’s really key to have a clear idea of what a good job looks like, have a list of the mandatory things a job has to have to stop wasting your time on applying for jobs that are not suitable. Remember to tailor your CV for each role and in your covering email highlight the points where your experience matches the key things that are in the job description.

Once you’ve applied for the role you will probably get a standard acknowledgement and then you may not hear anything back and that’s quite common. Try not to take this personally recruiters are incredibly busy people and they don’t have time to get back to everyone. I would try to contact the recruiter directly if it’s a role that you’re particularly interested in.

The next thing is to approach the relevant recruiters in your sector or functional area. As with job boards ask your networks who is they have used that they would recommend. When you’re looking at job boards notice which recruiters are active in your sector or in your functional area and approach those recruiters directly, even if there isn’t a role that is suitable for you. Try to get face-to-face meetings with recruiters so that you’re not just a CV and they can understand a bit more about your personality. Not all recruiters will meet with you but ask the question as a personal relationship is has real value.

“Find a handful of agents you can trust and build a relationship with them, I found the good ones were very willing to help even if they did not have any immediate roles to offer.”

“The whole relationship with a lot of recruiters is very transactional and so you need to develop a thick skin quickly. Don’t take it personally as it’s just the way they have to operate sometimes due how companies go to market.”

“I found that your advice to go meet agencies face to face very helpful.  For a contractor, it may not pay dividends in the immediate job hunt but it makes warming them up for the next search much easier.  Its also more encouraging, they are always positive and are usually happy to pass on tips and industry knowledge.  Sometimes you can do this off the back of an unsuccessful application for a role “OK so I’m not suitable for this one but why don’t we meet up and see ….” – it helps to turn a negative into a positive.”

“My experience with recruiters was generally good. I always tried to make time to meet them face to face, hoping that would help them remember me amongst the many other candidates on their books. When the chemistry worked it was very helpful.”

“Remember that a recruitment consultant's ultimate allegiance has to be to the fee payer i.e. The employer. They may be friendly but they are rarely your friend. As long as you realise this you can build a professional relationship that works for all concerned without compromising yourself.”

"Never just send in a CV and then have a cup of tea and a biscuit and think job done.  Always find out who is advertising the role, the hiring manager preferably, and then see if you can get a call into them before you send your CV on the lines of 'I saw your ad and wondered if I could ask a few more in depth questions about the role to see if we would be suited to each other' (or words to that effect).  A little bit disingenuous I know as you should already know whether it is something you want to do both from a role point of view and also whether it is a company you would want to work for.  The key point is you are putting yourself in their mind rather just A N Other CV to go on the reject pile.”

This series of mini guides will give you some practical tips and hints from people that have been through it and found what they are looking for. The next one is about using your networks effectively.

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