Preparing for a push

by 21 Jul 2009

QI am an experienced HR professional and have been with my current organisation for more than 12 years. In line with the cur rent market, my role is looking quite volatile. How should I prepare myself for the job market?

AIt is certainly an interesting time in the wider employment market, however there are a few things you can do to ready yourself in the unfortunate event that you are facing redundancy/unemployment. Below are some key points to keep in mind when preparing yourself for the current market.

Start networking. As much as it may not seem like it at the time, hav ing an awareness of when you will/might be finishing with an organisa tion is a gift that should be taken advantage of.

If you have been formally advised or just have a feeling that you have a defined period of time left in your current role you should be taking ad vantage of this lead time to meet with as many people as possible.

Be flexible. The key word throughout this calendar year and beyond is “flexibility”. With the market having moved in favour of the employer it is in the best interests of candidates to be flexible in three key criteria:

Permanent versus contract: Don’t always be fixed on permanent roles as the only source of opportunity. In the current market a great number of employers are attempting to try before they buy, with many con tracts being extended or converted to permanent once the candidate has proven themselves.

Salary:Not that we are asking you to cut your salary in half, but, based on the simple principle of supply and demand, it is a natural as sumption that employers are likely to get the quality of candidate they are looking for and be able to pay less for them. Simply being will ing to look at roles at a slightly lower base salary can open you up to a great deal more opportunities.

Update your CV. Probably the most important step of preparing for any market is updating your CV. A great number of candidates un derestimate the importance of a quality CV, not appreciating the fact that it is an advertisement of your suitability for a role and the only means by which a prospect employer has to judge you throughout the first round shortlisting process. Some key points to keep in mind when updating your CV are:

Make it relevant: Use key words from the position description or rel evant reference material to ensure you are “speaking their language” which will force the hiring manager to make subliminal linkages between your suitability and the requirements of the role.

Don’t assume knowledge: Avoid the use of acronyms or role titles to describe what you have done – they can be misleading or confusing. The best way to ensure this isn’t happening is to get someone to re view your CV who has no knowledge of your industry or role – they will help identify where you need to go into more detail.

Be outcome focused: It is one thing to list your responsibilities, but if you don’t follow this up by also detailing your achievements (what you actually contributed to the organisation) you are painting only half the picture, which can leave the hiring manager with a lot of unanswered questions.

In summary, although there are fewer opportunities in the wider mar ket, there is still a very strong value placed on quality candidates and the best way to ensure that your capability is best represented throughout the recruitment process is to be prepared

By Brett Hewett, consultant, HR Partners.(03) 96030601