Blogs

Don’t sit back and wait for a headhunter to call; it’s time to get proactive in your job search

07 Jan 2020

What you may not realise is that an extraordinary number of roles are not filled by adverts or given to search agencies; they are actually filled by people’s own networks. If you think about it, the first thing a Director of Comms will do, when a role comes up, is ask the team, ‘Who do we know?’ If there is someone in their network, who is rated highly, I can tell you now, that’s the person who will get the call first. I wouldn’t be surprised if 80% of roles are filled this way. Consequently, many roles never see the light of day, so what are you doing about putting your name forward and preparing for your job search?

Here’s our advice:

1. Put your network to good use

Think about who you know in your network who is well networked themselves and would put in a good word for you. Perhaps you have worked with them in the past? Perhaps they are a friend, a journalist, a banker? It’s time that you met up with them for a drink and let them know that you are discreetly on the lookout, and would appreciate their help and recommendations where appropriate. It may be just three people who fit the bill, but that’s three networks plus your own, so you are widening
the net.

2. Try the recruitment route

What else can you be doing? Do sign up with a recruitment consultant but choose carefully. Sadly, it’s a mixed bag of good, bad and seriously ugly out there.
Here is our advice on how to work with a recruiter. You also need to bear in mind that for senior hires, recruiters are being paid to source
specific backgrounds and personality attributes, which means you may not be selected for the shortlist as you don’t fit the brief. So just relying on agencies to source that prized senior role for you isn’t enough.

3. Fine-tune your CV

Sharpen up your CV so that it is outcome-focussed. You need to show the value you will bring to your next employer, so each bullet point should include an outcome. Forget the responsibilities, and focus on what you have achieved. Read more about how to create a great CV including a ‘free template’.

4. Don’t rule out the agency roles

PR agencies appear to be falling out of favour as the allure for in-house corporate communications teams grows stronger than ever. We think agency life still has its place, however, and for those who are keen on moving up the agency career ladder, we share our expertise on how to plan your next agency move.

5. Nail your interview prep

When you do get an interview, you can never do enough preparation. However, we find that most people do too much research about their potential future employer and not enough on how to sell their expertise and value to a business. Here we discuss how to prepare for a foolproof interview. We also talk about how to answer those classic questions around your greatest strengths and weaknesses.

To sum up

From start to finish, it’s important to acknowledge how critical it is to stay motivated throughout your job search so that you can keep the ball in your court.

By incorporating proactive methods, and effectively taking the job search into your own hands, you stay one step ahead of your competition, you save valuable time, and you avoid a lot of frustration too. It can take a year or two to secure a senior level role, so the more you do, the more opportunities you will create for yourself.

So don’t sit back and wait for the perfect position to cross your path, as this is highly unlikely to happen. Take the more empowering route – go out and find it yourself.

If you would like to ensure that you are on track with your career aspirations, do get in touch on 0207 9203 9291 or email sarah@the-works.co.uk

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