Career: Let New Opportunities Come to You!

Posted on Sep 11 2019 - 9:00am by Samantha Clark
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According to the UK Labour Market Office for National Statistics, unemployment in the United Kingdom has fallen to its lowest level since 1974. Almost 100,000 jobs were added in the first quarter of this year. Although it’s not a massive boost in the market, there are still many opportunities to succeed, and you can optimistically switch jobs or start new businesses. There is a lot of competition when it comes to attracting job offers and clients. People need to think outside the box to make their experiences and education stand out from the crowd. Even if you did not graduate from Oxford University, all is not lost. You can still find that dream job by showcasing your best self in a new light, and then recruiters will blow up your phone in no time.

Make Yourself Appear Available for Opportunities

If you want something, ask for it. Have a unique idea and want to find a mentor or a business partner? Let people know what is on your mind in case they want to work with you. If you are a fresh undergraduate looking for a job, use social media to tell people that you are searching for a new role. Create professional resumes and business cards and share them with others. The right opportunity will never find you if you do not reach out and show people that you are available to take on a new challenge.

Apply for Jobs Online

Technology has changed every aspect of our lives. Job hunting has also been altered by the digital age, with most roles now being advertised online. Many positions require you to attach a CV and hit submit. Others may ask you to fill out a lengthy application with specific questions about why you want the job that you’re applying for. The best websites to apply for jobs in the United Kingdom are, Adzuna, CV-library, Escape the City, Honest.work, Indeed UK, Monster UK, Reed.co.uk, Totaljobs, Unicorn Hunt, WorkInStartups, and LinkedIn.

CV writing

Instead of manually scouring these sites every day, you can set up job alerts. For example, on Indeed you can click on “Get new jobs for this search by email”. Your alerts become active and Indeed will send recommended jobs, that you’re interested in direct to your inbox. If you prefer, the Indeed mobile app sends alerts and notifications whenever there is a new relevant job posted.

Several companies advertise jobs on their own websites rather than other sites, so it’s worth checking them out directly, especially if there is an organisation you’re keen to work for. Some of them might have a listing on LinkedIn or Indeed, which directly takes you to an external site when you click on it.

The most general recruitment sites, that host a broad range of jobs in various sectors are LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster, Adzuna, and Reed. There are others that have specific roles related to industries such as IT, hospitality, and recruitment which are worth signing up to for notifications of job opportunities. There are also location specific groups on Facebook where some companies and recruiters request for candidates. However, many of these are usually for casual hospitality jobs.

Update Your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is one of the most valuable social media platforms for networking and applying for jobs. If you already have a profile, it’s time to update it with all your new skills and experiences. For new users, it takes approximately thirty minutes to set up a comprehensive profile that lists your work experiences, educational background, relevant skills and an attractive summary that people see when they land on your page. You can also list professional awards that you are exceptionally proud of too.

LinkedIn provides a detailed career snapshot to recruiters and hiring managers. You can fit plenty of information on LinkedIn to let businesses know how much value you bring, which is challenging to fit on a two-page resume. If you have set your location to “London,” LinkedIn will automatically show you the closest jobs related to your field in the city. This list is updated regularly as new jobs are posted. When you have created an impressive profile, you can press the setting which greenlights your account to let recruiters know that you are available. If they want to get in touch with you, they can quickly respond via InMail.

Should you go for a paid account?

Most people use the free version of LinkedIn because it has plenty of features to search and apply for jobs. The paid version lets you know who visited your profile and how many people have applied for each job post. For most jobs, it allows you to see if you are in the top 10 percent of the applicant pool. Then you can decide if you want to continue applying if your chances are strong. If you need to brush up on your skills, LinkedIn also have video lessons for many relevant industry subjects that you can stream on-demand. At the end of each course, they provide a certificate that you can add to your profile. It will appear in the education and certificates section of your page.

Recruiters often use LinkedIn to source candidates by using keywords. You could be discovered by them if your job title contains industry-related buzzwords such as Business Development Manager, or Marketing Associate, etc.

Put Yourself Out There and Network

At the end of the day, people decide who they want to work with. If you have a friend or family member in a company, your chances of securing a job there are higher compared to those who have no connections. Many jobs are not advertised online, and companies try to fill them privately through recruiters or recommendations from other employees. Ernst & Young offers their current employees a referral bonus for finding new people. If you have a connection, they can be an essential steppingstone to getting a new job or business opportunity. You may not even be searching, but a friend could mention that their company is hiring with a generous salary package too good to refuse.

Instead of having to attend networking events in person all the time, you can also network online using LinkedIn. Unlike other social media platforms, everyone’s LinkedIn profile is public. You can quickly find employees of the company you want to work for and ask them to connect. Networking can be draining, especially for introverts. It is also time-consuming and a little awkward. However, you should always make an effort as connecting with the right people can give you a tremendous competitive edge in your career.

Are you in a career rut?

Let Agencies Do the Work for You

There are currently 39,232 recruitment agencies trading in the United Kingdom. The most reputable ones are Venturi Group, Adecco, Impellam Group, Hays, REED Specialist Recruitment, and Michael Page. Recruitment agencies charge an employer approximately 15 to 20 percent of a candidate’s salary. For more specialised roles, this can go up to 30 percent. The candidate does not have to pay anything because the employer covers that cost. Because of this recruiters have to convince businesses to use their services rather than hire in-house. A typical recruiter spends several hours on job sites and LinkedIn. They also make around fifty calls per day trying to find and schedule candidates for interviews. Most of their websites list jobs they are recruiting for, or you can submit your CV for any future roles.

If they find the right fit for you, they will get in touch. However, they have hectic schedules and might need a lot of reminders about your application. They also favor candidates and job positions where the agency can earn a higher commission.

Always make sure to update your CV and LinkedIn profile. If you’ve signed up to lots of job sites, determine which give you value. Only register your details on reputable sites and start connecting with recruiters on both their company websites and LinkedIn. Find time to attend networking events. These are usually advertised on university alumni pages, social media platforms and Eventbrite. Engaging with the right people could get you the next big interview. It is challenging to find a job because there is so much competition. Follow the laws of attraction and take active steps to develop relevant skills that are valued by employers.

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