Forget learning another language or teaching yourself to knit . . .

Posted by Prospect‘s UK Team

Six weeks into the lock-down and two things are pretty clear. First, that, as it eases, it will not be back to the kind of life we knew before. And second, that despite our initial resolutions, most of us won’t have learned that new language, re-organised our lives for the better, learnt the guitar, got fitter, or lost those excess pounds. OK, maybe I’m just talking about myself, but feedback from others suggests that I’m probably not alone!

It’s also a reality that we’re not going to return to a completely normal jobs market. The year had started strongly but many organisations, both in-house and agency, will have had a tumultuous 2020, which, at the very least, will cause them to think carefully about new ways of working and their associated recruitment needs.

So, if the grand lock-down plans have turned to dust and the recruitment floodgates might not open immediately, I thought it might be useful to share four simple ideas that should be quicker and easier to achieve and which might give anyone seeking a new role the very best chance of success;

  1. Hone your CV. Sounds obvious but most people spend a fair time in their roles and only occasionally look at whether their CV is in the kind of shape it should be. Dig it out and ask yourself – does it reflect the very best of me with all of my most recent achievements and skills? If not, dust it down and turn it into the best version it could ever be.
  2. In the same vein, polish your LinkedIn presence. Some people are devotees to LinkedIn. Most aren’t. Most update it when they change jobs and it quickly falls out of date or looks off the pace. Like your CV, check that it’s updated fully and reflects you at your very best.
  3. While on LinkedIn, now is a good time to re-introduce yourself to connections you’ve not spoken to in a while. We all gather connections as we go through our careers and most of us engage with those immediately in front of us rather than the breadth of who we know. Networks matter and can help to either get a role or validate you as you search for one.
  4. Crack a more straightforward skill challenge. It was probably a stretch to learn guitar in 6 weeks or become fluent in French. But what about spending some lock-down time to master something more achievable. Are you ace on Insta but a novice at TikTok? Are you a demon on Excel but rubbish at PowerPoint? Pick one weakness that would be a great skill to have in a comms role and commit to improving your knowledge of it. There’s endless guides online or on video to help you get started.

I’m well aware that none of this is rocket science.  But that’s sort of the point. They are all straightforward and all achievable. Getting the job you’ve always hoped for is often down to fine margins between you and another candidate. All of the above, in what is likely to be an atypical jobs market, will help ensure the decision falls your way.