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June 10, 2020 by Lizzie Dunn

'Ask The Recruiters' - Joss Search x IAAP

Ask the recruiter! Joss Search's Helena, Dan and Adam in the firing line when it comes to questions around the current market and what tips they can offer to help you stand out against the competition.

The last couple of months have really tested the job market, including those who have been fortunate to remain employed.

Right now there are many questions circling around recruiters: how can I stand out? What will the job market look like in the future? What companies are hiring right now? But, for some these questions are going unanswered.

At Joss Search, we're extremely lucky to be connected to both candidates and clients on a daily basis, giving us insight in to all of the above. We want to use this as an opportunity to help people and decided to team up with Terri to do this! Terri is a friend of ours (state side) who introduced us to the IAAP (International Association of Administrative Professionals) where she is the Director for in the NYC branch.

With Terri, we had three very willing (they may say otherwise) volunteers in Helena, Dan and Adam. They hosted a webinar, in association with the IAAP, to help answer any questions and give advice when it comes to finding your perfect role.

Between Helena, Dan and Adam they have over 20 years' of recruitment experience. I know they wouldn't coin the phrase Gospel truth when it comes to their advice, but they've seen what works and what doesn't.

We've included some of the key takeaways from the webinar, as well as the link to the video, which we hope you’ll find useful, or know someone who might!

What is the best thing any candidate can do to help themselves stand out in the recruitment process right now?

  1. Personal branding:

To really stand out right now amongst your competitors, your own personal branding can help you do this.

Make sure your Linkedin is up to date: professional picture, strong bio, acknowledgements from colleagues, etc. All this can really show who you are professionally and may be what sways an employer.

  1. Those added extras:

Small things really make a difference. For example, sending a follow up thank you message after an interview. This can really impress a potential employer. It shows that you care, you found the interview of value and that you want to pursue that role. If you can, make a personal connection with them to begin with. You can then use this to add to the thank you. For example, 'Hi X, thanks so much for your time today. I hope your daughters football game goes well!...'

  1. Use this time to find a role you're really interested in:

Sit back and think about what you want from a job. What excites you? What makes you fit with that company?

Rather than being trigger happy with the applications, research and choose 1 job to apply for in the week. Take the time to really focus on the application. Don’t rush it. Make sure you've got to know the company as well as the specific role. This way you're selective and strategic

Remote working - how to impress when it comes to a remote working position? And what are the benefits for both the employer and employee?

The general discussion around remote working has been extremely positive. Majority of people have adapted to it quickly and efficiently.

It's opened up far more possibilities for a lot of people, particularly those who either have young families or those who enjoy pursuing activities outside of work e.g. sport, volunteering.

Benefits are more obvious for the employee, but for the employer it shows they're progressive and adapting to the times, which makes them more desirable. More people will want to work for them in the long run.

If you're applying to a core remote working role, the best quality to show in the interview is trust. The employer needs to see examples of where you've been trusted before. That way they know they're making an offer to someone who still goes above and beyond, despite not being in the office.

Key tips for thank you notes and cover letters

  1. Thank you notes:

Always follow up with a thank you email post interview. It shows not only good manners and courtesy, but also a genuine interest in the role, company and interviewer. Show that you listened and took something from your time with them.

Make sure you adapt it to the tone of the interview. For example, if the interviewer was formal, keep it formal. If they were more relaxed and personable, you can be relaxed and personable.

  1. Cover letters:

Always relate the job specification to yourself and why YOU are a good fit for the role. For example, 'these are the skills you're looking for, I believe I have these based on these achievements..'

Most employers will skim read, it's true. So make sure you add highlights and achievements that really stand out. Something that makes them remember you.

You're currently employed, but not in a rush. However, you are looking for that next step. Is this a good thing?

It's a good situation for someone to be in! You can be more picky and take time choosing the right roles.

Usually you're more relaxed, which helps with better interviewing.

Be wary that employers may question why you're looking if you're happy with the role you’re in. But, there's no harm in looking and seeing what's available.

It's important to keep your eyes up and be curious right now.

Little proactive tip - message an assistant at the firm you want to work at on Linkedin asking how they go the job there/what was the job process

What has changed in the recruitment process now and what are the key things prospective candidates can do?

  • You’re recruiter is always there to answer your questions, but it's up to you to ask them. So make sure you do this - recruiters aren't mind readers!
  • Don't give up. The work you do now will pay off eventually!
  • Make those tiny positive changes
  • Keep your skills fresh - take on board all the upskilling courses that are available right now
  • Keep your CV and Linkedin up to date
  • Create a spreadsheet to organise roles you've applied for, interviews you've had, stages etc.

It's easy to feel lost or uneasy right now when it comes to your job search, but we hope that with the above advice and tools you'll be able to feel more confident and assured. Despite what's going on around us. We promise, it will get better! That dream job is out there and with a recruiter you're halfway there to getting it.

If you would like to talk to one of our team members, please get in touch by emailing info@josssearch.com. Or if there's a specific recruiter you'd like to discuss anything with, all our details are on our website www.jossssearch.com