Five smart ways to find a great job in 2020

When I launched City CV, back in 2008 after a recruitment career with Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Merrill Lynch, the job hunting process was relatively straightforward. Most candidates would simply send their CV to a few recruitment agencies or headhunters and then sit back and wait for the calls. Not only that but so much has changed since then – flexible and remote working, career returners and side hustles just weren’t that mainstream 10 years ago.

Now, even if you’re applying for a corporate job, the recruitment landscape is more complex. Job portals and applicant tracking systems (ATS) are everywhere. Job hunters are having to get used to lengthy application processes that can include online numerical and problem solving assessments or values testing. That’s before you even get invited to a competency based interview or have your facial expressions subjected to AI analysis during a video interview.

Another big change is the growth of in-house recruitment departments or Recruitment Process Outsourcing (RPO) solutions. Many companies now have either their own recruiters or an external firm sitting inside their recruitment department, actively managing databases and CRM tools for internal and external candidates. Gone are the days when HR departments just kept a few speculative CVs on file. Now, these firms can use multiple jobs boards and actively search social media for candidates, as well as generating referrals from their own employees.

RPO also means that even many small to medium sized companies now have the recruitment expertise needed to implement best practice in screening large numbers of candidates. That includes psychometric testing and structured interviewing and assessment. External headhunters still have an important place in the recruitment landscape but they’re now more likely to be focussed on finding senior specialists for difficult to fill roles.

Managing your job search in 2020

These changes can make job hunting more fragmented and complex. We’ve certainly had feedback from clients who find all this a confusing and frustrating experience. But, there is an upside.

If you are flexible and embrace these changes, you can be much more in control of your own career and destiny. By understanding the new recruitment landscape, you can make it work for you.

Here are my top five smart job hunting tips:

  1. Remember, with 660+million members in over 200 countries worldwide – LinkedIn is key

Even when you are not actively looking for a new role, ensure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and presents your personality and professional value-add, as well as your skills and experience. Your personal brand on LinkedIn is often the first impression people have of you. And, for 99% of recruiters, it’s an essential tool.

If your profile is simply a chronological list of previous job titles, you’re missing a big opportunity. An engaging narrative can bring out your transferable skills and highlight your expertise. Your summary section is your chance to demonstrate your suitability for your target role and the characteristics you want to be known for.

  1. Your network is crucial

Technology hasn’t taken over entirely. In fact, research shows as many as 70% of jobs are not advertised. Many companies offer their employees a bonus if they refer a successful candidate; so let your network know your career aspirations and what kind of role you’re interested in.

  1. Increase your visibility

You can make yourself more visible to recruiters by using LinkedIn in a proactive way. Sharing interesting articles (or writing your own), taking part in online discussions and joining specialist groups, are all excellent ways to raise your industry profile. In the offline world, attending industry events and joining professional groups will help you grow your network and hear about interesting opportunities.

  1. Research the market

Companies are devoting increasing amounts of resource to the careers and employee experience sections of their website and social media platforms. That means when you apply for a role, they’ll expect you to know about their plans and the scale and scope of their operations. You should also be able to get a feel for their company culture and the type of person they’re looking for.

  1. Target your application

Whether you’re responding to an ad or sending a speculative CV, everything about your application needs to demonstrate why you are the ideal candidate. Your covering letter and CV need to show you’ve researched the company, you understand the requirements of the role, and you have the skills and experience to match. When they check you out on LinkedIn, they should immediately see that you are actively engaged in your industry or professional field. When you’re invited to an interview or other assessment, demonstrate that you’re the person they need.

The new jobs market is all about actively managing your career. Start building your personal brand, get networking, find a mentor, and consider professional career coaching. The smart way to job hunt in 2020 is not to wait until you need a job.

City CV is an award-winning international career consultancy. We create professional CVs and LinkedIn profiles and offer expert career coaching and interview training for professionals, from graduate to Board level. You can call our friendly team on +44 20 7100 6656 or email us here.

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