Finding a job you enjoy

Identifying roles and securing interviews

The great pleasure in what we do as recruiters, is helping people find a job that motivates them and build their careers. People don’t just stumble upon jobs they genuinely enjoy though. Depending on how much support you want and how far progressed your thinking is, there are typically two steps we will take to help you find something that is more than simply a nine 'til five.

Phase I - Developing your career vision

Irrespective of how long you intend to stay in your next role, having a vision of what you might want to be doing in 3-5 years time (or even further ahead) will avoid a sense of drift and make you much happier in whichever role we help you secure now.

Having clarified your vision we will look at the skills and experience you will need to reach your desired role and then work backwards to map out how you can best achieve that. This process will help define the parameters of the job search. As part of the process of getting to understand your motivations we will also want to understand the sort of culture that you will enjoy as well as your preferences around salary, location, etc.

Phase II – Achieving cut through

Hunting for a job takes time and it can sometimes feel like the applications simply disappear into a black hole, especially if you are applying independently. A good recruitment consultant should make your search more efficient and ensure you get feedback on your applications and interviews but you nonetheless need to get their attention as they receive dozens of CVs every day.

If you are applying for an advertised job either directly to an employer or via a recruitment company then tailoring your CV and covering letter for every application makes a world of difference to your chances of getting shortlisted. Candidates who take the time to put relevant skills and experience at the top of their CV and who address the required and desired characteristics from the job description in their covering letter are by far the most likely to secure interview.

If you are applying speculatively to either an employer or a recruitment company then your application needs to be particularly strong. Be passionate about why you want to work for that employer and show your knowledge of the company. If you are asking an agency to represent you then explain why you would like to work with that agency and who else is representing you. In either case, put your strongest selling points towards the top of your CV and draw attention to them in the covering letter.

Offering one recruiter the opportunity to be your sole agent for a period of time can dramatically improve the likelihood that they will prioritise finding you a job and will often result in the consultant asking you for a list of companies you would like them to approach on your behalf.

Clare Wight is managing director of Clarity Appointments, a fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals a regional director for The Employment Agents Movement (TEAM). Her email is: