Job search for professionals is in many ways more difficult than for mainstream jobs because there are far fewer jobs at the right level. Professionals, such as Accountants, Architects, Chartered Engineers, Lawyers and Quantity Surveyors may also have expectations that are higher and be confident that a new job will be forthcoming very quickly. After all you have had a good number of years when your future employment prospects felt entirely certain, so why shouldn’t you feel confident about your next job?
Unfortunately, a new economic era means that more of you with your professional background and qualifications, are feeling the same cold wind of unemployment and whilst you may be able to weather the immediate financial effects, you will need to replace that lost income before too long.
My job search for professionals ideas are based on long experience of working as career counselor and outplacement consultant to public and private organizations and the ideas are my way of helping you to deal with the consequences of unexpected unemployment.
First of all: do not spend all your time scouring the papers and signing up for online email alerts for advertised vacancies. My own experience confirms that less than one third of appropriate vacancies for you will be advertised in the press or online. So sign up for one or two such as executivesontheweb.com and take a couple of hours once a week with the best newspaper i.e. the Guardian or the Telegraph for public sector or private companies jobs.
Second: do not spend lots of time trying to find all the different recruitment consultants and employment agencies that may be able to help; you could easily spend days when it is more cost effective to invest in a targeted mailing to all the relevant headhunters by using a service such as CVtrumpet, which is the leader in professional, targeted executive and management CV distribution. With this professional service you can distribute your CV to up to 3,200+ recruiters in the UK, targeted by job function, salary level, employment level, industry and location.
Thirdly: although you are a professional with your own field of expertise, you will still have to demonstrate to a potential new employer that you will add value to the new organization, which means that you cannot sit back and expect your qualifications to impress, or your past work to speak for itself sufficiently to secure a new position.
Fourth: more jobs are filled by personal contacts than through any other means and in these times, companies would much prefer to save the recruitment fees and act on recommendations from people they trust, so whether you like it or not job-search for professionals will inevitable involve networking with known and newly-introduced contacts in person. My own guide to networking and finding unadvertised jobs will give you step by step instructions in how to to do this effectively.
Fifth: the most important facet of any job search for professionals is to remember that organizations hire people.
That means that you have to create the right impression of you both as a person and as a professional, and the first impression is most often created by how you appear on paper. Which simply put means that your CV and your covering letters have to be the very best possible. I would also add that neither one is more important than the other.
The cover letter must be customized to each individual application and worded to achieve the desired effect – that is to get you the interview. The cover letter is your sales letter and must radiate your interest, enthusiasm and confidence in being the best candidate for the position. On my website, I have prepared some cover letter examples for you to use as a template for your own letters.
Your CV on the other hand, must be informative and interesting to read, and show clearly what you have achieved that will be relevant to your success in the new role. Employers want people who can contribute and add value to the whole, so listing your duties and responsibilities, just will not do it.
The key to successful job search for professionals is to be seen as the right type of person, someone who will fit in and someone with demonstrable results that can be interpreted as a reliable indication of future success in the role.