Peter Jones, founder and managing director of Foyne Jones, a specialist recruitment agency for kbb, merchant and construction sales, offers his top tips on getting ahead of candidates in your job search
The rate of unemployment in the UK has risen to 5% and 828K people have been made redundant or lost their jobs since the Covid-19 pandemic began.
Sadly, the KBB sector has naturally been impacted and job seekers in these markets are facing more competition than ever before when it comes to getting noticed and standing out from the crowd.
Applying for position after position and getting no response is both demoralising and demotivating and can lead to real-time repercussions on mental health and wellness.
Staggeringly only 6% of job applications result in an offer of employment, so in reality 94% of your efforts could ultimately be a complete waste of time.
Interestingly many people also believe that the majority of senior roles are filled through the ‘hidden job market’ and understanding how this works or if it even exists can sometimes be as complicated as the ‘Dark Arts’.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom, companies are hiring and our industries wheels are still turning, which means there are opportunities out there for the taking right now.
So, if you find yourself out of work or wanting to improve your career prospects then my advice is to rip up the rule book, stop applying by sending your CV out aimlessly and consider a fresh approach to job seeking with some of my own best kept secrets from the world of LinkedIn.
Ir you want to stand out, you have to start by doing things differently.
MONDAY – And so it begins…
Post an article, update or video on LinkedIn that simply tells everyone who you are and what you do; think of this as your introduction and opening speech at a networking event.
Support this by sending 25 new connection requests to people you admire, inside and outside of your industry.
As easy and simple as it sounds, this exercise is the perfect starting point for the job search steps ahead.
TUESDAY – Start networking
Yes that means becoming visible, as a quick thumbs-up, like or fist bump won’t be enough!
I want you to find seven posts written by others in your target market that are already popular and receiving a high level of engagement.
Take your time to leave a detailed comment, praise, or your thoughts on each of them and you become ‘part of the conversation’.
WEDNESDAY – Make someone smile
Think about four people who have had a positive influence in your career or personal life and then tell them – be it privately, publicly or by leaving a well-considered recommendation.
Next, find another three people who could potentially help you and reach out to them directly and ask for your own testimonials.
If you want to get noticed you need up-to-date, real life recommendations on your page because like it or not, potential employers will be 100% checking you out.
THURSDAY – Make it count.
Identify and connect with seven key decision makers, e.g. hiring managers, specialist recruiters, head hunters or influencers in your target market, as part of your job search.
Send them a voice message, a real introduction or if you are brave enough a pre-recorded video.
A word to the wise, don’t include your CV as they can already see who you are from the outset and trust me when I say, I want you to be in the elite group of job seekers going above and beyond and actually getting noticed.
FRIDAY – It’s all about YOU
Show off! This is my favourite saying of the week, that’s right, I dare you to tell people what you are good at and what you enjoy.
It might feel unnatural but I strongly recommend you write a post explaining how you made a difference during this pandemic.
Think about how you can distinguish yourself from the crowd and whether you highlight work, community, personal, fitness or even charity-work, it has to showcase YOU and something you’re proud to have achieved.
SATURDAY – Rest, relax and reflect
If you have followed each daily step up to now, then you will be in a much better position than you realise and you should celebrate what you’ve been able to achieve so far.
You are already doing significantly more than the majority, so today I want you to remove yourself from your job search and take a complete break.
Personally I find going for a walk, doing some exercise, talking to family and friends, laughing and smiling is a great way to unwind and you’ll have a lot to feel good about as you have almost nailed this seven day plan.
SUNDAY – We all need a plan
Prepare for the week ahead by thinking about what you’ve learned the week before; how many responses did you get, what would you do differently and what else you can do to get noticed?
Make sure that you know what you are going to talk about over the next seven days and most importantly, who you want to work for and why.
Then brainstorm, talk to people you trust, get your ideas together and put a plan in place for the week ahead.
Foyne Jones has teamed up with Kitchens & Bathrooms News to provide its readers with regular, exclusive job search and career advice.