The summer can often be a frustratingly slow time for active job seekers. As hiring managers and key decision-makers go on vacation during July and August, the recruitment process can almost grind to a halt in some companies.
While the slow-down might seem like a hindrance for some, I personally see it as a golden opportunity for job seekers to get into shape – or as I call it “hiring-fit” – for when recruitment ramps up again in September. Being hiring-fit will not only increase your visibility to potential employers but also your chances of getting the job you actually want. The question is: how hiring-fit are you right now? Here are 8 things you must do to ensure you are in peak hiring condition at all times – for maximum job search success:
1) Define your personal brand
With an average of over 700 people applying for every role, it is essential you make yourself stand out from the crowd. The only way you can achieve this is by defining and building your personal brand. This is your key differentiator and is what will make employers choose you over another applicant. If you haven’t developed your personal brand yet, or worse still don’t even know what personal branding is – you need to get up to speed. It’s a key buzz phrase right now for a reason. Employers are looking for it.
If you don’t know where to start with your personal brand, an experienced career coach or personal branding specialist will help.
2) Create and implement your marketing strategy
Once you have defined your personal brand, you then have create a strategy to get your brand out there. This means assessing which marketing tools and sales channels will be most effective in getting your brand in front of potential employers. Example of marketing tools could be your CV, LinkedIn profile, social media, blogs, personal websites etc. Sales channels could be networking and social events or recruitment agencies. Who, where, when and what are all key questions you want to be asking yourself when creating your marketing strategy. Read my article on self-marketing for further tips
3) Build and define your USP
The most successful job seekers have one thing in common: they know their USP (Unique Selling Proposition). Also known as your UVP or Unique Value Proposition. They know exactly who they are, and have identified their key strengths, top skills, unique experiences, talents, achievements, behavioural competencies and personality traits. They have recognized that the combination of all these things is completely unique to them and have clearly defined how this combination will add value to any employer.
As a starting place in defining your USP, these articles will help:
4) Learn how to sell yourself effectively
Whether it’s on your CV, Linkedin Profile, in an interview or a networking opportunity, you must be expert in selling yourself. Not only do you know how to match your USP to the needs of the company/job/person you are approaching, but you know how to effectively communicate that match. Being able to sell yourself comes from 1) knowing exactly what it is you have to offer (your USP), 2) confidence / self-belief, 3) excellent communication skills and 4) knowing your audience. If you are slightly weak in any of these areas, a career coach or life coach can help.
5) Build an effective job search strategy
Employers are turned off by job seekers who use a scatter gun approach to their job search. They want to feel special. Building an effective job search strategy makes your job search targeted and focused – not only good for increasing the efficiency of your job search, but also for your employment prospects. Showing companies you have given serious thought to your career – which companies you want to work for, why and in what role – will set you apart from other job seekers.
Note if you are making a career change or applying to a role you are not 100% qualified for, you will have to adopt a slightly different job search strategy. Here are some articles that will help:
6) Make sure your marketing tools are exceptional
First impressions really do count. Therefore it is essential that your LinkedIn profile, CV and interview skills are all up to an outstanding level. This also applies to your networking, online presence building and social media skills. The slower summer months are a great opportunity for you to really get on top of this. If you’re not sure if your CV, LinkedIn profile or interview skills are up to a great standard, or you want help in improving your personal branding, an experienced career coach will be able to help you.
7) Expand your network
Only 30% of jobs are advertised. Meaning companies are using other avenues such as referrals to fill vacancies. The only way you’re going to get referred is by having a strong network. In my opinion, this is the key for any job seeker looking to really maximise their chances of job search success.
8) Always perform at your best
This is a no-brainer. When companies hire someone for a role, they are making an investment. Their goal is to get the highest rate of return on that investment – meaning they will be looking for top performers. It’s all about the 3 Rs: results, right attitude and references.
If you haven’t performed well – either in your most recent role or throughout your career – you have to stop and ask yourself why. Poor performance is generally a red flag you are in the wrong job. To find out if this is true for you, read my previous articlehere.
If you’ve received feedback about your attitude, then this is something you will need to address and improve if you really want to experience greater job search success. My previous blog post http://zetayarwood.com/sabotaging-your-own-career/ describes other ways you could be ruining your chances of career success – without even knowing it.
And if you’re good at your job, but personal issues are preventing you from performing at your best – it is essential you get on top of these. Whether it’s from a life coach, mentor, or therapist – get some help. Your career (and life) could depend on it.
For more information on how to get “hiring-fit” for maximum job search success please visit www.zetayarwood.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Author
Zeta Yarwood is recognised as a leading Career Coach and NLP Life Coach in Dubai, helping individuals across the world to achieve success in all areas of their lives. With a degree in Psychology and over 10 years’ experience in coaching, management and recruitment – working for multinational companies and award-winning recruitment firms – Zeta is an expert in unlocking human potential. Passionate about helping people discover their strengths, talents and motivation, Zeta lives to inspire others to dream big and create the life and career they really want.