Job search can be a difficult process; having been in your shoes, I understand it can be a frustrating process applying for roles you know you could easily do and not seeing results.
Job search can be a difficult process, even for a serial contractor to constantly be searching for the next role and to be interviewing. It is difficult to get the immediate feedback you want and there’s always the awkward phone call where you are trying to convince both yourself and the consultant on the phone that you are right for this position.
In a quieter start to the year compared to what the industry and candidates might be used to, alongside the inevitable resource cull that is heading our way from the well resourced and delivered MiFID II programmes from 2017, the market will inevitably be flooded with highly experienced and capable change professionals. As a result, it is worth noting that clients are a lot more selective when it comes to their hiring. As such, so are the recruiters when it comes to short listing and presenting candidates.
I see it from both perspectives, and there are a few things you can do to make sure you get yourself back into a suitable position as soon as possible.
Your CV speaks volumes about you before you even have any direct interaction with the recruiter or the hiring managers. Therefore, it is absolutely vital that you keep it concise and to the point.
As recruitment consultants, we spend longer on CVs to understand your experience before we pick up the phone to find out more. It is important to note that hiring mangers simply won’t give your CV this time. On average, a hiring manger spends around 6-10 seconds reviewing a CV before an irreversible impression is made.
Wherever possible, we would always give you feedback on your profile and suggest ways of making it stand out. However, at the initial application phase and due to the sheer volumes of CV’s, it is sometimes difficult to give a reason on why you have not been shortlisted for the position. More often than not, it comes down to having stronger candidates competing for that particular role.
Although there is always a grey area when it comes to considering applications, it is important to note that we have a specific brief. Below are some of the criteria that apply:
My Advice: If you are having to fill in the gaps and reach far afield to convince both yourself and the consultant why you might be good for the role, this probably isn’t the right position for you. Wait it out, the right roles will come along. Even better, candidates who are upfront about their strengths and weaknesses in comparison to the job brief are often the ones who see a higher hit rate on getting interviews.
Advice: If you are comparing your profile to the job specification and it doesn’t align by 60%-70% at least, this will be a difficult sell, so ask your consultant for advice on whether this is the right role or not before you proceed.
Speaking specifically from a Projects and Change perspective, on average I receive over 200 responses for any regulatory job advert I post. Of which around 10% will be spot on for the position. It’s a tough market and there is a higher supply than demand for candidates right now. Hiring managers can be very selective when it comes to progressing candidates, and as a result, we have to be as well. Of course, this does mean many are left frustrated or wondering why they haven’t been shortlisted for the role.
Advice: Focus your search on roles with relevant experience to yours. This shows you as a credible candidate. Although your name might be out there and you might be getting a lot of calls, it might have a negative effect on your profile as the name that pops up against every job.
Be selective when it comes to choosing the recruitment agencies you work with. It’s good having your CV going across on several roles or accepting the first one that comes might seem financially viable – however, take into account the impact that role might have on positions going forward.
A short term contract with a higher rate might sound incredibly appealing in the heat of the moment, but a longer term position at a lower rate might just make the difference between you and another candidate later down the line when looking for a new role. Hiring managers are very hot on longevity in positions on a candidate's CV.
The role, number of renewals and longevity within those roles are the types of qualities hiring managers look for in a good CV.
Given the opportunity:
As much as I dislike picking the phone up to a candidate and letting them know I have no live jobs for them, I appreciate a call that comes from a candidate I know. It is important to note that your relationship with your consultant goes a long way when it comes to finding your next position.
Hopefully that has provided you with a few tips and tricks on how you can find more success from the jobs you’re applying for. On the Projects and Change desk, we are starting to see demand for candidates from a Front Office Regulatory Change, Compliance Change and Custody and Asset Servicing background. Please get in touch if you’re interested in exploring these positions, one of our team will be happy to have a chat.