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Back2Work - How to Prepare

With an unprecedented amount of people being out of work due to the COVID-19 situation, Venari Partners has put together a short guide on how to get Back2Work.


START WITH YOUR CV

Ensuring your CV is up to date allows you to move quickly when you are ready to begin applying or to start discussing a move. It’s easy to focus on day to day responsibilities, forgetting completed projects and other successes – take time to reflect on what you enjoyed and what gives you a sense of achievement.

Ensure that you:

  • Use specific examples where possible (projects delivered, challenges overcome, teams managed, targets met or exceeded)

  • Keep formatting simple – listing jobs chronologically and minimising the use of graphics makes a CV easier to read, plus your experience should speak for itself. Two pages is ideal but more experienced candidates may need an additional page.

  • Explain any recent gaps – double check the dates on each of your job roles and ensure any absences for study or personal reasons are explained concisely.

LINKEDIN

LinkedIn isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s worth keeping yours up to date with – at a minimum – basic details of your most recent roles and a professional photograph. Like it or not, the site is now a core tool for hiring managers and search firms alike, and prospective employers often search for candidates when reviewing CVs they receive.

If you are actively looking for work, you can discreetly let recruiters know you are open to new opportunities (this cannot be seen by internal hiring managers). For candidates considering roles overseas, or in specific metropolitan areas, adding preferred locations will help a recruiter find you more easily.


RENEW KEY CONTACTS

This is the most effective and important stage of a job search. Your contacts are a critical source of information about opportunities in your sector.

Your key contacts should be:

  • Executive search firms/recruitment agencies

  • HR and internal recruitment professionals at companies you would like to work for

  • Former colleagues/managers, mentors, industry peers

  • Keep an eye on jobs boards

It may be that when the market begins to pick up again it does so quickly as social distancing measures are relaxed. As business confidence returns key hires are likely to be first – strong expertise will be required more than ever in a tough marketplace. Even businesses feeling the pain may need to hire externally in order to restructure their teams or acquire new skills to operate in an altered business environment.

While most positions are advertised on boards, be aware that some are still advertised exclusively on company websites – especially for brands that attract large numbers of applications. Have a list of target employers and plan to check their careers pages regularly. Make use of email alerts for new vacancies to avoid missing out on suitable roles.


EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

Hiring processes are complex and unpredictable at the best of times and will likely be more so now. Senior leadership changes can shift organisational priorities, financial pressures can arrive swiftly and as we have seen, events can force a change of plan. These can all lead to delays to interviews, offers being withdrawn or altered and many other unforeseen consequences.

This is certainly an inconvenience but try not to worry – much of this is routine and all other applicants are in the same boat. It’s good to keep your options open at the best of times, so don’t consider anything to be certain until contracts have been signed.

CONSIDER A RANGE OF OPTIONS

Across all industries, employees are being let go for reasons unrelated to performance. Many will take on work outside of their usual sector or immediate interest to tide them over, keep busy or to continue to gain experience. Businesses should expect candidates’ CVs to reflect this new reality.

If you are not working and your situation allows, think about training or personal development you could undertake. Many training providers and universities are opening up courses for free to those having to stay at home. This is a great way to maintain a sense of connection and achievement and it could provide an extra talking point when interviews come around.

You might also consider temporary or contract work. In times of uncertainty businesses often commit to funding projects or temporary hires to minimise financial risk, while still delivering on KPIs or transformation projects.

Offering your skills on a short-term basis often means the chance to add substantial value to an organisation over a limited period. Not only are they a chance to build your experience and your network, temporary roles often result in a permanent job offer. Venari Partners are on hand if you wish to discuss whether temporary work could be right for you.


INTERVIEW PREP

Although you may not have any pending interviews, now is a great time to start brushing up on your interview skills so you can hit the ground running when they start to filter through. If you would like help in preparing, get in touch for more tips and advice.