Job-hunting is a two-way process, and the power doesn’t solely lie with the employer.
We all know it is a competitive market but experienced candidates are always in demand, you just need to know how to present yourself in the best light with a professional CV and tailored cover letter, then shine at interview and you’ll be in line for a job offer.
If you’re at a point in your career that you want to make the change, then follow this advice to make sure you do it with ease and confidence.
- The number one rule – You can walk away from a recruitment process. Just because you applied for a job, doesn’t mean you are forced to be in it until the end. If at any point the company or people don’t feel right, then walk away. Trust your gut instinct, if it’s not right before you have even started, it won’t be right when you’re working there?
- Don’t be afraid to discuss at interview your requirements if these are non-negotiable factors that they need to be aware of. Such as you need to leave at 4pm every Thursday to pick up your kids. Do bring it at the end of the first interview, so you have given yourself the chance to shine and for them to have bought into you. But if these factors are non-negotiable, don’t waste their time (or yours) going through a whole process to offer stage and then discover this is untenable for them. If they balk at the idea then at least you know you can walk away knowing it was never going to work. Plus, you never know, they might not find the “perfect” candidate and could end up calling you back with revised flexible working options.
- Money is a very emotive subject and women, in particular, are generally awful at negotiating and asking for pay rises. Be clear on your value and what you want to make the move. Don’t think you have to negotiate down in pay in return for flexible working hours for example. You are still delivering the same value and outcomes than your male counterparts, even if your working hours are different. At the offer stage is the time push for what you want, don’t think you can start and will be rewarded for your efforts six months down the line. You won’t be. If they don’t give you want you want now, it is unlikely they ever will, so better you know that upfront.
- There might be a lot of competition, but there is only one you – so be confident in your value, time, experience, personal priorities and your worth, and if the employer doesn’t recognize it, then vote with your feet and wait to find someone who does. The sooner you are clear on what you want the sooner the right role will arise. Don’t forget, there is always another job and another company you can work for. So don’t settle.
- The company needs to sell to you as much as you need to sell to them. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about their culture; career development opportunities; internal training; where the company is heading; whom you report to and what you can expect to learn from your line manager. These are all critical for your future career development and fulfillment. If they don’t match up or are unwilling to answer your concerns, walk away.
- Be yourself. Don’t pretend to be someone you’re not. This is possibly the most important piece of advice you can take to an interview. If they buy into you and like you and want to hire you, then you know you will fit the company culture and team and are more likely to enjoy your time there. Remember, skills can be learned, so even if you don’t tick every box in terms of your experience most companies hire on ‘fit’ because the rest can be taught.
Now go on out there and shine your light!