Applying for a job can often begin to feel like a chore for many reasons. Notably because if you are unemployed and seeking a new role you find the sheer volume of applications tiresome or, if you are already in employment, you need to focus on fulfilling your existing duties. However, there are still plenty of useful tips for you to consider if you have an eye on a new opportunity.
Always be prepared
Creating a CV from scratch is often time-consuming, tedious and frustrating when you have plenty on your plate (such as your current job and trying to enjoy this rather rare actual summer weather!). I regularly advise individuals that I work with to keep their CV as up to date as possible meaning that should an opportunity of interest arise, you have very little to do to ensure you are considered. Of course, there is always the need to consider tailoring certain aspects of your experience to the role, but it is always worth updating your CV as your experience grows to save yourself having to find a substantial amount of time to create a new one from scratch once you’ve finished a hard day at the office.
How to pull together your CV is something I believe to be personal and it should reflect your personality and experience, but one tip I am now regularly giving is to always have a handy project summary list available. Whether your experience is public or private sector, it’s always useful to update this document (when you can without causing confidentiality issues!) as it will allow you to easily showcase your skill-set and relevant experience to prospective employers.
Consider the job carefully
This might sound obvious; however, I always recommend taking the time to research the prospective employer in greater detail. Not only should this solidify your interest but it will also assist you in the application process as your knowledge of the business increases and you’ll be better placed to answer the ‘Why do you want to work here?’ question. Crucially, though, it will allow you to then streamline your CV and project experience document selecting the experience that is relevant and, therefore, of particular interest to the interviewers. Taking the time to consider your options also ensures that you are following the useful rule of quality over quantity!
Keep an open mind
Never say never is one of the few cliché phrases I often find myself quoting and it certainly applies to submitting job applications. It is natural for your mind to think – what is it like in the public/private sector? What is it like working client-side? Would I fit in at XYZ Company? Could I become a development manager? Curiosity is not a negative and, therefore, I would say that whilst I wouldn’t suggest applying for any and every opportunity that exists it is always worth having a chat with prospective employers that spark some interest for you. It can often lead to the realisation that you are very happy in your current role and with the right employer for you, or it can demonstrate that there is more for you to accomplish. Either way, by being prepared and taking the time to consider your options it means that you can be confident you are pursuing the right pathway for you.
Admittedly, this list is far from exhaustive but will hopefully provide some useful insight into how you can ensure your career is on track at a time when the opportunities for planners are increasing.
Jason Moore is principal consultant at recruitment agency Blayze Group