How to get a job - the project-driven approach

Posted Oct 25, 2011 | ~5 minute read

The second of the guest authors on the codepotato blog is Andrew Fairley (@andrewfconex), of Conex Group. As a professional recruitment consultant he's well versed at helping people find work and that's exactly what his first post is about.

Andrew Fairley, a Recruitment Consultant with Conex Europe – a specialist IT Recruitment Agency with a range of clients ranging from SMEs to Blue Chip names – offers some advice on how to approach a job-search in order to find your ideal role and get the offer you want.

How to get a job – the project-driven approach

If you are looking for a job, there are two ways of going about it. The first is as a passive candidate – you just wait and see what turns up. The second is as an pro-active candidate, where you make things happen for yourself by getting out there and treating your job hunt the way you would a project.

Projects normally start with requirements gathering. In this case, sit down and have a think about what you are looking for, and why. Are you looking for career advancement, a higher salary, a bigger team or opportunities to learn? Do you want a similar role to what you are doing, or do you want something new? Once you have it clear in your head, you are ready to start detailed planning. Write your CV from the perspective of what you are looking for. If you are looking for a PHP programming role, then emphasise your PHP experience and achievements. If you are looking for a more senior position, emphasise the responsibilities you have within your current role and your suitability to take the next step in your career.

The next thing to do is get onto LinkedIn and update your profile. LinkedIn is the largest business network for professionals and both hiring managers and recruiters use it on a daily basis to find talent. Make yourself easy to find by fully updating your current position’s roles and responsibilities, your technical experience and, if you are willing to do so, add an email address so people can contact you directly.

Once you have completed the prep work for your job hunting project, you can then focus on executing the key deliverable: finding a job. So far you’ve written a beautiful CV and have a fantastic LinkedIn profile. Well, that’s not the end of it! If you are serious about finding a new role, you need to do something about it. Comb the job boards for roles, identify companies that would be of interest to you and get LinkedIn to their HR Managers, and talk to your friends on Twitter to find out if they have any leads. Send off CVs to recruitment agencies to see if they have anything of interest to you. The right role is out there, but you can’t rely on it coming to you. You may need to edit that beautiful CV to match a job spec a bit more closely; 5 minutes quick tweaking could mean the difference between a hiring manager sticking your application to the top of the pile or into the bin.

Love them or hate them, recruitment agencies are very much part of the job-hunting process. Many projects require some work to be outsourced and this is an ideal way to think of an agency; and, just like any outsource partner, you need to work collaboratively with them and be as honest as you can about what you are looking for and what you would accept. If you have a minimum salary requirement, make that clear from the outset. That way, the agency won’t waste your time with roles that you wouldn’t accept. Likewise, if you aren’t using an agency, you need to keep your requirements at the forefront of your mind at all times. If you are working with an agency, keep them updated with what’s going on, and chase them for feedback. A good agency will keep you in the loop throughout, provide feedback in a timely fashion and keep you updated with any other opportunities.

The final stage of your project is the successful delivery: getting that offer and accepting! If you have been open and honest throughout (with the agency and/or with yourself), then when the offer comes in it should be what you expect. 95% of projects that fail are because expectations weren’t set clearly to begin with, and it is no different in recruitment. An agency is very useful at offer stage as they will fight your corner and negotiate your salary for you, but if you haven’t been clear from the start on what it would take for you to accept, then an offer is more likely to fail. That is doing why the groundwork and setting your requirements is key.

The IT market is moving and the roles are there. Whether or not you use an agency, approaching your job hunt in the right way makes all the difference.

Visit www.conexeurope for the latest roles, or email your CV direct to [email protected]. Conex work all roles within the IT industry including (but not limited to) Web Designers, Web Developers, Application Developers, Testers, Business Analysts and Project Managers.

Andrew will offer all [codepotato] readers a free CV appraisal and advice on how to format your CV to best effect.