September will always be ‘back to school’ month for me. Even before I had my children, I always associated this month with fresh starts – a chance to make changes before Christmas.
Perhaps this is why September has always been a good month for job seekers. The summer gives us time to reflect and make plans and there is a good window of time to look for a position, go through the interview process and ideally be in your dream job for the New Year!
Luckily our clients like to recruit in the autumn, too. Recruitment budgets are clear, most staff are in the office so interview processes are straightforward and having a good team in place for the new calendar year is always appealing. Plus in the financial services sector, this last quarter of the year is rarely bonus time, which can complicate things.
If you have returned from your summer break refreshed but frustrated there is plenty of time to kick start your job search. Below are five practical tips to make sure you are ready to make a move:
- CV preparation. Good recruiters will take the time to help you prepare the perfect cv. However, you need to make sure you have a good document to work from. Ensure all the dates match up, include as much detail about your current role as possible, and think about ‘softer’ skills i.e. mentoring and training other staff, key projects you have worked on.
- Make time! Finding a new job takes time, you will need to think about the practicalities of attending interviews. Not all clients will be able to do early morning or evening interviews, so if possible use annual leave or ‘dentist’ appointments wisely!
- Be selective and honest! Decide which recruiters you want to work with and stick with them…consultants will be less likely to work hard for you if your CV is with every agency out there. Clients cannot abide receiving duplicate applications and it could damage your prospects, no matter how great your fit is for the role. If you have approached a business yourself, tell your recruiter!
- Research. It is not enough to google a company prior to an interview. This is not what an interview process is for. You need to explain why YOU are the right person for the organisation. Research needs to mean understanding the business, considering the culture but most importantly understanding the role and communicating why you can do that role better than the next candidate.
- Basics. No explanation required, these apply to meeting recruiters as well as potential employers – be on time, dress smartly, take out any visible body piercings, make sure you have a firm handshake and make eye contact. First impressions will and do count, even in this digital age.