The gossip train is working over time and the rumours are circulating like wild fire that there may be some redundancies on the horizon. All of sudden that all to familiar twitch in your stomach starts to re appear and you wonder whether you might be one of the casualties.
You then receive an email saying that you have been summoned to meet with your line manager and HR where it all then becomes a slight blur but you’re told you’ve been put on consultation… which all too often means, “get ready this is going to sting a little”.
So if you’re anything like me when I hear that word redundancy I immediately start to dissect my life and put a battle plan into action on how to survive on Weetabix and Pot Noodles for the foreseeable! However as much as our overactive minds tend to paint the worst case scenario… rather than panic. Embrace the opportunity.
By all means whether it’s a quick pit stop at the local pub for a glass or three of wine, a phone call to your nearest dearest or a trip to the bank to recalculate your savings. Its OK to let off a little steam. We all do it.
However, as much as you may feel frustrated about the situation try to avoid loosing your professional integrity within the workplace and don’t go on a verbal rampage. Instead, try to remember, it’s not personal against you, no business wants to make redundancies. Its just a chain of events have happened, probably outside of your control and the business needs to adapt to survive.
So now that you’ve put away your voodoo dolls and popped a couple of Alka-Seltzer’s its time to put a realistic action plan into motion. First stop before even touching your CV is working out what you want to do.
What I mean is… think. Have you overall enjoyed doing your current role? Have you been doing it for a long time and perhaps actually want to move up the career ladder? Perhaps the location hasn’t been right for you and you’d like to find a job closer to home. Maybe you would prefer working for a smaller or larger business…. There are many factors to think about before pimping out your CV across the world wide web. Just be honest with yourself as too what you want and what is acceptable.
So just like with any project. Start with a clear brief and ask yourself what it is you want from your next role and set your boundaries.
Once you’ve got a clear idea on what you want then its time to prepare.
- Start by revisiting your CV. Ensure that the content is up to date and that it follows these basic rules:
- Start with an overview statement – something that gives the audience a taster of what you are about.
- Add a skills overview section – this is no more than 5-8 key bullet points that scream out what you are great at
- Next bit is your career history – don’t write a war and peace novel. Its not a blog. Add a single sentence under each company name highlighting what the business does and then what your overall role was. This should then be followed up with key responsibility bullet points and achievements.
- Make sure you add the dates and duration of your time at each job – you are welcome to highlight whether it was a perm or contract role
- Include a short list of the clients/brands that you have worked on at each company
- Remember to include key words throughout your CV. For example B2B or B2C, integrated, digital, revenue generator, SEO, client development etc etc… the more key words and phases you add into your CV to more search engines and internal databases will match you
- Add your education and qualifications and any vocational activities that you think might of interest or relevant.
- Avoid creating flashy over designed PDF files and breaking the CV formatting rules. Especially if you are thinking about uploading your CV to a job board or sending to a recruiter. Keep it in a word doc and space everything out. That way it will be easier to not only read but when it’s uploaded the key words in your CV will be highlighted whenever anyone does a relevant search. Worth noting in this day and age everything is stored in some sort of database, making it easier to match you
- It’s also OK to run over two pages. We normally recommend that a CV be a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4. Note the CV should breath when you read it. Not look like you’ve crammed it all in or used a font so small that you need to grab your grandparents by-focal super strength lens to read it.
- If you are going to include a cover note… make sure its short and too the point. If you’ve spent hours crafting this epic email that explains blow by blow why you think you are right person for the job then chances are you aren’t. Either you haven’t written your CV correctly or you are trying to make too many justifications as too why your skills are transferrable. As much as it pains me to say this… hiring managers and recruiters rarely read a lengthy cover note.
If you do struggle to create a decent CV or aren’t sure its quite right then talk to either your hiring manager in your current agency or a recruiter. Both should be able to help.
So you crafted a CV masterpiece, which glistens with that powerful and almost heroic list of skills and expertise. So you think you are ready to go… well you’re not.
Nope. Next step is turning your attention to social media, in particular LinkedIn. Yes we know we all have a love/hate relationship with it. However it’s a must.
Your online profile must reflect your CV as well as be in tune with the types of roles you want to apply for.
Therefore unlike when you are happily employed or didn’t want your boss to know that you might be looking for a new job. This time you need to toggle the “notify your network of any changes to your profile” to on.
That’s right this time you do want to remind your network that you still exist. And now that you’ve either stored up those hundreds of recruiter invites requesting that you connect with them immediately because they think they have the perfect job for you… (and perhaps they do, if it was like a decade ago but still) now is the time to connect and raise your head above the parapet.
Just remember more so than ever it is crucial that your profile reflects what’s on your CV as whenever you do submit your CV for a role, the hiring manager or recruiter will cross reference them both.
Key things worth noting:
If you are relocating but haven’t quite moved yet – still change your current location to where you want to work. It makes it easier for you to be found in a search.
Add a summary statement into your profile. Don’t be lazy. Again the more keywords you add the more likely you will come up in a relevant search.
Under each job role make sure you write a couple of sentences about what you did in each role, who your clients were and what media channels you specialised in.
If you’ve got a personal website showing off your work then include it in the profile along with links to any relevant posts you’ve written.
Again no one wants to read lots of heavy copy so keep it short and to the point.
If you are going to apply for any roles that involve social media or require solid experience in… firstly for the love of all that is mighty… we beg you… don’t say you’re a guru and then have virtually zero footprint in the social media world. Or worse haven’t visited your own twitter account for weeks on end.
If you are going to go for these types of roles then at the very least you should be a pro at your own online brand. You should have a strong following, have active engagement across a multiple of sites, you will probably have a blog page with a respectable number of followers… oh and when we say IoT… you should know what that means.
Well now its time to engage with those pesky recruiters that we love to hate.
So we all have a tragic story to tell when it comes to recruiters and I am no different from you. However just like our football fans it only takes a few bad apples to spoil it for the rest of us. Although I can assure you that there are some really great ones out there and you really don’t have to look that hard.
Whether you love them or hate them, the right recruiter can be your gateway to a happy ever after story.
First things first its important to find a recruiter that specialises in your field. For example if you are searching for a client services role in a digital or integrated agency that has a B2B slant to it then there is no point in talking to a recruiter who’s real strength is within the creative or packaging sector. However if they are any good then they probably have someone else on their team that does operate in your field.
Its easy to see just click through there profile or see what jobs they’ve advertised in the last few months.
We’d also recommend engaging and building strong relationships with between 1-3 recruiters. And I don’t just mean conversing only by email or grabbing a few minutes over the phone. Dedicate some proper time to talk to them. If they can help you then they will want to get under the skin of who you are and what you want. A great relationship like this can echo throughout your career. And if I hear you say “well they don’t return my calls or wont speak to me”… when those are the ones to avoid. So move on. There are lots of us out there.
Although should someone come out of the woodwork who you’ve never heard of before and present you with a relevant and interesting opportunity then of course don’t ignore that. Rub your hands and get stuck in!
Finally, if you have a decent relationship with your recruiter/recruiters then you should be able to trust their judgement and advice. If they genuinely don’t think you are right for the job then don’t force it. Or if you are looking to switch sectors and they don’t think you’ll be able to command the same salary then trust them. Remember they know the client all to well and would rather avoid building you up, just to let you down at the first hurdle.
This step is probably the most important one. Keep motivated. We are not dismissing the effects redundancy can have, we understand it can bring huge financial pressures and worry along with the psychological effects it can have, including damaging your confidence and self esteem. However as mentioned at the very start… even though this feels personal, as its happening to you, its not. It’s a business decision, which unfortunately affects you.
Use the time you have to do some exercise and do the things you love. Brush off those cob webs from the bike that’s being hanging in the garage and go for a ride or do those lunches that you’ve been promising your friends for months that you must do… just perhaps this time ask them to pay or make is a picnic from Aldi. A true friend will understand.
Its important over the coming weeks that you keep yourself busy but at the same time dedicate some time each day to your job search.
For marketing jobs visit the likes of Brand Republic, Campaign, Only Marketing Jobs or even Indeed. Speak to those recruiters, search for jobs on LinkedIn as well as engage with your senior network and see whether they might be able to help or point you in the right direction.
The important this is not to panic or make knee jerk decisions. Take a breath, evaluate the landscape and decide what you want to do next and then follow these steps. And if you want some friendly advice or help pulling your CV together then of course you’re welcome to speak to any of us at the Jefferson Group. We are always here to give a helping hand.