The Job Hunt

Looking for work can feel daunting and you might not know where to start. We don’t want you to see it as a mammoth task – that’s only going to hinder how proactive you are about tackling the job hunt.

So, we’ve put together some handy tips for how best to approach your job search. These are easy wins for staying focused and on track!

What are your key objectives?

To help you narrow down what to apply for, you first need to think about what you want from a job.

What is most important? Is it the length of the commute to the office, is it a certain wage or a good work life balance? By understanding your key objectives you can carry out a more focussed search.

Don’t turn these goals in to limitations though. You need to stay flexible to what jobs are available, and you might find during your job search your objectives change.

It’s also important to recognise your own strengths and weaknesses to understand which jobs you would be suitable for.

Do your research

Look in to the target companies that appeal to you and see what you can find out from reviews on what it is like to work there.

If you are considering a specific role, do you have the right qualifications? Find out what would be required as a minimum from job adverts.

Work with recruiters

There is a plethora of recruiters out there and if you find the ones specialising in your field, they can open you up to opportunities you weren’t even aware of.

One CV doesn’t fit all jobs

This is especially important when applying for your dream job. Don’t expect a HR manager or recruiter to meticulously study your CV and try to understand how your skills would fit in to their vacancy, if it isn’t immediately obvious.

Turn that on its head by tailoring your CV to each job you apply for to make you the obvious fit for the job. Try and work in phrases from the job description and use examples of relevant experience to meet the criteria.

Consider your online presence

Potential employers will look you up online – that is a fact! Set your Facebook to private so they can’t see the escapades from your Saturday night out.

And utilise LinkedIn to the max – keep your experience up to date and use posting to share your experiences and expertise – staying professional at all times.

Good luck!

We wish you the best of luck with your job search. Don’t forget to regularly check our job listings page here.

Job Interview Dos and Don’ts

At Opus Vitae we have learnt a thing or two about job interviews during our many years working in recruitment.

We know many job seekers may not have had a face-to-face interview for some time, or perhaps after time spent working from home or being on furlough over the last 18 months, they feel a little out of practice navigating professional workplace meetings.

It doesn’t matter how solid your CV is, if you don’t present yourself well in an interview it could cost you a job.

This is your audition – to show what kind of person you are and if you are a good fit for the company.

Here are some basic dos and don’ts to bear in mind when attending interviews.

Be Prepared

You should attend every interview with a clear understanding of the business you are interviewing for - what they are called, what they do, where they operate and what their mission is.

All of this information will be available on their website and social channels so do your research.

Make a point of remembering the names of your interviewers – you could even look them up on LinkedIn before you meet them, so you understand their role in the company.

Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and write a list of questions you think they might ask:

  • Describe your experience
  • What are your strengths?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
  • Describe an example of how you overcame a challenge at work
  • Why are you leaving your current role?
  • What makes you suitable for the job?
  • And think of some questions to ask them at the end

Practice answering these questions – either to a mirror or to someone you know who will give you constructive feedback.

Remain professional

On the day of the interview dress professionally and be sure to arrive at least 10 minutes early – you don’t want to keep them waiting.

Make sure your phone is off and out of sight, and be courteous to everyone you meet – you want to make a good impression on your future colleagues.

Remember this is a professional interview, not a causal chat. You should be yourself, but the best possible version! That means eye contact, sitting up straight and not using bad language.

Don’t focus on what the company can do for you, but what you can do for them. Be enthusiastic about that prospect and make sure you express all your relevant accomplishments.

Don’t ask about salary, bonuses, holiday entitlements and benefits at this point – that can wait until they make you an offer.

And definitely don’t talk negatively about former colleagues, workplaces or yourself – keep it positive and professional.

To apply for our available jobs head to the job listings page here.

Good luck with your interviews!

Being flexible about flexible working

What is flexible working?

It is the flexibility offered on either where you work, when you work, or how much you work. Most people associate it with working part-time around childcare, but it can also be about supporting an employee’s needs or lifestyle.

Perhaps you want to work from home once a week to have a break from an arduous commute, or you want to work longer hours over fewer days to improve your work life balance, or to make time to study.

Remember: any employee with 6 months service has a legal right to ask for flexible working. 

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK was already seeing a slow growth in the number of employees working from home, with around 5% of the workforce reporting working mainly from home in 2019 and around 30% reporting that they had ever worked from home.

This increased rapidly during the pandemic, with 46.6% of people in employment doing at least some work from home in April 2020.

As a recruiter we recognise the disparity between what employers are offering and what job seekers are looking for, and we want to help drive change in the way people are employed.

Without finding a solution, employers are reducing the pool of talent they can tap in to.

A YouGov poll of more than 2,000 senior decision makers in UK companies found 55% expected an increase in the number of staff working remotely for part of the week.

Half of those polled said they expected more staff to work remotely all week.

We want candidates to start negotiating their flexibility like they would their salary.

Be flexible about flexibility

What we have found is there has to be some give and take between the job seeker and an employer.

Don’t expect that an employer looking for a full-time 9-5 candidate in the office, will be OK with you working 1 day a week, 6 months of the year, 100% from home!

Appreciate that they need to balance a reduction in hours with still getting the job done effectively, and they won’t want to overload the rest of the team.

Be willing to adapt your request to make it work for all parties.

Be creative with your proposal

If you want to work fewer days, then don’t feel you need to pitch it against childcare constraints. Get your employer listening by pitching it alongside how you will increase your productivity to reduce your hours. Or how working from home or fewer hours will create a saving in salary and overheads, which can be invested in to additional support for the department, to make up any shortfall in workload.

Of course, across industries the ability to offer flexibility can differ greatly. It still may be worth thinking creatively about solutions. For example, finding the right person to job share a full time role with.

Finding a flexible solution can improve the work life balance of employees. We know that a happier workforce means increased productivity and better staff retention.

As recruiters we will be working on highlighting flexible options in job descriptions, and identifying opportunities to break the 9-5 norm to change a system that currently isn’t working for everyone.

If you are looking for job opportunities or you an employer with recruitment needs, call us today on 01743 211115.