WHETHER you’re looking for a new job or want to keep the role you have but get a payrise, it can be tough to negotiate.
The pandemic saw millions of people lose jobs – and even though unemployment levels are now back down to where they were before Covid, times are still tough.
Amanda, 56, is a recruitment consultant at her own business, Bijou.
She set the company up seven years ago after a lifetime of working in the industry.
Much of her time is spent supporting and coaching people looking for a new job.
Amanda specilises in the lifestyle, fashion and homeware industries – but her tips will be applicable for anyone looking to further their career in 2022.
Whether you're looking for a new role or want to be paid more for the job you already do.
She says the most common concern people have is that the market is so competitive, they don’t know how to stand out.
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CONFIDENCE IS KEY
“The market is tough,” Amanda points out. “The pandemic has shifted our thinking from both employer and employee perspectives.
“However, I firmly believe the right job will find the right person.
“You need to be determined and you need to be confident which if you’ve been made redundant for example, isn’t always easy.”
She says: “Last year, I successfully placed a candidate in a job with a well-known global brand. He was very unhappy in his current role with a small, owner-managed business and had had all his stuffing knocked out of him and thought he was worthless.
“We worked on his CV and his confidence. I coached him before the interviews (there were four in total) and he landed the job.
“This guy is a shining example of someone who had lost all their self-confidence and self-belief but sometimes you have to drag yourself out of the dark place and put your trust in someone like me.”
HOW TO SORT OUT YOUR CV
Having worked in the industry for almost three decades, Amanda has cast her eye over thousands of CV’s.
Even though times have changed with social media upon us, she strongly believes in candidates having a plain, straight-forward CV without the need for any fancy photographs, fonts or visual images.
“Get your CV in tip top shape! NO photos or logos are needed and forget about using colours or imagery as CV’s don’t need any fancy artwork.
“It goes without saying that you must check your spelling and grammar over and over again. Your CV should be a maximum of three pages long and watch out for repetition when describing previous jobs."
HOW TO STAND OUT
Amana says the key to standing out is selling yourself.
She said: “One of the questions I get asked the most is “how can I stand out from other candidates applying for the same job?".
“I advise them to stand out from the crowd by writing a strong but brief cover letter and to always follow up on their application if they don’t hear back.
“You should also include a profile or ‘sales pitch’ at the top of your CV outlining the skills and characteristics you have that make you a great employee.”
“Do your homework when you apply for a job – show you know something about the business that backs up your application.”
HOW TO FIND JOBS
When it comes to applying for a job, Amanda suggests LinkedIn is a good place to research the business.
“Identify the sort of company you want to work for and apply direct: use LinkedIn to find the right person and write them a cracking cover letter.
“You are far more likely to get noticed than if you apply via a Jobsboard which uses AI to scan your CV.”
As a frequent user of LinkedIn herself, Amanda describes a successful encounter with a jobseeker whom she came across on the site.
“A few years ago, a post on LinkedIn caught my eye from a woman complaining about the many unscrupulous recruitment companies she had come across in her job search.
“Red rag to this bull, I messaged her and asked her to call me. We had a chat and I managed to win her over and gain her trust.
“We met for a coffee and talked through what she wanted from a job and where on earth she might find it.
“I suggested she contact her previous employer, plus other bosses she had enjoyed working with and ask for a coffee and chat to explore potential opportunities.
“Shortly after, she got exactly the job she wanted in the industry she loved and spent five years there. We are now firm friends.”
HOW TO ASK FOR A PAY RISE
As for asking for a pay rise, Amanda acknowledges it can be a tricky conversation to have, particularly if you have been in your job for a short time.
She says: “Never ever sell yourself short. Think about the value you’ve brought to the business and to your team (if you have one).
“Be clear on what you have achieved maybe over and above your boss’s expectations, but be mindful of where the business is at.
“Can they afford to pay you more or are they in trouble? A pay rise isn’t a given in many industries – it has to be earned.”
For more details, visit www.bijourecruitment.com
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