How do you find a new job quickly without any distractions in 2020?
You need a job and you need it now. Stop panicking and start your step by step plan with me.
Get your head straight
Losing a job is stressful. I know, because I have been there many times but if you want to get a new job quickly, your head has to be in it. It might be worth taking a few days off if you are struggling to focus on finding a new job. You might need some time to grieve your old job, your old life or the routine you were used to. There is no shame in it. We all cope differently. More tips on how to cope with losing your job and how to get back on track are here.
Get the basics right
This might sound obvious but what job are you looking for? Be clear on job titles, industries and companies you are planning to approach. Starting with a clear plan will make it easier to navigate through the job market. To help you decide, consider these tips.
Prepare your tools
Your CV, LinkedIn, job applications are your tools. You need to spend time on them and get them right. If you want the easy way to update or create your CV with the correct keywords, content and format use this guide to help you.
Organise your troops
Having one good CV and Cover Letter won’t help. You need to organise yourself for your job search to see results quickly. Here is the great way to stay on the top of your busy job search.
Like the job title?
When you are trying to get a job, it is easy to apply for any job that looks familiar. Before you press apply check these things to save you time in the long run.
Top up your skills
Are you worried that you are lacking skills to get a job in 2020? You might think you don’t have a digital skillset or are not great with social media. Whatever skill set you are lacking, you can fix it by learning yourself for free with these online courses. You can take them in your own time in the comfort of your home.
Don’t do it yourself
Endless searching on LinkedIn can be exhausting. Use recruitment agencies to help you or try different job search platforms. Here are few most effective ones you can use in 2020.
Be ready for the questions
Getting an interview is a big deal in this job market so make sure you are ready. Be prepared but know the interview is a two way process. You are here to see if this is the right role for you as much as the company is to see if you are the right fit for them. Here is how to answer some of the difficult questions. If you are still worried try these tips to eliminate your fear of interviews.
Things are looking good
You did great in your interviews and the company has made you a verbal offer. Before the excitement gets better of you, check if you have all the facts about the proposed offer here.
Cherry on top
Your offer looks good and you are ready to sign the offer letter. Before you do so and crack the champagne open check if everything is in order with your salary and benefits package here.
Get a job search guide to get your job search back on track
As someone who has been working in HR and recruitment all my life and has been on the job market several times over the years I understand how difficult, demotivating and challenging looking for a new job can be.
In the current job market it is almost impossible to stand out as a candidate if you don’t have the right approach to your job search. You can waste hours of searching for the open jobs, applying and even interviewing with no luck.
This is why I have created this Job Search Guide. It will give you the simple but more importantly an up to date guide to the post pandemic job market. It is easy to follow and includes templates where required.
It will save you time and money and the hassle of second guessing if what you found online is correct and applicable.
I have been in your shoes and I have been in the shoes of the recruiter, HR and hiring manager. This guide is based on my experience and knowledge of the industry to help you can get that job and start 2021 on a high note.
Here are the main topics :
Get your mindset right from the start
Why you need take time to prepare for your job search and how you do it?
How to create a professional CV that will get you an interview?
Where to apply for jobs and how to do it without wasting your time on long applications?
All you need to know about interviews
How to get the offer you want?
What do you need to know about on-boarding?
Other effective Job Search Guides and Books in 2020 are here:
How to upgrade your home office and increase your productivity?
If you are struggling with motivation when job hunting or working from home this holiday season you are not the only one.
You might be fed up with the endless job search with no results or days filled with never ending Zoom calls. It doesn’t help that the days are getting shorter and darker and you are stuck in a second lockdown on the top of everything else.
Start with these three steps to get you back on track.
Step 1- Inspiration will lead to motivation
Do you remember how it feels to be inspired, full of new ideas and ready to take on the world? To get back to that feeling read books, listen to podcasts or watch movies. Here are some of my favourite books for inspiration, motivation and job search guidance. Don’t over think things. When you can’t get yourself to focus on your job search, reading about someone inspirational or watching a movie that inspires you could be a start.
Step 2- Organise your job search
Once you feel more inspired and motivated to start working on your job search get yourself organised. Here are some cool planners for every personality.
Get a Job Search Guide– When we are not motivated sometimes following a step by step guide can be all you need to help you get on track. Use the simple, inspirational and easy to follow Job Search Guide 2020.
Get a Career Coach– If you have no energy to follow a guide get a job coach or career coach. It is an investment but you will be forced to do the work. If you make a financial commitment to your career coach you are much more likely to show up.
Step 3 – Upgrade your working space
One of the easiest ways to get mental clarity when feeling demotivated doing your work or job search is to clean out your working space. Updating your remote office or working corner can be exactly what you need to get a fresh start. With Black Friday round the corner, it is a perfect time to treat you or your loved one’s working space to a makeover.
Below are my absolute favourites that transformed my home office this year.
If you want to get the best savings on any of the below items use ShopTagar to track your items and get the instant updates on any discounts.
You have probably heard people say that searching for a job is a full time job in its own right. I agree. It doesn’t matter how great your CV is if no one can find it. It doesn’t matter that you are perfect for the job if the employer doesn’t know you exist. The easiest way to get the most out of your job search is to stay organised.
Why do you need to get organised during your job search?
In today’s difficult job market you have to stay on top of your game. The job market is oversaturated with applications and employers are more selective than ever when choosing the right person for the job. If you want to get a job the smart way rather than the hard way, you have to put effort into your job search.
The clients I worked with who succeeded in finding a job quickly had one thing in common. They listened to me and organised their day, week and a month.
How to stay organised during your job search?
Start with planning your day
Having a routine is important. You wouldn’t start your working day at 2 pm, work for 30 minutes, then complain no one is responding to your emails and give up. Set your start time, breaks and finish time. Use these 6 practical job search tips to help you set your job search routine.
Keep a CV folder
Create a CV folder on your desktop with different versions of your CV. When applying for a role, amend your CV in line with the job description and save the CV with the job title and company name to your folder. It will help you easily locate the CV when you get a call for an interview. For more tips on how to create a great CV with free tools, please click here.
Track your applications
When applying for jobs on different platforms it is easy to apply for the same role multiple times. To prevent this, create an email folder or use an Excel spreadsheet to track your applications. Sending duplicate applications for a job is not only wasting your time, but you are also giving an impression to your potential employer, that you are applying for any job out there without reading the job description. Keeping an email folder with job adverts/ job details and the email confirming receipt of your application will make it easier for you to see which company you applied to and when.
Create your pipeline
At the beginning of your job search research the key recruitment agencies, industries, companies and jobs you want to apply for. Add them to your Excel tracker. Use LinkedIn to find the key contacts responsible for hiring or mentoring such as; HR contacts, business contacts in the area of work you are interested in, senior management, etc. Add them to your tracker and keep notes on your progress when contacting them. This will create your pipeline. Some companies might not be hiring right now but might have openings later in the year. Using your pipeline will help you keep track of your progress.
Use your planner
This might sound simple but writing down your points of action each day will help you get things done. You can use your pipeline to schedule calls, meetings, follow up sessions and interviews to stay on track and not miss anything important. You can use your creativity to colour code or create categories for different actions in the day. Having a visual of what you need to get done is not only more motivating but also more satisfying to tick off your list when completed.
To beat the competition and stay on the top of your job search choose from these practical but also beautiful planners :
How to start again with a positive mindset after you get fired?
Whatever the reason, when you lose your job unexpectedly you might find yourself in a tricky situation. Your finances, your daily routine and your confidence might suffer for a while but try to see the positive.
Don’t let one lost opportunity be the end of your journey. You might not always achieve what you want but remember, when one door closes another one opens. So make sure you don’t give up. Dust yourself off and start again. Learn from what went wrong and keep going until you get where you want to be. This is a perfect time to make some life changes, retrain or even start a business- link here.
Take some time to process losing your job. You might find these tips helpful if you struggle to let go.
Use this time to make a plan for what you want to do next. To help you get inspired, motivated and guide you on your new journey, I have selected my favourite books to help you get started.
Some of these books helped me when I found myself without a job, others when I lacked inspiration to start again or when I needed a step by step guide on how to find a new job quickly.
Use lockdown to learn new skills and make money with Free online courses
Being stuck in lockdown is not fun, especially with the cold long evening approaching and nothing to look forward to. It is easy to get demotivated and stuck in a rut.
If you lost your job on top of everything else it can be even harder to stay positive and motivated.
There is a way out of this rut. You can use this time productively. You can start a side hustle or even a new job. You can retrain or start a new business without having to invest hundreds of pounds. Job market is changing, the way companies recruit is changing too, so get ahead of the game and use the free time you have to update your skill set, learn some digital, agile, virtual skills or anything that interests you and start making money.
Here are my favourite FREE online courses you can take to become more employable in 2020
Most of the provides below offer paid courses too but the selection of free courses is well rounded to start without having to spend a penny.
Google Analytics Academy offers a series of free courses on Google’s website traffic measurement tools. This course can be useful for anyone who wants to get into social media management and understand insight into website performance.
Udemy is a well-known course provider with a variety of courses on pretty much any subject.
Free Code Camp is a great learning tool for anyone who wants to learn coding in their own time.
Hubs Pot Academy offers courses on digital marketing, web design, sales and anything social media content related.
Oxford Home Study has a wide range of free (short courses) on many subjects from marketing to forensic accounting.
LinkedIn Learning provides a range of courses focused on professional learning and career development.
Open Learnhas plenty of courses on different subjects such us; languages, technology, money or law.
Coursera offers a wide range of courses on subjects such as machine learning, psychology, financial markets, negotiations and more.
Hopefully you were able to find a course that sparked your interest, complete it and maybe even certify in. Coming out of lockdown with a new job or a skill will not only be good for your wallet but you mind too!
To start a job search you need a CV/ LinkedIn profile, but how do you get your CV noticed in this difficult job market without spending hours searching the internet and losing your mind? I have few tips for you including a secret not many people know about- CV Assistant.
MASTER COPY OF YOUR CV
Create a master copy of your CV. This should include a skeleton of your main experience, skills and qualifications with dates and company names. Every time you are applying for a new job, amend the master copy, save it and use it to apply. Save the amended CV with the job title and the name of the company you are applying for. This will remind you what CV you used when you get an interview.
Although this might be a daunting task there is no way around it. If you want a job in this job market you either get a job coach to help you get through it or you do it yourself.
If you decide to do it yourself, use these tips to help you get an interview whether you are a graduate applying for your first job or you find yourself on the job market after years in a stable job.
SAME KEYWORDS AS ON THE JOB DESCRIPTION
Whether you are being screened by an applicant tracking system (ATS) or a recruiter, to pass the screening, your CV has to include keywords matching the job description of the job you are applying for. Make sure you read the job advert or a job description properly and save it for future reference or when you get an interview.
Focus on keywords describing job title, main duties, qualifications, key requirements and skills for the role. Try to match as many as possible without making them up.
Use the FREE version on Resume Worded website to find missing key words from your CV.
Sign up –> Click on Targeted Resume –> Copy and paste the job description –> Download your CV–> You will see the relevancy score–> scroll down to see the missing keywords–> Copy and paste to your CV–>get a call for an interview.
Use the CV Template option in Word to refresh your CV style and format or use it to create your CV from scratch.
To find free templates in Word follow these steps: START –> WORD –>FILE –> MORE TEMPLATES–> Search CV/ Resume
You will get a selection of additional templates. Choose the one you like.
CV ASSISTANT IN WORD
Now we are onto the good stuff. Use CV Assistant in Word to find skills and duties for the jobs you are applying for or are interested in.
The CV Assistant will not alter or rewrite your CV for you but make suggestions of the job duties, qualifications, skills, etc by searching LinkedIn profiles with the same job titles. It is a great way to update your current skill set or add duties to your CV you might have not thought of.
To start you will need Office 365 subscription and LinkedIn profile.
Open your CV or a blank Word document –> Click Review at the top of the page –> On the far right of the ribbon you will see CV Assistant (Powered by LinkedIn). It is next to Hide Ink and is normally the last icon on the right.
Click CV Assistant, if this is your first time starting it click on Get started –> Add the role and industry (optional).
You will see a list of roles and job duties you can use to build your CV.
At the bottom of the CV Assistant you will find helpful articles and available vacancies for the job you have searched for.
CV FORMAT, CONTENT & PRESENTATION
To put everything together in the concise form use this simple but effective CV Guide. It includes what not to add to the CV in 2020.
And that’s it! You are ready to go. CV Assistant will help you update your CV quickly and easily. You can find out different keywords whether you are doing research for your next job or changing your career.
For more tips and on how to find a job in the 2020 job market see here.
How to avoid surprises when it comes to your verbal offer?
You made it! You worked hard to get this job by attending endless interviews, preparing presentations and answering technical questions but you finally got what you wanted- a Verbal Offer! Well done!
Now let’s talk numbers.
Getting an offer is very exciting but as soon as you hear the offered salary your heart will either jump with joy or sink in despair.
These are the three typical scenarios candidates find themselves when they are told the offered salary;
1. You had a conversation with the recruiter about the salary package during the interview process and your proposed salary is in line with your expectations. You know what is coming and you are happy to accept your offer without any hesitations.
Make sure you understand the full package breakdown including all the non-cash benefits before you accept but otherwise you are good to go.
2.You find yourself in a situation where the salary package was not mentioned or written on the job description and you did not ask, probably thinking it is impolite.
Now you are hoping for the best. On this occasion the offered package might be either a pleasant surprise or a dreaded nightmare.
If your salary expectations are higher than the offer presented, make sure you explain this to the recruiter as soon as possible. Remember it is the recruiter’s job to get all the information from you before they make the offer, so don’t feel too bad questioning the proposed package.
Find out what is the top end they can offer and hopefully you can come to a compromise. If the proposed salary is still too low and you can’t accept the offer, learn from this experience, so you don’t waste yours and the company’s time in the future.
3.You did discuss your salary expectations prior to the offer but you are not happy with the proposed salary.
You can go back to the recruiter and politely ask if there is anything they can do to increase the salary. The recruiter might be able to increase the offer if there is some wiggle room in the budget.
If your proposed salary is at the top end of the salary bracket and there is no additional budget, this might be their final offer. You will have to decide if to take it or keep looking for a different job.
Of course there are exceptions. The recruiter might be able to get extra approvals and get you an increase if this is possible. They want to make sure you accept the role and have a good candidate experience. They want you to be excited to join the company and stay. It isn’t in anyone’s interest if you leave after two months because you got offered a better package elsewhere.
My Tip– I would advise you to always ask the recruiter for the salary and benefits package before you start the interview process if they don’t offer the information openly.
Sometimes recruiters have a set salary bracket for a role they are recruiting for and will have to get the salary package approved before they can make the offer, therefore they might not know the exact number.
The offered salary normally depends on how well you perform during the interview process and how your skills and experience align to the role requirements in question.
Do not assume the salary package purely based on the job title. If the recruiter doesn’t know the exact package, tell them your current package and salary expectations to avoid any confusion down the line.
It might be a complete waste of time for you and the business to carry on with the interview process if for example, the top end offer for the role is £50,000 but your salary expectations are £65,000. You won’t accept the offer. The business will be very disappointed and the recruiter won’t look very professional for not finding out your salary expectations during the interview process.
What to check before you sign your contract?
Once you verbally agree to the salary and the benefit package, the recruiter will send you a written contract or an offer letter, confirming everything you discussed.
A contract gives both you and the employer rights and obligations. Read it carefully, make sure you understand everything and are happy with the terms before you sign it.
Make sure the information in your contract/ offer letter is correct. Below are the things to double check before you sign;
Date of contract being created
The job tile
Type of contract (permanent, fixed term, etc)
Absence and sickness policy
Any additional terms you agreed i.e. shift pattern, travel requirements, etc.
For more tips on job search ideas please read here.
Quick overview of what to look for when accepting your offered salary package.
It is exciting to get an offer, especially in the current job market. You might be so grateful to have a job offer that you decide to accept it without thinking about the full salary package.
Having a visibility of the base salary and the benefit package can save you a lot of disappointment down the line.
It is up to you as a candidate to ask the right questions before you accept the offer.
It goes without saying that every company has their own way of structuring compensation packages so make sure you understand the package your company offers before you sign the contract. You can ask the HR representative dealing with your offer or your recruiter to give you a detailed breakdown of the salary package; including company benefits.
Most companies will share the benefit package with candidates throughout the recruitment process to entice them to accept the role. If you have not seen the benefit package or are unsure what benefits are available to you and how to claim them, make sure you ask before you accept.
Generally there are two parts to the salary package.
The base salary is paid out to you by the company every month/ week in return for the work you were hired to deliver.
2. The benefit package is an additional benefit the company might offer in addition to the base salary.
· Holiday Allowance
· Private Medical
· Stock/Share Options
· Cash/Car Allowance
· Meal Allowance
· Interest Free Ticket Loans
· Cycle to Work Scheme
· Professional Subscriptions
· Subsidised/ Paid Gym Membership
Another popular benefit is a Flex Allowance which is a percentage of your salary that can be taken out as cash or additional benefit. For example you can add your spouse to the healthcare policy if this is not offered as part of your benefit package already.
Some companies offer a higher base but their flexible benefits are not as competitive. The others might offer a lower base but bigger bonuses or better healthcare or pension packages.
Before you accept the offer, ask for the breakdown of the benefits if you are not clear on any aspect of the salary package.
You might want to consider the below;
What stage of your life are you in right now, and what is important to you? Do you need more cash because you are saving for a house or planning to buy a house in the near future? In this case a higher base salary might be a better option for you.
Do you have a wife and kids you want to add to your private medical? Then a flexi benefit package might be a better option for you.
Receiving an offer is a great feeling but receiving an offer you want with all the right benefits is even better so make sure you do your research.
If you want to read more about job search tips see here.
Remote Working Culture – Essentials skills employers will look for
If you are one of the unlucky people who face redundancy, were put on furlough or lost their job due to Covid, you might have experienced first-hand that the job market is not what it used to be.
My new client Eva* was quite shocked how things have changed after losing her stable job of 11 years due to the pandemic. When I asked her what is the most worrying thing about her job situation, she broke down in tears and said: ‘I don’t even know where to start.’
Eva worried about being too old to start again. She thought she wouldn’t be able to compete with millennials for the same jobs. She didn’t have a strong LinkedIn profile or up to date CV and never registered with a recruitment agency. She searched Google for answers but felt overwhelmed and lost with the amount of seemingly contradictory information out there.
Eva worked her way up from a Receptionist to an Office Manager. She knew her company well and as the company grew her responsibilities increased. Her team got bigger and she considered her role to be an important part of the business. Eva liked her job and felt valued by the company. She had no plans to leave, she liked her colleagues, enjoyed the work and the stability her job provided for her and her two children. That was until Covid hit. Redundancy, at first a strong possibility soon became a bitter reality for her and many of her now ex colleagues.
Eva was now unemployed. She felt she not only lost her stable income but sense of identity and belonging. She felt alone and scared of starting again but giving up wasn’t an option. Eva had two children and a mortgage to pay.
We started with putting together a job search strategy, updated her LinkedIn, set up a few versions of her CV focusing on skills employers are currently looking for. We stayed organised, persistent and within a few weeks Eva had three interviews booked. Not long after she was offered a Virtual Office Manager role for a Fintech company. The role is better paid, she is able to work remotely and she is excited about building on her current skill set by becoming agile and working in a new way.
If you feel you are in a similar situation as Eva, you are not alone. Each day more and more people face redundancy or being let go from their jobs with no idea how to start again. The key is NOT to get overwhelmed and give up. Use your current skills and reinvent yourself.
Here are a few essential skills I have implemented with Eva to help her stand out from the crowd. These are the skills employers will be looking for in a post Covid world. Use them to help you stay ahead of the competition.
The first thing you should do is to have a visible online presence. Think of yourself as a new product. For people to start buying they need to know the product exists. It does not matter how great you are if no one knows about you.
Start with creating a strong LinkedIn profile. You can invest in a specialist to help you if you are looking to save time and energy. Use the extra time to focus on building your tailored network by connecting to groups, individuals and companies you are looking to explore.
Alternatively you can use Free LinkedIn Tips to help you create a tailored LinkedIn profile for FREE. It might take you a little longer but you will learn how to do it yourself.
LinkedIn offers many FREE and paid courses you can use to help you learn or improve your digital skills in your own time. Alternatively search for courses where you can learn analytics, content marketing, social media marketing, social selling, copywriting, video editing, etc.
Secondly, look at your current skills objectively and make a list of things you can do remotely without any training such as; booking/organising meetings, sending proposals, creating/running presentations, managing diaries, helping employees working remotely, reporting, etc. Make a list of new digital skills you might need to learn such as; agile principles, project management, new systems/application, new technologies, etc. Find a course and learn whilst you are looking for work.
For Eva it was difficult to imagine her traditional office manager role performed remotely but when we started to look at tasks she could do virtually, such as organising online events, meetings, conferences, projects and running office remotely, she realised her value and changed her mindset.
Look at working for smaller companies or start-ups where you can utilise your skill set if the big corporations are not hiring. Alternatively consider industries such as technology or the public sector
Learn to Network
Stop longing for the traditional way of meeting people and get familiar with the online networking world. Once you create your LinkedIn profile, connect with people in your field. Connect with people who inspire you and ask them to mentor you. Join Facebook/ LinkedIn groups in your niche. Post about your experience, get to know your network by commenting on posts and liking other people’s posts. Ask for help and advice. You might be surprised how much an online community can change your perspective.
Eva was not used to online platforms but once she started making connections with the like-minded people and joined a few networking groups she started to build her confidence. She commented on posts she was interested in or she could relate to. She gave advice on how the systems and processes she used to manage work. Her advice was well received with one person recommending her for a freelance project which tied her over whilst she was interviewing for jobs. Don’t underestimate the power of a networking group, people are willing to help more than you think.
With the economy and job market being unstable, less companies are willing to commit to hiring staff on a permanent basis. It is more convenient for a company to hire a contractor with the expertise they require for a shorter period of time. What it means for you as a candidate is to see yourself as a project manager or a consultant who is hired to solve a problem. You need to showcase your skills and experience in an agile way. Show you are a quick learner who can easily adjust to a new environment. Highlight your transferable skills and ability to work under pressure in a change driven environment without any supervision. If you can show you can deliver your work remotely and to a tight deadline, you will be in demand.
Eva was used to the traditional way of working. She worked toward set objectives, her career was planned out and she knew what was expected of her. She was worried about not having the adaptable skill set to work in an always changing environment. Once challenged she was able to show her independence and passion for doing her job with a different mindset. She started to believe in herself and her ability to do the job in an agile way.
Be a Leader with Emotional Intelligence
In uncertain times companies are looking for leaders, people who can think outside the box, show their human side and help their employees navigate through change and adversity. Managers who show they can work under pressure and stay positive, understanding to employee needs and are able to embrace the unknown are in high demand in the current job market. What it means for you as a candidate is to show your individuality, what you stand for and why people trust you. Show you are compassionate, fair, hardworking and dedicated when others have given up.
Eva thought being too understanding meant she was a weak manager, even a pushover. She thought to manage effectively she had to be strict, direct and separate from her team. After she changed her outlook, she understood that working with her team in a collaborative way, encouraging independence and empowering her direct reports is the key to being a leader. Changing her mindset helped her get a new job.
Convey your Creativity and Innovation
Now is the time to show your ideas, different ways of working and your ability to create in uncertainty. It is a perfect time to show what you are made of, either by setting up your own online business- (FREE video series) or showing employers that you have the ability to create new ways of working and help their business to thrive. When the traditional processes are not working or are too expensive, employers recognise the need to hire candidates with an innovative approach, passion, positive attitude and willingness to learn on the job and keep going. Show them you have the skills they need.
Eva had many new ideas over the years, but because most of the processes in her old company were already in place and working, there was no need for change. On the few occasions Eva implemented changes made at a higher level but she stopped getting excited about creating innovative projects. When Eva found herself starting again, the thought of being creative scared her at first, but when she started sharing her ideas, passions and new ways of working she could bring to the new role, I knew she was on the right track.
Don’t let rejection, negativity or lack of responses from the companies discourage you. Try to change your mindset, learn to use the skills you have in a way the employers see your value. Soon you will start seeing changes in your job search.