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In today’s challenging market, with many great candidates often competing for the same position, it is more important than ever you understand how to get yourself noticed and stand out from the competition. The good news is, there are some very simple ways to do this, and to help you, we have put together a quick guide of successful tips you can act on today.
Alongside your CV, our clients will almost certainly look at your LinkedIn profile. If you are a new candidate for Halliday Marx, it is also one of the first places our recruitment specialists will look before we make any contact. Since this will be the first impression both clients and recruiters will have of you – some simple changes can really make a difference in getting you noticed.
First, use a photo that actually looks like you. This might sound obvious, but if you turn up for your first interview looking entirely different, you could damage your credibility. Use an up to date photo, avoid group shots, selfies, distracting backgrounds and ensure you use the correct resolution (the ideal size for your LinkedIn profile picture is 400 x 400 pixels), low resolution images simply look unprofessional. Finally, smile! Financial careers are serious, but smiling generally appears less staged and will help you to look more approachable.
Keep it professional. LinkedIn is a professional networking site, not the place to showcase your fun, personal life. There are plenty of other online places for that (and be aware that some clients will look at them too!). Your LinkedIn profile should have enough detail to make people want a conversation with you, but not so much that it crashes the server. LinkedIn should also match your CV, so ensure you don’t have any missing or additional jobs.
Our recruitment specialists can look at hundreds of CVs a day. It must be perfect. Read through it and double check for typos and grammar – then check it again. Spelling mistakes cause instant irritation. Make sure it’s clear, concise and easy to follow – no acronyms. It should list precisely the key skills and achievements of the job seeker.
It is also important to list measurable achievements for each job – not just your responsibilities. For example, ‘redesigned the Month-End Workflow, shortening the process by 2 days per month’.
Don’t use a one size fits all approach, update your CV every time you apply for a position. This does not mean tell lies – it means reflect the language the client uses and tailor your experience to reflect the nature of the position you’re applying for. Our recruitment specialists at Halliday Marx can help you with this. You may also want to take a look at our CV Tips article
Everyone has a brand, and right now, with soft skills becoming an increasing priority, you need to show them off. A strong brand will really help you to shine amongst competing CVs, so when you apply for a job – make sure it is in line with your career goals. Keep personal statements brief, a short 2-3 line simple summary of what you do. Don’t brag. Too many candidates waste valuable space telling us how wonderful they are, when very few match up to reality.
If you need a cover letter, don’t rehash an old one from 5 years ago…..reflect the value you can bring today with your most up to date skills.
At Halliday Marx, we quite like it when job seekers show initiative and follow up on their application. Whether you are right/not right for the role, it allows our specialists to explain why, and you can take something helpful away from the conversation. We have an expansive client portfolio, and may just have another position that would be perfect for you………
We really value (and only work with) candidates who are honest and open about their careers. Lying about your skills, experience or reasons for moving positions will never end well. It can often cost you both your reputation and your job. If you are worried about something holding you back, be honest with us. Whether it was getting fired, being unable to deal with the pressure of a certain position, or simply feeling a previous employer wasn’t right for you – talk to us and we can help. We all have work situations we would rather not talk about, but honesty shows you have learned from the situation and want to work differently in the future.
Take action on the above points and you will easily place yourself ahead of the queue – simply because most people won’t.
Whatever your reasons for seeking your next move, it’s often hard at the best of times to remain upbeat if your job search takes a little longer than expected. The most important thing to remember is nothing that happens, good or bad, during your job search is personal. Candidates often feel frustrated when they are not selected for roles they know they are capable of doing – but our recruitment consultants are constantly managing a balancing act between our strict client mandate and our top talent needs. Stay positive – we are fully committed to helping you find your next move!
Looking for a respected financial recruitment specialist to help you in your job search? Get in touch with us at i[email protected] or call us on 020 7096 8200. Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn and twitter for all our latest articles, recruitment information, financial opportunities, career advice and company updates.