Practical Tips for Job Searching
We know that entering the job market can be a daunting task, with the market, technology, and processes constantly evolving. If you're currently seeking a job or considering a change, our short and engaging 30-minute webinar is the perfect resource for you. Discover valuable insights, signposts, and considerations to help guide you on your job search journey.
Practical Tips for Job Searching – FAQs
The recruitment agency experience
Q. I have registered with a few agencies and only one ever replied to me even though I followed up a few times and feel really frustrated. Any tips?
A. Unfortunately, we hear this quite a lot. At Ten2Two always aim to keep our candidates informed but for other routes this doesn’t seem a priority. A key thing is to check your junk and ‘other’ email folders as sometimes you’ll find messages there that have gone astray. If this isn’t the case, try not to take it personally, it is probable that the role has been filled, postponed or cancelled, which happens a lot. Try to stay positive and be patient.
Career breaks and applying for roles outside your sector
Q1. If I were to do my CV now after a career break it would obviously show all my previous experience in a certain field. If I want a career change, how can I do this when my CV just shows one thing?
Q2. What is the best way to write a CV so that you can apply for a job that isn’t necessarily in your job sector? For example, I work in design, all my jobs have been in design but since having children and going freelance I’m quite interested in doing a different role. I’m not sure how to gear my CV towards that?
A. To answer both these questions: when looking for a change of career, it’s best to draw out your key skills from your previous jobs. Bring those to the forefront of your CV and show how they are relevant for the job you’re applying for. Make it explicit in your cover letter and CV that you recognise this is a career change, so the recruiters look more closely at your transferable skills.
Help with your CV
Q. Can agencies help with putting your CV together if you have been out of the market for a long time or would they expect you to be able to do this? Is there anywhere else to get help if this is not a solution?
A. We are happy to take a look at CVs and give feedback, and would usually do this when you are applying for a particular position. If your CV needs a lot of thought and work (maybe after a break or because you want to change career), we’d recommend using a professional for this. There are a number of services available but our recommendations for a personal service is Jaqui Winston. Have a look at our CV FAQs blog here too - and our excellent free webinar on How to create a winning CV.
Investigating company culture as part of a job search
Q. Company culture is really important to me. How can one find out about the culture of a company BEFORE taking on the job?
A. This is an important topic. There are a few things you can do. If you have a choice of online or in-person interview, go for an in-person; you’ll pick up a lot from being on the premises. At the interview, ask questions about the company culture, their values, how they would describe themselves and ask the interviewers what they enjoy about working there. Ask if you can spend a morning at the place of work to get to see the environment and the team you’ll be working with up close and personal.
Returning to the workplace
Q1. Any particular suggestions for someone returning to work after a career break?
Q2. Do you have any tips for a stay-at-home mum returning to work after 8 years? I’ve applied for basic data entry part time jobs totally unrelated to my previous experience and not getting anywhere.
A. This is a broad subject and one that will be the topic of a future webinar. There a few things to start with: 1) Update your CV, 2) update or create your LinkedIn profile, 3) let your network know you’re seeking work and 4) update your skills if you feel you’re out of touch, i.e. join industry online groups, chat with ex-colleagues about what’s going on, take on some training to get you back into the swing of things (there are often free online courses you could take advantage of). If you’re applying for jobs that are unrelated, make it clear on your CV and cover letter why you feel you are a good fit for the role and highlight your transferable skills.
Jobs advertised without salaries
Q. I tend to not apply for jobs without salaries. What is your stand as an agency?
A. There are often good reasons for a salary not to be advertised, so don’t let it put you off. By all means, contact the agency or employer and ask directly. If they can’t be specific, then tell them the range you are seeking to check if it is in-line with their expectations.
Negotiating a salary
Q1. How do you negotiate a better salary than what is advertised?
Q2. Hybrid – how do you negotiate using your lunch hour to collect your child from school & log back in from home every day.
Q3. If a company clearly states that it’s a 5-day role in the office, is it worth trying to negotiate some home working?
A. If you’re using a recruitment agency, it would be worth bringing these points up early on in the process as the recruitment consultant will more than likely have an idea of what the client will or won’t negotiate on. Some employers will be open to negotiating and others won’t.
Specific tips regarding salary – do your research into the market rate for the role you are applying for. We often see much more experienced candidates going for a role that is a more junior level than their previous position, so check if you are negotiating to take the salary up to your previous more senior level or if you feel this is based on market rate for that particular role.
Specific tips in relation to collecting children. With regard to the option to pick up children and then continue working, again, bear in mind children in the background may be a distraction and if your work involves concentration and is client facing, it may not be appropriate to have children with you when working.
Video job applications
Q. Applied for a role that required a video application. Any tips?
A. Approach a video application as you would a traditional application. Follow their instructions carefully, ensure you are in a quiet environment (check your background is suitable), prepare and practice your words. Make sure you include information that they are asking for eg if they are asking what makes you suitable for the role, consider the top skills they are looking for in the job description and address these with examples. We have a very useful webinar on Presenting Yourself Online which is full of practical tips – and also some related Presenting Yourself Online FAQs – well worth a read.
Moving from public sector
Q. I have only worked in education and am strongly considering leaving and moving to corporate, but feel overwhelmed about the first steps as don't know what to look for to match my skills with all the jobs available to me ...
A. This is a common concern and may need you to invest some time (and some budget) into formal career guidance to make sure you choose a direction that’s right for you. You don’t want to invest in training or risk a move unless you’re sure it’s the right one! There are many skilled professionals who do this, and the key is to find someone you feel is the right match for you. One of our recommendations would be Sema Rubins at Ruby Sky Coaching.
Q. Would recruitment agencies be able to offer advice on suitable careers if you were unsure of the right pathway?
A. We can offer top level advice on the career direction your previous experience might lend itself to but do not offer end-to-end career coaching. This is a process that understands you, your motivations, your skills and what you would most enjoy doing. It can take a few meetings and ongoing input. Again, one of our recommendations would be Sema Rubins at Ruby Sky Coaching.
Q. I recently applied for a job with a large company that didn't use CVs but just used Behaviours during the recruitment process (first online then basic questions about my experience and behaviour-based questions in interview). Do you know of many companies using this type of process?
A. This is becoming more common as employers are trying new ways to find the right match for them. Most still use a CV as the starting point but then build in other ways to test a candidate’s competencies.
Q. Should you change your old job titles in your CV to match how they are currently termed?
A. This depends, and the key is to think about the audience reading your CV. If it makes your CV easier to understand and by changing the title, you’re not changing the nature of the work you did, then using more up to date titles is recommended.
Ageism, redundancies and job searching
Q1. Is there ageism within many companies? I'm approaching pension age and have lots of energy and enthusiasm, probably more than I did earlier in my career. I'm not planning to retire any time soon!
Q2. I am 60 years old and have worked in finance for over 15 years, but I am concerned about getting a new job which is permanent and Hybrid based. I have been through 6 redundancies and wonder would an employer still consider me as a suitable employee despite my age in the current market?
A. Your age shouldn’t be a consideration and, in fact, will only be accurately known once you start a job and need to provide your ‘right to work’ proof (passport or driver’s license). Many employers today are recognising that deep experience is valuable and often older workers can be more loyal. The key thing is to make sure you’re up to date with the technological changes in your industry – ie, are you able to use online software such as Xero. If not, take the time to update yourself and go ahead and apply for any jobs that match your skill set.
On redundancies - you’d be surprised how common redundancy is now on people’s CV’s. It has lost the stigma it used to have a few decades ago and with the financial crisis in 2008, recession, Brexit and then the pandemic, it is very common for CVs to have one or more redundancies. When discussing it, don’t be embarrassed and stick to the facts. Perhaps it was because the company was downsizing due to economic factors or perhaps relocating or restructuring. Whatever the reason, stick to the positives of what you learnt having gone through the process.
Following up after a job application
Q1. How do I follow-up after applying for a job on LinkedIn if there is no contact in the job ad?
Q2. Is it possible to do a follow-up after applying on a company career website?
A. All roles will have either the recruitment agency name or the company name. Many will have a direct contact for someone for any questions. If you are applying for a role on LinkedIn, there is usually information linked from the advert about the company. If there isn’t a named person, do some desk research to find a phone number or email of someone in the company (HR is a good start). You may need to contact the main number and ask, don’t be shy!
Using Open to Work feature on LinkedIn
Q. What are your thoughts on using the 'Open to Work' feature in LinkedIn?
A. This is a useful new feature on LinkedIn when looking for work. As always, there are pros and cons. We would say it is useful for recruiters to know your status and may increase your chances of being headhunted. However, be aware that, depending on your LinkedIn settings, your network will receive a notification anytime you change one of your settings, so you don’t want to be turning this on and off frequently! There is a way to have this setting only turned on for recruiters which is a safer way to ensure your current employer isn’t alerted to you seeking a new role (although LinkedIn doesn’t guarantee this). There’s a useful article here highlighting some considerations.
Your LinkedIn profile
Q. Is it essential to have a LinkedIn profile?
A. Using LinkedIn for job searching is a topic in its own right. However, here are a few initial thoughts. Don’t worry, it isn’t essential to have a LinkedIn profile, it depends on the sector and type of role you are looking for. If you are looking for a back-office support role, perhaps an administrative one, finance based such as payroll or credit control, or generally internally facing, it is unlikely a client will use LinkedIn to seek you out. If you work in Sales for example, it would be very important to have a profile.
How to use LinkedIn for job hunting
Q. Can you give us some info/tips on using LinkedIn for job hunting please?
A. If you are using LinkedIn for job searching, the main tip is don’t become completely focused on LinkedIn alone. It should be just one tool you use. If you can, put your Open to Work symbol on (see previous question), and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Be active in your own profile by commenting and liking on other people’s posts. Use LinkedIn to research companies you like, and make contact with them, engage with their posts, in addition to applying for roles.
We hope this is helpful!
Tracey Adams (00:00):
Hello everybody and um, thank you for joining us today for our webinar on the Practicals of Job Searching. So, I'm Tracey Adams, uh, from Ten2Two and I'm going to host it today, but I'm delighted that my lovely colleague, Jo Gregory, my partner in crime, fellow director, she'll be taking us through the presentation. So I think she's got the harder job tonight. Um, in case you don't already know about us, uh, Ten2Two are experts in part-time and flexible recruitment. So, if you are looking for a flexible role, make sure you are registered with us by visiting the website. Um, we've got 30 minutes for the presentation. It's quite a pacey run through, uh, followed by 10 minutes at the end for Q&A. Now, if you've got any questions, pop them into the q and a box. You'll see at the bottom of your screens, and they are anonymous, so please don't worry, ask anything you like.
Tracey Adams (00:57):
Um, we'll either bring them up as we go through if it's relevant or at the end. And we've got 10 minutes at the end where I can bombard Jo with a few questions. Um, there may be common themes that we can talk about, but, um, pop them all in there and if we don't get around to answering them all, then we will answer them in a follow up document or follow up email. So please, just fire away. Now, we've got a recording of this, and we will send you the recording out. So don't worry about writing loads of notes. So, I think that's the admin done. Jo, are you happy to get going and I'll hand over to you?
Absolutely. I thought we were going to go back to your travel days though. Are you going to do the emergency exits, <laugh>? It doesn't really work, does it?
Tracey Adams (01:43):
It doesn't. <laughs>
Awesome. Well thank you very much for that, Tracey. Um, just to quickly introduce myself, I'm Jo Gregory with Ten2Two. Um, you've probably seen mine and Tracey's names on emails and various other bits and pieces, uh, but we're delighted to have you here this evening and I'm going to take you through, ah, there it is, a presentation. You can see how comfortable I'm with this. It's great. Uh, right. Hopefully everyone can see that. There we go. Yeah, that's it. Cool. There we go. Brilliant. Yes, technology, don't you just love it, <laugh>. Yeah. Um, tonight we're going to be talking about the practicals for job searching. Um, so this is quite a broad subject. As Tracey said, it's quite pacey. We go through quite a lot of information.
Jo Gregory (02:38):
Um, some of you will be in this process at the moment and will be more familiar with it. Some of you won't have looked for a job for a very long time, so this might be a nice refresher as to the different routes that there are, um, the different processes that you might follow. Um, and obviously things are always changing with technology and world events. Uh, things change. Um, so hopefully this will give you an insight, um, as to what the market's like at the moment. Um, Tracey and I and the rest of the team are dealing with this day in, day out. So, we, we like to think that we've got a general sense of what's going on. Um, so the agenda for today, uh, the first point that we're going to go through is a quick update on the market. Um, second point is, uh, job finding channels.
Jo Gregory (03:22):
So, the different ways in which you can find a job. Uh, third point processes. Um, so again, there's lots and lots of variation in processes, but there are general themes that are generally kind of stuck to. So, we'll go through the process for the hirers and for yourselves. Um, a quick summary and then as Tracey said, if you've got any questions, um, we will have time to go through those at the end if we haven't covered them in the presentation. So please do pop them in the q and a.
So, the market, um, it's always changing, the recruitment market. It, it, it never stays the same for very long. Um, the latest figures on the ONS show that there's been a drop in vacancies. Um, now post pandemic, there was a bit of a bounce, um, and there was a huge rise in vacancies. That seems to be slowing down, that seems to be petering out.
Jo Gregory (04:12):
We think it's probably reached its end. Um, and whilst vacancies do remain high, um, and unemployment remains low, so it generally is still a candidate market, we do see signs that that might be coming to an end. Um, that doesn't necessarily mean it'll happen overnight, and it doesn't necessarily mean that it's going to slip completely into an employer's market. It just means that there might not be as many roles available for people to pick and choose from. Um, some of the basic stats, more than 80% of employers are reporting difficulty in finding the talent that they need. So, there is still in the UK a talent shortage. Um, and small businesses are saying that finding the right people is the second biggest issue after rising costs. And we all know what an issue rising costs are at the moment. So, um, small businesses or all businesses are facing those issues just as you and I are.
Jo Gregory (05:12):
Um, so what are we seeing on a daily basis? What kind of activity, what feel are we getting? Um, overall things are very, very buoyant. Uh, as Tracey said, and as most of you know, we are a specialist agency. We do specialize in part-time and flexibility. And we are pleased to say that things are buoyant because that hasn't always been the case in our niche. Um, there is still uncertainty in some sectors. Um, the world feels like quite an uncertain place for a number of people at the moment, and that, again, is felt by businesses as well as individuals. The shortage of candidates varies by sector. So again, some sectors have more of a talent issue than others. Um, flexible working is much more widely understood than I think it ever has been before. Um, and that is partly thanks to the pandemic.
Jo Gregory (06:05):
One of the things that it brought us was a more open-minded response to things like remote working. Um, so it has been adopted more widely and other types of flexibility are more widely available now than they were when, when Ten2Two started 16 years ago. Um, we've still got a way to go, you know, it, it's not perfect, it's not as widely available as we would like, um, and we're still championing that on your guys' behalf, but it's getting there. We're seeing lots and lots and lots of positive signs. However, one thing we have really, really noticed is the gap widening between what employers are able and willing to offer and what candidates are able and willing to accept. Um, so the biggest tip that we have for you guys out of all of this really is to be as open and flexible as possible.
Jo Gregory (06:59):
Now, we are not saying to put yourself in a position where you then cannot deliver against what you agree to. So, make sure you know your parameters. If you can only work 20 hours a week, you can only work 20 hours a week. You know, um, however, if you can be more flexible with the benefits package, if you can be more flexible with going into the office a little bit more regularly, um, do try and be as open-minded as you can. Uh, most of the employers that we work with are very open to discussion. They're open to negotiation. And we work in depth, in depthly is that word, <laugh> with those clients, um, before the role even goes to market to make sure that it is an attractive yet sustainable position. Um, so yeah, open-mindedness is the key. My notes are printed out here, so if I keep looking down, I'm very sorry. <laugh>, okay.
Routes to finding a job
Jo Gregory (07:58):
These are all of the key routes. So, apologies again if you're in this process at the moment. You may well already be aware of this, but if you haven't looked for a job for a while, um, it's a nice refresher. So, I'm going to go through each of these. Um, I won't take too long. Um, so yeah, agency, uh, agency's quite a formal way of looking for a job. Um, you don't normally stumble onto an agency's books. It's normally something that you proactively go ahead and do. Um, it's a focused and thorough approach. Um, it is different from a job board. Um, most agencies will have professionals who are then representing you. So, you'll have, um, a salesperson there doing your job for you and doing that elevator pitch. Um, making sure that you are being pitched into the right company for you as well as you being the right person for them.
Jo Gregory (08:53):
Um, guidance and coaching agencies can often provide guidance and coaching when it comes to interview skills. Um, when it comes to negotiation for the role itself, um, they can be sector and location specific. So, you might have an agency on your local high Street who will deal with your town. Um, or like us, it might be a niche, uh, whereas it's, it's part-time and flexible. If you are in PR, there are some PR specialists, so on and so forth. Um, agencies normally have a slightly smaller selection of roles. So, it's, it does help you with that overwhelm of job searching if you can tighten some of your parameters. So again, if you're only looking for part-time, come to a part-time agency. If you're looking for a job in law, go to a law agency. Um, most of the time in an agency, a real person will be looking at your details.
Jo Gregory (09:48):
So here at Ten2Two, not just cause we're scared of tech, but generally because we're lovely people, um, we do all look at your CV, you know, we will, um, cast a human eye over your details, um, to assess your relevance for a particular role. Um, and a lot of agencies do still operate in that way. Job boards, this is where the tech comes into it a little bit more. Um, there's lots and lots of different job boards that you can use. Again, there are some very generic ones. Total jobs, Reed, Indeed, blah, blah blah. They're listed there for you. Um, LinkedIn can operate as a job board. They do have formal job settings. They've also got the slightly more surreptitious ones like we do. We advertise without it actually being a LinkedIn role. Um, and there are specialist job boards as well. So, the one that we've got there is CWJobs.
Jo Gregory (10:42):
And you'll have to forgive me for a minute because I'm going to have to look. They specialize in and I don’t know, um, or flexible working people who we work very closely with, and they're a job board who specialize in flexible work, flexible jobs. Um, Google Jobs is a relatively new one and they're an aggregator, which means they basically go out and scan all of the internet and pull that information together. Um, so it's a really good Google search for a job. Um, and you can obviously use different terminology to pull through the jobs that you are interested in. Um, a tip for using these, uh, you can get really easily overwhelmed with the volume of opportunities there are out there. Jobs can be, um, duplicated across different job boards. Um, they might be then through an agency. They might be direct. They, it, it's massively overwhelming.
Jo Gregory (11:34):
So again, we would strongly advise that you use the criteria of the job that you're looking for to really narrow down the number of job boards that you're engaging with. Um, most of them will have the opportunity to set up alerts. Um, and then as you, I'm sure know in your, um, email account, you can then get those alerts sent to a folder. Um, and then you can choose a time to sit and look at them. It just means that they're more contained, um, and less likely to be bombarding you all the time. Um, so you don't get into a, a state of overwhelm. Yeah, Joe - CW jobs, I think is one of Deb's favourites and it was a tech one. Sorry, I was writing a direct answer to someone <laugh>. So it's a tech thanks. It's a tech one. <laugh>. Yeah, I knew that.
Jo Gregory (12:21):
<laugh>, um, another formal way of approaching, um, people is online direct. Now this is for a particular company that you might want to work for. So, or a number of particular companies. Obviously it's a much more focused way of applying for a job. Um, when I was little, I wanted to work at Disney, and I think I was about eight years old when I wrote to them asking if I could work for them. <laugh> and politely said no. Um, but you can go onto an employer's website, um, if they're a large employer, they will probably have some sort of technology behind their website. That means you can register for job alerts. Um, otherwise you might find an email address for an HR person or a manager and you can email them. Um, if you are really keen to target a company directly, um, businesses will often use job boards, or they might go to agencies.
Jo Gregory (13:12):
So it might be that your response is, ‘this is where we tend to advertise, please revert there’. Um, obviously the volume is going to be much lower if you're targeting specific companies, but it is I think, quite a nice way to job search if, if you are quite focused on where you want to work. Be that the sector, be it companies that are aligned with your values, um, it, it can mean you definitely don't get overwhelmed. You might be a little bit disappointed though. Yes. Um, and the last formal process, um, slightly less common, but it does still happen is headhunting. Um, so historically people have seen headhunting as something that only the very senior of us, um, get involved in or are headhunted. Um, that's not always the case. Um, often you can be headhunted because you've got specific skills or maybe even specific experience.
Jo Gregory (14:07):
Maybe you work for the competitor of the hiring business. Um, and they really want to be able to, to use your talent in their organization. Um, headhunting can be direct from an employer themselves or it might be from an agency. Um, so if you are actively looking, it's worth making sure that your CV with agencies is up to date, um, and as strong as possible. And also, that your LinkedIn profile, because LinkedIn is, um, a sea of bounty for headhunters. Yeah. Um, there's a, a lovely feature that you can use on LinkedIn. Preempt the question because it came up last time, um, where you can say, um, open to work or something like that. Yeah. Um, so obviously it's one that you want to be cautious with. If you are in a role at the moment, you might not necessarily want your current employer to know that you're open for work. Um, but if you are actively looking and it is open knowledge, um, then that's quite a nice feature. That means that any agency that does look at your details will know that you’ll probably welcome a call from them.
Jo Gregory (15:13):
Okay. Slightly more informal route. Um, the offline direct approach, this is slightly less common, um, but I used to do it. I wonder if Tracey did. Actually printing out your CV and going and giving it to somebody Yes. And posting it. Um, so again, I mean this, this might not be offline, this might, it, it kind of correlates the whole idea of just emailing directly to an HR manager or, you know, making yourself known to that company. Again, it's very, very targeted, but it still does happen. Um, make sure if you're going to do this, that all of your information is very, very strongly targeted. Um, your CV is tailored, your cover letter is tailored, um, and that you're making sure you find out as much specific information about that particular business as possible. So, the names of the people that you're approaching, um, businesses love a bit of flattery, so any kind of exciting PR or nominations or prizes they've won or anything like that, make reference to it, um, in your application because that will get you attention.
Jo Gregory (16:19):
Um, it's, it's much less common these days to go about it in this way, but, um, it still does work. Yeah. Um, and this is a very, very common offline way of job hunting and that is through your own network. So those of you who are in an incestuous type of industry where everybody knows everybody, you'll already be very, very comfortable with using your network. Um, it doesn't have to be your work network though. It is amazing how many people I speak to who found out about a job through somebody on the playground or at nursery pickup or at the park. Um, so if you're looking for a job and you are comfortable, just talk to people about it. You know, open up a conversation, find out what Jill at pickup does, um, and if the company she's working for have got any vacancies, you know, it, it's a great conversation starter. Um, it's a great, great way to, to network and to open up your professional network. Um, and although obviously you would want to come through Ten2Two, um, yeah, people at, at the school gates or in your circles for whatever reason it is that you are looking for part-time work, it may well be that they're in the same position and, and sourcing part-time work for themselves and they might be able to help you with your search.
The Hiring Process
Jo Gregory (17:42):
So, the hiring process. I feel like we're whizzing through this. How are we doing for time?
About 10 minutes left, Jo. So yeah, about 10 minutes left.
Okay. Bear with me. Okay, so we thought it would be good to take a quick look at the process that a hiring manager goes through. Now, obviously the process that you go through will mirror this. Um, but again, unless you've worked in HR or unless you've been a manager who's recruited internally, you might not understand this process. And sometimes it just brings a little bit of light to the experience that you have, if you know what goes on behind the scenes. Um, so once a need has been identified, um, a business will put together a job description. Um, now depending on the size of the business, that might be an existing document or a lot of time businesses will come to us, uh, to get us to help with those job descriptions.
Jo Gregory (18:38):
Um, and one of the things Ten2Two are very proud of is our expertise in helping businesses really, really craft and shape genuinely part-time roles. Um, it's, it's a real minefield out there and I know a lot of you will have had experience of trying to fit a role into part-time hours or, uh, a part-time role ending up growing, um, into something bigger. Um, so we do work very, very closely with hiring managers and businesses in making sure that the roles that we, um, work on are genuinely part-time if they're advertised as such. The business will then, once they've got the job description, then decide on their channels. Um, so some will use formal channels, um, that we've already gone through. Um, some will go through their own networks. Um, there is no set, uh, they have to do this, or they have to do that.
Jo Gregory (19:37):
You know, there is, there's um, sometimes people have these, these thoughts that businesses have to advertise internally, or they have to advertise for a certain number of time. That just isn't the case. The businesses can choose where they want to go to and where they want to advertise. Um, once applicants start coming in, these may be reviewed by a number of different audiences. So again, depending on the channel will depend on who or what, um, does that first sift of your CV. Um, a lot of recruitment software out there that often sits in the backend of a job page for example, um, will have AI attached to it now. So that will be able to scan your CV and pull out relevant words, um, that the recruiter or the client are looking for. Um, therefore shortlisting you purely based on preset keywords that they're hoping to achieve.
Jo Gregory (20:33):
Um, as I said before, if an agency is involved, then there's a much, much higher chance that your CV will be reviewed by human eyes. Um, and those decisions will be made on a slightly wider, um, basis, basis, um, if it's being reviewed by the client, um, or even by some agencies, it may be being reviewed by quite a junior member of the team. Um, and they again may have been tasked, uh, by looking for specific keywords. It may be that it's reviewed by the managing director of a small company. Whoever it's going to be viewed by, the key messages when putting together a strong CV are always the same. And we do run a separate webinar and provide additional information on writing CVs. Um, but the biggest piece of info, biggest piece of advice that we could give you is to make sure you're tailoring your CV for each and every application.
Jo Gregory (21:28):
Now that sounds very laborious. Doesn't have to be, um, you can have a master CV and then just strip out the irrelevant information or maybe put in some keywords for each application. Um, or even changing the order in which the bullet points are listed under a particular job can sometimes make sure it's tailored enough to catch the interest of whoever is reading it. Um, the keywords are so relevant for the AI process or for maybe the more junior person reviewing your CV, and they can often be mirrored from the job description. So, you'll know from reading the job description what those keywords are. They will jump out of the page at you when you're applying for the role.
Jo Gregory (22:14):
Um, there will then be a shortlisting process gone through. So hopefully your CV and some others will be shortlisted, and they will, um, then invite you for interview. That interview can take a number of different guises. The most common thing that we're seeing at the moment is using remote technology like we're on this evening for first stage interviews. Um, using Zoom or Teams or Google Meet, um, just means that there is a nice easy, still quite personal way of meeting a candidate or you meeting a business, um, without needing to travel into the offices. Um, obviously this is quite a different experience than an in-person interview, and again, Ten2Two and most other agencies will be able to coach you on, um, remote interviewing and making sure that you're still presenting yourself in the very best way possible. Yeah, um, obviously it goes without saying be as flexible as possible with the times that you are available, um, but make sure that those times do work for you.
Jo Gregory (23:16):
So, it's incredibly important that you are in the right environment, that you're in the right mindset, and that you haven't got any distractions during that interview time. So, you can really give the best impression of yourself. And again, we have a separate webinar that might be very useful, um, that we can link in when we follow up on presenting yourself online and also general interview tips. Um, we then get through to hopefully, the offer process. You'll, you've either been dealing entirely with, um, an agency or maybe directly with the recruiter themselves. You will have been super polite; you will have been thanking them. You will have been giving off the very best impression of yourself. And that shouldn't stop at this point. Um, the negotiation doesn't have to be a hard and uncomfortable process. If you've gone through an agency, the agency is there to support you in that negotiation and most of the time are quite skilled negotiators.
Jo Gregory (24:16):
Um, they'll also have an existing relationship with the hiring business, um, and maybe able to have slightly different conversations than you might be able to. Um, obviously if you've gone directly to a hiring business, um, then you might need to have those discussions yourself, but they don't have to be unpleasant discussions. Um, and hopefully through that, um, targeted approach, you'll have decided what your parameters are, and they will have been in line with your original application. As we said at the beginning with the market the way it is, we would encourage you to be as open-minded as possible, um, not to over promise and set yourself in a situation that's going to be unachievable, but also, um, not to be so fixed, um, in your requirements that you miss out on a great opportunity because of, um, a morning in the office. If you can make that work, hopefully by this point you've had the offer, you've negotiated yourself a brilliant package, you're super excited, and then you get to start your new job.
Jo Gregory (25:24):
Um, that process in itself can be quite daunting. Um, again, I'm going to keep obviously selling in using an agency. Um, we have helped lots and lots and lots of people get back into the workplace and that little while that’s between the offer and the start date can be really, really daunting. Um, but again, Ten2Two are very, very used to and very skilled in supporting you through that process. Um, helping you get yourself ready. Um, we have yet another webinar on your first, I think it's, 60 days. Can't remember. Yeah. Um, yeah, but making sure that you know, your confidence is up there, and you are ready, and you feel organized, um, and you make a real success of that start.
Your Job Search Process
Jo Gregory (26:11):
This is all the same as what we just did, but the other way around. Um, so key things that you need to think about in your job search. Allocate time for it. It's not something that you can do, you know, in for five minutes in the car waiting for Rosie to finish dance or whatever it might be. You need to, you know, give it some time, give it some attention. Um, set your criteria again, not so rigid that you're missing out on a great experience or a great offer, um, but not so wide that you are completely overwhelmed by all of the things that you're applying for. Uh, make sure you understand the titles and the skills. So different businesses use different job titles. Um, do some research, speak to people, understand what it is that you're applying for. Um, I mean, generic titles like office manager can mean so many different things and have so many different areas of responsibility.
Jo Gregory (27:05):
It's really important that you read, uh, the information that the employing body is giving you, um, as to whether it's actually the role that you want to go for skills as well. Um, acronyms can be used all of the time. Make sure that you understand what they are. Um, and sometimes ladies out there, we have a tendency not to apply for things if we don't tick all of the boxes, at Ten2Two we strongly advise you just to apply for it anyway. Um, a business will put out a person spec of the absolute ideal candidate and they will write everything they could have ever possibly wanted in a personal spec. They never actually believe that they will find that person. So, the one thing that you are missing might be the one thing they don't really care about anyway. So go for it.
Jo Gregory (27:56):
Um, create your base CV and cover letter as we said before, have a master CV that you can then tailor, um, and amend to that particular application. Choose the agencies and the job sites that you're going to work with and register with them. Make sure your details are up to date and develop a relationship with them if there is a human involved in the process. When you find the job that you want to apply for, tailor your CV and cover letter. Make sure again you're going through that mirroring exercise, um, with the keywords and that you are bringing out the very best in your documents for that application. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date. Um, even if you're not lose using LinkedIn to job search, the people who are reviewing your information may well be using LinkedIn to have a little bit of a sneaky look at you and it will just look better if your details there are shiny and up to date and reflect your CV as well.
Jo Gregory (28:51):
I'm not saying you have to tailor your LinkedIn profile to match your CV, but hopefully there won't be any or too many differences in the CV you're putting forward. Are you can ask something Tracey?
I was going to say it's 8.30, Jo.
Sorry. Um, <laugh>, uh, reach out as we said, talk to your network. Uh, go out there and ask the questions. Don't be afraid, um, unless you're keeping it secret from your current employer. And then be slightly afraid, um, and keep track of the applications that you've made. Um, there is no harm in chasing through an application if you haven't heard back from an employer or an agency. There is no harm in dropping them a note and trying to find out what's going on. It might not be anything negative. It might be that they just haven't got round to review in your CV or that the closing date for that particular role hasn't passed yet.
Jo Gregory (29:41):
So, keep a note of who you've applied with and how you've applied and make professional approaches to follow that on. Remain patient and positive. Nobody likes a grumpy job searcher. So positive smile, um, and lots of, um, patience in the process will get you far.
And it's a process, you have to remember it's a process and it's not personal. Yes, it's a process.
Um, so this is just a quick summary of everything that we've just gone through, but we are running over time so I'm not going to go through it all again. Um, all of this will be sent to you. Um, so a recording of today, a copy of the slides, um, and a follow-up document. So hopefully you've found this information useful. Brilliant. We have some, some questions.
Yes, we've had some interesting questions. So, I've got, um, the first one I'd say, um, this has come up a couple of times in the list just now. So, someone's saying they've registered with a few agencies and only one has ever replied. Um, even though they've followed up a few times and feel really frustrated and actually someone else has asked us a similar thing. Um, any tips?
Jo Gregory (31:00):
I completely understand your frustration. Um, it, it's very, very difficult and unfortunately, uh, recruitment agencies don't have the best reputation. Um, most agencies won't do it intentionally. It won't be something that they mean to do. And as Tracey said a minute ago, try not to take it personally. Um, tips I would follow up. Um, I would make sure that you are developing relationships. Um, I always, uh, liken it to uh, the relationship that you'd have with an estate agent. Not that I want to be thought of as an estate agent, but if you're looking for a house, you make friends with the estate agent. So, um, again, I can try and sell Ten2Two at this point. We do try our best to get back to everybody who gets in touch with us, but even we sometimes let emails or voicemails slip through the cracks.
Jo Gregory (31:50):
Um, obviously we never intend to do that and I'm sure other agencies never intend to do it. Uh, so do try not to take it personally, but as I said, if you keep track of the applications that you've made and just systematically make sure that you're following up on those, um, then hopefully you will receive a response. And if you don't, maybe it wasn't meant to be.
Yeah. And check spam folder, things like that as well. Because we do know some of ours go into spam sometimes.
Yeah, that, that is a very good point as well. Yeah. Yeah. Um, a lot of the time agencies will be using technology, to farm their communications. Um, and that technology can mean that they're more likely spammed by your email provider.
Um, someone is asking, uh, I think you touched on this, about social media. So, do employers look at social media to as part of their screening process?
Jo Gregory (32:39):
So you never will know <laugh>? Um, some do, and some don't. Yeah. Um, our advice would be, obviously we don't want to police your social media and you don't want to feel that you can't use your social media for its exact purpose of being sociable. However, if you are actively job searching, I would just be mindful that employers might do a Google search on you or look at social media. Um, obviously accounts can be made private. You can do what you can to, to protect your privacy.
Jo Gregory (33:20):
Um, I would advise not doing that on LinkedIn. If you're actively job searching, make sure people can see your LinkedIn profile. Um, but anything that is there for more social activity, you can either again, make it private or just make sure that you are keeping it as professional as possible. Yeah. Uh, or at least the, the first few scrolls.
Fun is fine. Fun and having fun is fine. And then there's, you know, when you step over a certain line on Facebook, <laugh> and, and I have known clients to come to me and say, we've just looked at someone's Facebook page and it's a bit, you know, so I they do look clearly. Not all of them, not all of them have time or want to, so.
But you just don’t know. So it's better to play it safe.
We’ve got an interesting question here about culture. So, you know, obviously you're doing all your research, you're doing your job boards. Um, how can you find out about the culture of a company as part of your research before taking on the job?
Jo Gregory (34:07):
Brilliant question. Um, culture is becoming so, so important for job searches. Um, it's almost more important than sector now for a lot of people who are looking for a job, they really want to be in line with the culture of the employer. They want it to be a culture that they're comfortable in. And that varies for everybody. You know, there, there is no right or wrong answer. It's very individual. Um, there are a lot of ways that you can find out about the culture of an organization, one of which is to do exactly what we were just talking about and flip that social media thing. Um, and look at their social media.
Jo Gregory (34:49):
So, you know, look at the type of information that they're sharing about themselves. Look at their website, look at whether they've got, um, vision and values, um, communicated on their website. Um, you can tell a lot about an organization, um, through the types of additional activities that they're involved in. So, they might have some, um, charity work that they get involved in. They might have some, um, employee testimonials on their website if they've got a recruitment portal. Um, I don’t know if some of you know about a, a website called Glassdoor. Um, it's a website where people can praise or otherwise their employers. Um, again, you do have to take it with a pinch of salt because as with reviews of products, people don't tend to go on unless they've either got something absolutely wonderful or absolutely awful to say. Um, but that can be a useful insight into the culture of an organization.
Jo Gregory (35:48):
Yeah. Um, and the other thing to say is if you don't feel as though you have fully grasped a culture, um, and you are offered an interview, you can ask about it at the interview, um, you know, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from asking about their culture and asking them all the questions that you want. The interview is very much a two-way process. Um, and giving them the opportunity to share their culture with you is something that I'm sure that they would welcome.
Yeah, brilliant. Absolutely. Um, we've had, I don't know that we've got time to do much on this and I'm happy to just quickly throw some ideas out. We've had quite a lot of questions about LinkedIn. I'm feeling there is a webinar we need to do on team, um, because we've had quite a lot actually, I think the majority or loads have been on LinkedIn.
Tracey Adams (36:36):
So, uh, I'm happy to just throw in a few answers to these that are on here. So, I think really how do you use LinkedIn, um, on you know, your job search and you've talked about it a bit. I think everybody, if you are actively looking and don't mind people knowing you are looking like you haven't got a current employee bothered about, put your open to work badge on, um, be active on LinkedIn, make sure it's up to date, connect with people, make comments, pass comments, you know, praise people, uh, interact, seek out the companies you like and think are great and connect with people there. I mean there's so many things we could talk about with LinkedIn if you are job hunting and, and it's probably a, a more detailed question for another time and we can put some thoughts on a, on a piece of paper tomorrow and send it out an email. So, um, but that's a key one I think for a lot of people. LinkedIn
Jo Gregory (37:27):
And it's an absolute treasure trove for job hunters, but the only, um, kind of warning that I would put in place is that overwhelm. Um, a lot of people come to us who have, have just been completely bamboozled by the volume of stuff that's out there. Yeah. And LinkedIn can be like that. Sometimes it, it can be a bit of a rabbit warren as also
Yeah, I was just about to say rabbit warren <laugh>.
You can kind of get lost zooming through it. Yeah. So yeah, definitely focus on keeping your presence updated. Yeah. And yes, be, be targeted and, and contact people, you know, apply for the jobs that you are interested in that come through. Yeah.
Jo Gregory (38:18):
Um, but use it as a tool, um, rather than allowing yourself to kind of get lost in it.
Yeah, absolutely. Now Jo, that's 10 minutes. That's more than 10 minutes, that's 22. Now we have had more questions. Um, we are not going to have time to go through them all. I'm really sorry. But we will follow up with an email which answers, I've answered a few as we've been going along that I could do quickly. Um, and we'll follow up tomorrow with an email with, with as many questions answered as we can. Um, so I think that we're going to have to draw it to a close. Um, we'll follow up tomorrow. We'll also send the recording out. It'll probably be early next week. So, anything else to say Jo, before we go?
No, just thank you all ever so much. There's really nice little emojis of thumbs up. I know. Going up the screen at the moment. It's lovely. I've not seen that before.
Jo Gregory (39:12):
<laugh> um, thank you all so much for giving us your evening this evening. We really, really do appreciate your time. Um, yeah, we love our candidates and if any of you have got any follow up questions, we are always open and willing to have conversations or to answer emails. So please do get in touch and the very, very best of luck to you. For those of you who are job searching. It's not easy. We know it's not easy. Yeah. Um, we are here to help but similarly outside of us. Yes, we do wish you the very, very best of luck.
Thank you everybody and I hope it was helpful. Thank you very much.
50 min read
December 13, 2023