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Are you relevant? Are you really?

Wednesday April 5th, 2017 in Miscellaneous, In the News, Ampersand Latest, Ampersand Insights

More often than not when presented with such a question, most people will answer “well yes of course I am”, my question back is…are you really?

Harsh? Perhaps.

Thought provoking? Absolutely!

This is the reality of the world we live in.  The Oxford English Dictionary defines “relevance” as the quality or state of being closely connected or appropriate. Relevance is the only job security that exists in today’s uncertain business world. Just because you’ve been successful with your current employer doesn’t give you a hall pass to succeed with another. Being successful and well respected with our current employer doesn’t protect us from another R word…Redundancy.

Only four months into 2017 and we’ve already seen an onslaught of Melbourne’s biggest employers announcing major restructures and redundancies. With more talent on the market than ever, this makes for an even more competitive job search.

I’m not that saying everyone should think this way but I get quite philosophical when faced with adversity, my motto for life being ….”don’t look back; you’re not going that way”. Sure a positive outlook isn’t enough on its own to help secure your next role. Therefore, I’ve come up with my 5 top tips to consider when looking for your next role.

  1. Branding? Isn’t this only relevant for Marketing?

Nope afraid not, back to my point on being relevant. Take stock of where you are at, where your industry is at and where you might go next. What makes you unique? It’s not your amazing “stakeholder engagement skills” (though this is important). Educate yourself on the challenges the businesses your are targeting are experiencing and how what you’ve done before will help them navigate these challenges.  Think really hard around your personal brand and even look at up-skilling, I hear Agile is all the rage these days…(that’s sarcasm for those that don’t know me).

  1. Resumes…..do I have to?

Drum roll for the long list of options on this one. The bad news is that yes you still need one, the good news is it doesn’t need to be complicated. Just because you did it doesn’t mean it belongs on your resume. Many resumes are filled with too much detail, and pages of waffle. Streamline your resume by including things that are relevant to the job you are applying for – things that made a difference to the bottom line, or improved something. Many fill their resumes with dot points taken straight off their position description, usually under the heading of “responsibilities”. Anyone can do that. You must identify those that went beyond the expected duties. Put yourself in the clients seat, what would you want to see? This could include: achievements, complexities you’ve navigated, team size, budget responsibilities etc.

  1. Network, network and network some more.

Networking is a huge part of finding a new role, but it can be overwhelming and doesn’t come naturally for everyone. Start with friends, family and old colleagues. Think about who you’ve helped along the way? Invite them individually for coffee or lunch. Use these informal meetings to catch up and also update each other on your careers. Who knows; Your friend or business contacts may have a lead on a new job opportunity for you or vice versa? If you want to dip your toes in the water a little deeper, consider attending a business networking event where you’ll have the opportunity to meet new people.

Find yourself a trusted recruitment partner, a firm that understands you and you areas of specialisation. Not only should they be able to help you with my top two tips, it means you can be kept in mind for those roles that don’t hit the “market.”

Enter… Ampersand!

Come on I had to add this in somewhere ; )

 

  1. Online presence.

If you don’t have one by now, get one! Make sure its a true reflection of your personal brand and updated regularly. LinkedIn is every recruiters bible, make it yours too. Online networking is now mandatory…enough said.

  1. Game Time…Interviews!

I could talk all day on this topic but lets keep it short and sweet like myself. People think they should talk in general terms about career successes, but you build trust with interviewers by talking about specifics. The reason career advisers and outplacement transition specialists harp on about specifics is that specifics actually provide evidence of your achievements. The STAR technique is all about specifics:

Situation

Task

Action

Result

Use this in your resume achievement statements and your interviews.

“Selling yourself” isn’t easy for everyone but practice makes perfect, what wont cut it is arrogance. Sure you’re amazing, we get it but a bit of humility will go along way.

There’s a “home” for everyone so I hope these steps have somewhat helped and your on your way to finding your next job.

Laura Frazer

Principal : Project Services, Change & Transformation

 

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