While the world falls apart around our ears, and while that is a terrible thing in many ways, it is crucial that you don’t miss out on the many fantastic opportunities it offers.
I am in the business of helping clients get the job of their dreams, and I am really starting to see two distinct patterns – two separate groups – emerge; this is visible in LinkedIn posts, direct messages and articles.
One group, which is by far the biggest, is talking about the negative effects of this pandemic on the economy, how it is difficult to deal with personally and wondering when it will end. They’re not doing anything wrong; they’re humans and they’re blindsided. They’re also sharing support with others, both verbally and practically. This is good, normal behaviour.
Then, there is a second group. They’re struggling too; they don’t want to see others suffer, and also want to help where they can. They’re seeing something else beyond that, though; Group 2 are seeing opportunities, and they are taking them. And oh my god are they winning.
To be extremely clear, I’m dealing with people from both groups every day. The sole distinction between them is one of attitude. Both groups contain people of all races, genders, social classes, professions and nationalities. Honestly, I don’t know which life events cause you to fall into either Group 1 or Group 2, but there is a divide. This post is designed to help those in Group 1 make the move into Group 2. Group 2 have an advantage, which I’m trying to share — sorry not sorry, Group 2.
Economies are going to shrink; if recession isn’t already here, it’s coming. That’s bad, and people are going to lose out. But, tragic though that is, it’s not the interesting part. What Group 2 are seeing is the shakeup; this is where the action is and where they are.
A whole tranche of job adverts has just landed on LinkedIn, and they’re still coming. These jobs are, as you’d guess, in anything IT related, healthcare and logistics; big, big sectors. Particular professions which are thriving right now: business development, transformation management, programme/project management.
And if you’re thinking, ‘Well, those sectors and professions are not relevant to me’, then you’re thinking in a Group 1 sort of way. Just because your experience might not be in these fields, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t thrive in these roles. In these areas, it’s a job-seekers market, and they’re calling the shots, because the need to have these positions filled is just so high. Group 2 have already discovered this. Take a look for yourself on LinkedIn Jobs.
OK, So What Can You Do About It?
If you’re still with me, then I guess I’ve convinced you that amazing opportunities are there for the taking, all you need now is some advice about how to take them.
Well, like with everything else in life, you need a strategy, and I’m going to outline that in the rest of this post.
Step 1: Search for Some Great Jobs
Go shopping! What you’re focusing on here are jobs you want, not jobs you think you can do. Be realistic, of course; don’t search for jobs that demand hard skills you just don’t have. I want to be an astronaut too, but it’s not happening. Think of professions that you’ve had your eye on for a while but, for whatever reason, it wasn’t the right time. Or that step-up in your own career. You know you could do your boss’s job, but the openings weren’t there. Be ambitious but realistic. Try and find at least twenty different postings.
Step 2: Filter This List Down
Now you need a shortlist. Some jobs were, upon closer inspection, not at all appealing, or you really don’t think you have the skills; get rid of those. Be careful not to return to Group 1 thinking though. I see it all the time: taxi drivers who don’t realise they have amazing communication skills, veterans who could write books about teamwork and supply chain management. I even work with business owners who don’t realise they have a working knowledge of pretty much every aspect of running a company. If you think you can do it, you can prove it. My business is all about helping my clients do just that, so we’ve got that covered.
Step 3: Optimise your LinkedIn Profile
I’m not going to go into too much detail here, as there is loads of advice around about this. I also offer this as a service if you want to get it written by a professional who knows how to write stuff that people want to read.
It should go without saying that you should have a high quality business-like photo, though; it really does matter. You should also make sure your headline appeals to recruiters and is likely to come up in a search. That means, ‘looking for opportunities’ is a really bad idea. ‘Looking for opporunities’ is even worse, but over 7000 people are still trying to use it to get hired. Your headline should include your job title — not your current one necessarily, but the one you’re going for.
Now, make sure your ‘About’ section is clearly laid-out and describes your achievements; things you’ve done which are relevant to your target job are a good idea. Quantify these achievements; you beat your sales target by 60%? Why didn’t you say so?
Step 4: Optimise Your CV
Your CV should have a similar vibe to your LinkedIn profile and, again, there is some great advice about how to write one. And yes, I would say this, but you’re giving yourself a real advantage if you get a pro to write it. We can work magic that no ‘how to’ can compete with.
If you’re going it alone, you need to make sure your CV is limited to two pages and sells your benefits, rather than your features. Managed a team? So what? If you successfully led that team to overcome Brexit challenges and increased sales by 60%, then I’m interested.
The key is to optimise your CV for each job you apply for. Include all relevant achievements and cut out everything else. You’ll know when your CV is done because it will look like everything you’ve done has just been preparation for the dream job you’re now applying for.
Step 5: Apply
Just go for it. See what happens. Get your beautiful CV out there doing its job!
Step 6: Prepare for Your Interviews
Again, there’s advice all over the place about this, including on this wonderful website. Read all of this advice and practise with someone. For the eagle-eyed amongst you, you’ll already have spotted the trend in which I advise that you get professional guidance. That’s because it really is the best way to secure your advantage; If the other candidates are communicating their message really well because they’ve been coached, well, you’re going to struggle.
Have You Moved to Group 2 Yet?
If you’ve read this far, then the answer is probably ‘yes’. Great; now you have your strategy, go out there and use it! And, please, do let me know how you get on.