Your CV is not the only thing that a job-seeker needs to consider when looking for a new role. Also, your ideal role may not come up when you are looking, so it doesn’t hurt to let yourself be found even if you are not looking. In this section, we have tried to offer some useful advice on the other parts of the job-seeking process.
YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
The world is changing at a rapid pace and this is certainly true of the recruitment world. The rise of social media means that your CV is no longer your only shop window to the world, LinkedIn and other business networking sites have become a regular starting point for organisations looking to hire people, so even if you are not looking, people will be finding your profile. We could spend a long time giving you advice on this, but we know a great expert who can provide all of the advice you might need.
His name is Mark Williams (or Mr LinkedIn as people have come to call him) and you can find an excellent training product available online via the following link:www.etn-training.co.uk/LinkedIn_Training/Products.html
Mark is widely regarded as the UK's foremost LinkedIn expert and trainer. This was recognised in 2010 when Mark became the first and only certified trainer approved by LinkedIn in the UK
(We promise we are not making any money out of this recommendation, we just rate Mark very highly!)
Here are some starter tips from us, (with a little help from Mark):
- Make sure your access settings are open so that people can see your name on search results
- Make sure your profile is search optimised (see CV section)
- Make sure all of your relevant roles are included on your profile
- Join relevant groups (such as Procurement & Supply Chain professionals)
- Make sure you use a good quality photo that you would be happy for a future employer to see
- Include your education and languages
- If you are actively looking, make sure some contact details are visible
- Work on your network – think about previous/current colleagues, suppliers, customers, and university and school friends. Good people are likely to know good people, so think about the quality of the people you are connecting to
- Check your profile regularly
- Recommendations are very useful to have on your profile but remember who may read these – they should not just be from workmates, but relevant bosses, important stakeholders etc
ADDING YOUR PROFILE ONTO CV LIBRARIES
For people who are actively looking for work for a specific reason, we recommend utilising online CV Libraries such as Monster. If used correctly, you will often get a better result posting your profile in this way than applying to multiple jobs. This is because recruitment consultants and hiring companies regularly search these libraries for profiles that fit their requirements. For supply chain or procurement roles in the UK, we would recommend either www.monster.co.uk or www.supplychainrecruit.com
Here are some Dos and Don’ts:
- DO make sure that all of your profile information is accurate and up to date
- DON’T just upload your CV and ignore building your profile
- Focus just as much on populating all of the fields that the CV library requires - it is not just about your CV
- DO make sure you categorise yourself properly by sector and skills according to how the site works
- DO put in salary expectations and keep them realistic. If left blank, you will not appear in over 50% of search results
- DO be specific about location. If you are on the border of 2 regions include both as you would not like to be discounted
- DO make sure you are available to respond to interest in your profile once it is properly posted – you only have one chance to make a first impression.
- DO be careful about putting your profile on a CV library if you aren’t really open to new opportunities. You could end up wasting not only your own time but the time of potential future employers and recruiters.
USING RECRUITMENT CONSULTANTS
Often held in poor regard, the quality of recruitment consultants varies greatly, while the job title remains the same. The first time you speak to one, you don’t know whether they are a specialist head-hunter with a vast network and fantastic reputation or a poor consultant with little experience, but it should soon become apparent.
Here are our tips so that you get the best out of them:
CHOOSE THE RIGHT CONSULTANT
- If you are not highly motivated to move, do not work with a high number of recruitment consultants. Your local industry is small and therefore it is easy for your profile to saturate the market. If it is not right first time, it is very hard to overturn a rejection
- Try to get recommendations from someone who has moved recently or been job-seeking and be selective about who you are working with
- If you can’t get recommendations, do some research on LinkedIn and try to find someone who specialises in your function AND sector while working in the right geographies – you can really be that specific!
- Ask consultants who their key clients are. If they are not regularly working for the sort of organisations you would like to join, they may be of limited use. The reason for this is that some organisations have strict rules on which agencies they will work for – some recruitment consultants simply would not be able to get you an interview with some companies
- Beware of recruitment consultants asking you about other opportunities that you are considering. They are often not asking these questions out of interest in you, but more to develop their knowledge of who is hiring so that they can submit their own candidates against your application. This is called “lead generation” and providing a recruitment consultant with the ability to submit people on competition against you is not in your best interest
Managing your consultant
- Make sure that a recruitment consultant knows not to forward your CV onto their clients unless you have given them express permission against a specific role
- It will not take long to decide whether a recruitment consultant is any good. If you decide they are not up to the job, inform them that you will not be working with them
- A good recruitment consultant is an expert at spotting what their clients are looking for. They will not just be judging you on your CV, but by how you deal with the recruitment process. Throughout the process, they will be sharing their thoughts with their clients and have a huge impact on the decision-making process
- Once you are comfortable with a recruitment consultant be truthful with them about your expectations, especially your salary. The biggest test of your relationship is towards the end of a process where they will be negotiating on your behalf, so you want them on your side. The more open you are with them, the harder they will push for what you want
- Recruitment consultants often have to drive a process forward – this is what their clients expect them to do, so once you are working with one make sure you get back to them when they ask, as they are often pushing things along in your best interest. If you feel that a recruitment consultant is putting excessive pressure on you when it is not required, make sure they know that you feel that way
- If you are working with multiple agencies and they are approaching you about the same role, then the first person to submit your CV to the hiring company is often the agency that will be able to claim a fee should your application be successful. This means that agents will sometimes put pressure on you to agree to be put forward so that they win the ‘race’. We recommend that you make sure you see a job description from the agency before allowing them to put you forward. It is your choice who to be represented by, so select the consultant who will represent you best