Top 5 Candidate Tips for 2019

The start of the year is the busiest time in the recruitment world.

With candidates coming back to work reinvigorated after the festive break, the new year often inspires people to plan their next steps in their career.
If you too are feeling a need for change, we have come up with our top tips to help you get noticed and find a job in this competitive job market.


Do your research

Most candidates research companies after they have been offered an interview, as this is when they feel the pressure to boost their knowledge.
At CK, we recommend researching the company thoroughly before you apply for the position. This will ensure your CV and application are better tailored to the desired position, increasing your chances of successfully getting through to the interview stage. It will also give you more time to prepare for a potential interview, rather than rushing at the last minute. More importantly, it will give you an idea of the company culture and the work environment.
Here are a few pointers on where to start when researching a company:

  • Start with the company’s website; particularly the ‘About us’ and previous projects section.
  • Google the company for press releases, recent news articles etc.
  • Have a look at employee and interview reviews on Glassdoor.
  • Browse their social media sites; this gives you a good indication of the company’s culture.
  • Find them on LinkedIn and research how they portray themselves to other businesses.
  • Identify their competitors, and have a look at what they are currently doing.


Be organized and proactive

The real key to finding a job is being organized, having a plan of action and executing it. Successful job hunting is often described as a full-time job, with time management being an essential part of the process. Try and keep on top of the admin side of job hunting by:

  • Creating a spreadsheet with possible job opportunities and their application dates, any possible networking events or job fairs.
  • Keeping records of past applications and related materials for future applications, resumes and follow-up letters.
  • Creating an email account dedicated to your job search. This will prevent you from missing important messages and make it easier to access any job-related emails with one address.


Take your time

The most frustrating part of the job search is the in-between period, waiting to hear back from companies you have applied to.
Frustratingly in this competitive job market you may find yourself waiting for a while before the right job comes along. According to the Department of Labour, the average job search takes an astonishing 10 months, and while some companies might need to fill positions urgently, others might not see it as so pressing.
With that in mind, it is worth taking your time when filling out applications, and tailoring your resume and cover letter. Avoid sending generic applications, as this can be perceived by hiring managers as a lack of dedication as well as a lack of attention to detail.


Focus on quality not quantity

It is easy for desperation to cloud your judgment and apply for any job advertised, even if it is not right for you. However, more often than not this will end up being a waste of time.
As a strategy, we would always recommend applying to fewer, more specific jobs, rather than mass applying to as many positions as possible. Think quality not quantity!
Be honest with yourself about the positions you are applying for – are you qualified enough? Can you do the job? Do you feel you will fit in with the company culture? Do your skills match their needs, based on their job description?


Ask for help

If you are struggling with your job search, there are lots of highly valuable sources offering advice and guidance which can fast-track the process. These might include:

Recruitment agencies:

Agencies like CK not only help you find the best jobs tailored to your experience, they also help you market yourself better by reviewing your CV and cover letters, offer advice on interview techniques, and provide you with constructive feedback.

Friends and family:

When we think of networking, we often think of our professional network such as employers, co-workers, LinkedIn connections etc. We bypass the fact that our friends and family might also have useful professional connections. Send an email with a concise message, including a friendly greeting and explain what you are looking for. You might be surprised at who comes back with connections or opportunities.

Careers advice:

There are many websites and sources that offer free careers advice such as The National Careers Service, a publicly funded careers service for adults and young people providing information, advice and guidance on learning, training, career choice, career development, job search, and the labour market.

Here at CK we are specialists in scientific, clinical and technical recruitment. We strive to be the best provider of staffing and outsourcing services for the science and technology community. For expert support with your recruitment needs, please feel free to contact us and we would be happy to help you with your recruitment needs.