We’ve collaborated with CABA, the charity supporting the wellbeing of chartered accountants and their families, to offer advice on finding new employment during these difficult times.
The pandemic has undoubtedly caused disruption to many of those in work. You may have lost a training placement, slowed down your progression, or been made redundant.
When these things happen to us we can feel a whole range of negative emotions before we ‘bounce back’. For anyone out there, rejection is difficult. When something important is taken away, it can be very hard to fill that void.
But keep the faith, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Companies are still hiring
Some sectors have prospered throughout the pandemic and are showing no sign of slowing down. And with the changes to our culture and economy new opportunities are being created. Many organisations are looking to bring in new talent.
So how do you find and land a new job? Here are our 3 top tips:
1. Be methodical about your job hunt
Treat your job search as you would a job.
Applying these same principles to your search will give you a strong chance of finding something. Firstly, create a plan and have a main objective.
Then take some time to reflect on the key questions: What skills do I have? What roles do I want? What sectors interest me?
The answer to these questions should shape how you write your CV. Following this you can research employment agencies, and check out relevant job boards, for the areas you are targeting.
Then reach out, and make your approach email personalised and engaging. Once you have your plan/process set yourself daily and weekly goals. This will help to keep you motivated and energised.
2. Be bold
There are many roles available but it’s also true that there is increased competition. So standing out from the crowd is paramount right now.
Now is the time to think about your own ‘personal brand’. Think about everything you’ve done, all your experiences. Think about the unique mixture of experiences you’ve encountered, all the things that could give you a distinct edge. With this, also incorporate your values.
All of these things help to give you a flavour of what your personal brand could be. Ultimately it’s your authenticity that’s the key ingredient within your brand. Being genuine and proud of who you are, and selling that, is what makes you an appealing candidate (as well as by showing the necessary skills required of course).
Make sure your brand is consistent across all relevant platforms and be active. For instance, update your profile on LinkedIn and be engaged. Make new connections, share content, comment on posts and publish your own posts. During online events contribute to the debate, ask questions and have a view.
This will all help to build your profile and make you visible.
3. Don’t take any application for granted
Tailoring every application you submit can really help you stand out. It may take a little more time, but it will improve your chances of being noticed.
Recruiters spend a very limited time scanning CVs and applications, so something generic will not always resonate. Look closely at the advert. What are they specifically looking for?
Make sure your CV or application highlights the achievements, experience and skills that match the role. That might mean you’ll need to perform some slight tweaks or it could mean more of an overhaul to make certain points stand out. Ultimately, you want the recruiter to see you’re a good fit and put your CV on the “yes” pile.
Finally, don’t forget the artificial intelligence element of the recruiting process which could be playing a role. Before a human being has seen your CV or application, a recruitment system may have scanned it first. This is where keywords play a critical role.
Again, look closely at the advert or role profile. Identify the most important aspects and make sure you weave those words or phrases into your CV. For example, you may talk about ‘Account Management’ whilst the employer may refer to ‘Client Partner’. This will take time but the effort will pay off.
This blog is a joint collaboration between Kaplan and CABA. CABA is the charity that supports the wellbeing of the chartered accountant community. They provide lifelong support to ACA students, past and present ICAEW members, and their close families across the globe.
For more information on how CABA can support you at this time visit caba.org.uk/coronavirus.