Are you in a recruitment process for a new job? If so, it's important to know what employers look for in a good candidate. Of course, things like qualifications, skills and experience are important but that’s not all employers want. If you've already been asked to interview, chances are your CV has already shown that you have the right qualifications, which is why you are being considered. Now, during the interview stage of the process, the hiring manager will be looking for a little more. Employers need to make sure that you will fit in at their organisation, match their company values and essentially be a part of their team. If you're feeling nervous about a job interview, it's good to remember these 5 things employers look for in an employee... 1. Positive Attitude Being upbeat and positive can make a huge difference. If you are a happy and positive person, a hiring manger will be confident that you will make friends easily and you will enjoy the work you do and even motivate others with your positivity. Being positive can make you approachable and make people want to work with you. 2. Dependable Employers seek someone who is trustworthy and reliable. It’s a crucial character trait in the workplace. Being on time for work and trusted to complete important tasks is what an employer expects from all their employees. 3. Enthusiastic About Learning A person who is eager to work and learn is very attractive to an employer. Showing you have a strong work ethic and are interested in upskilling and improving is exactly what any hiring manger wants. If you're interested in the company and want to invest in learning, your employer will be just as eager to invest in you too. 4. Quick Thinking A person who can react well when things go wrong is very useful to an employer. Having the ability to think on your feet in difficult situations can be of great benefit to any team/company. 5. Works Well In Teams Getting along with people is a huge plus. Maintaining good working relationships and working well with others shows you are a team player and fit with a company’s culture.
Changing career takes a considerable amount of commitment and determination. If you feel that you want to change careers, ask yourself these 10 questions to see if a career change is right for you… What Do You Want? Self-assessment is the first step in making any big life decision. The only way to make an informed decision about a career change is to learn about yourself first. Understanding you and your work-related values, interests, personality type and aptitudes will help you know exactly what it is you want. Do You Have What It Takes? If you’re interested in pursuing a new career, you need to do your research. Look at the job market, understand what hiring managers want, what the expectations are and the skills you need. It is important to recognise what is expected before diving right in. It’s important to note that you may also be expected to work unpaid, in an interning capacity, until you gain enough experience. What Can You Offer? If you choose this new career what exactly is it that you can bring to the table? Do you have transferable skills or industry knowledge? If not, you may need to return to education before you can move into this new field. Who Do You Know Who Can Help? Even though you want a career change, the network you’ve made in your current role could help. Look at who you know and see if anyone has advice in the industry you’re interested in. LinkedIn is a great place to start. Is There Long-Term Prospects? Can you go far with this career? Changing career is a big step and you need to figure out in advance if it is worth it. Ask yourself where you see yourself in 5 years with this career and 10 years and so on. If the career path isn’t clear, you may need to reconsider. Is This A Good Time? Timing is everything. You need to take a look at where you are in your life and decide whether changing careers is feasible. It’s a huge commitment, so you need to be sure the timing is right as well as the career. Is It Affordable? Changing careers may involve taking a pay cut. You could have 10 years’ experience working, but if it’s not in the field you’re going into you can’t expect to be on the same salary. Can you afford to earn less or even nothing at all, because you may be required to do an unpaid internship? This is probably the most important question of them all but it’s important to remember that higher earnings don't necessarily mean job satisfaction. Do You Have Your Family & Friends Support? Having the support of your family and friends can be crucial in succeeding with a career change. Having that bit of encouragement can really help. Also, it’s important to listen to the people close to you. If your family and friends aren’t being supportive of your decision, you may be making the wrong one. Are You Willing To Return to Education? Qualifications aren’t everything but they are important to hiring mangers. If you don’t have transferable skills and industry experience, returning to education may be the only way to move into a new career. Are Your Expectations Realistic? Weigh up the facts. Can you really do this? Talk it through with someone you trust. Sometimes when you really want something it’s easy to get carried away in excitement. Don’t rush into it and make sure the change is possible. Transitioning to a new career is difficult, but if you are confident it’s the right decision for you and you persevere, you should have no trouble succeeding.
We asked some of our recruitment consultants to tell us their key tips on what makes a good CV. Here’s 20 things to keep in mind before sending out your CV: 1. Details & Numbers The more detail you give about your work history the easier it is for a recruiter/hiring manager to understand your experience, and know if you are suited to a particular role. Fiona Joyce, Recruitment Consultant, Office Support says “Noting ‘Administration’ for example isn’t enough, you need to include the type, volume, systems used, deadlines/timeframes – go into detail. For example, admin support could be basic paper work (scanning, filing, shredding) or it could be high level admin support (diary/calendar management, correspondence and document preparation, report writing etc.). Not going into enough detail is selling yourself short and letting the competition supersede you.” 2. Specific Timeframes Hiring managers like to see exact timeframes on CVs. Dates on your CV should include month to month time frames, as opposed to year to year. Often people will avoid putting dates on a CV or will try to be vague about the dates. This can look suspicious to employers. It’s better to be honest and give reasons for any gaps instead of trying to hide them. 3. Achievements It’s a good idea to include what you’ve achieved in your professional career. Awards and certificates are very impressive to hiring managers. However, they don’t always have to be job related awards, they can be personal achievements too e.g. completed a marathon, raised money for charity, served on a community or student committee etc. It’s good to show on your CV that you achieve goals outside of work. 4. Key Skills The key skills area of your CV is very important. Alan McLoughlin, Recruitment Consultant, Insurance and Financial Services says, “Don’t just list your competencies. List your skills and beside each one, explain how you gained that particular skill”. 5. Professional Development If you’ve completed any online courses or have studied independently, please be sure to include this information on your CV. Hiring managers love to see this as it shows both an enthusiasm for learning as well as the ability to work off your own initiative. 6. Clarity & Structure Structure your CV so it is easy to read. You can do this by: Arranging your work history and education separately according to date and in chronological order. Keep education and work history in separate sections of the CV. Don’t use borders or tables or strange fonts or pictures/images. Always apply in word format, in standard text form. The formatting should be uniform and consistent If you’re using bullet points, they should all be the same style and alignment You should be consistent in your formatting. If you’re using italics font for each job title and bold font for the name for each organisation you worked for, make sure you do this consistently. 7. Leave Out Graphics & Images Leave out fancy graphics, complicated formatting and decorative pictures where possible. They just tend to make it more difficult for employers to read. Keep things simple, clear and detailed. 8. Visa/Employment Permit Status For foreign Nationals your visa Status is crucial! You must specify what visa you have and if there is an expiry date. 9. Professional Profile – Don’t waffle Your professional profile should be at start of your CV. Use this section to outline your technical expertise, years of industry experience and qualifications etc. Try to avoid saying things like, “I am hard-working and reliable”. 10. Bullet Points Always use bullet points where you can. In your duties section and skills section put the information in bullet points rather than a paragraph. This makes it a lot easier to read and for hiring managers to see quickly and clearly what experience you have. 11. Contact Details You may just assume that sending your CV via email is enough for an employer to contact you but often CV’s get forwarded around and saved on hard drives so the original email you sent could get lost along with your contacts. Always put your email address and contact number on your CV. 12. Targets Achieved Someone with a track record of achieving goals really impresses managers. Setting and achieving targets shows self-motivation and determination. If you have achieved targets in your work experience make sure to include them in your CV. 13. Practical Skills Make sure to list any practical skills like having a driving license, manual handling certificate or fork lift licence. These skills could be really attractive to an employer, depending on the role you are applying for. 14. Tailor your CV to every Job Tailor your CV to the job you’re applying for. Don’t regurgitate the same CV for every job. Use the job specifications to guide what you should be mentioning on your CV. 15. Extra-Curricular Activities If you play sport or music etc. (and you have space on you CV), include your hobbies because they can make you stand out. Alan McLoughlin, Recruitment Consultant, Insurance and Financial Services said “I once read a CV that had “I enjoy hill walking” 3 times. Don’t use irrelevant hobbies when you can use that space for something more useful”. 16. Personal Details – Not too Personal It’s good to show your personality through your CV and give the hiring manager a sense of who you are but some personal details are too personal for your CV. Avoid putting your relationship status on your CV e.g. married, divorced. It’s irrelevant information and it could affect you negatively. 17. Be Aware of Length The CV is a recap, not a life story. Keep it brief but comprehensive. Two pages is the norm, but three is OK. Conor Ryan, Recruitment Consultant, Construction says, “If you’re running out of space, you’re either being too specific and waffling or you’re going too far back in your experience. The rule of thumb is that you don’t need to detail roles any further back than 10 – 15 years. Your cut off point will depend on how many roles you’ve had.” 18. Balance the Info Make sure you’re giving the right amount of information for each role. You’d expect to see more duties listed for a role that you’ve spent more time in. Always keep the information on your CV proportionally balanced. 19. Tools & Systems You should outline which tools/software you’ve worked with previously as most HR managers will run a keywords search so it is important they are listed on your CV. 20. Double Check Always double-check that the information provided is correct. It’s the last step because it’s always the last thing you do, but it doesn’t make it the least important! You could have followed all the above steps correctly but you left a typo on the first page all because you forgot to double check. Following all the steps but forgetting to double check it could cost you a job. Always double check! We hope you found these tips helpful. If you think you need help with your CV or job searching, you can upload your CV to our website and let one of our 125 specialist recruitment consultants give you the help you need.
We asked our specialist recruitment consultants across a number of industries what they think are the most crucial dos and don’ts for candidate CVs. Dos Structure Good CV structure is so important. You can do this by: Arranging your work history and education separately according to date and in chronological order. Keep education and work history in separate sections of the CV. Don’t use borders or tables or strange fonts or pictures/images. Always apply in word format, in standard text form. This might not apply to marketing jobs but I know financial services do not enjoy it. The formatting should be uniform and consistent. If you’re using bullet points, they should all be the same style and alignment. You should follow an obvious pattern. If you’re using Italics for role and Bold for organisation, you need to do this for every role. Details The more detail you give about your work history the easier it is for a recruiter/hiring manager to understand your experience, and know if you are suited to a particular role. Jobseekers often put just one word to describe their duties and when you consider the competition out there this isn’t enough detail to stand out. Statistics, facts and figures are essential. If you hit targets, made sales, achieved goals, employers want to see the exact numbers and/or percentages. Achievements Include what you’ve achieved in your professional career. Awards and certificates are very impressive to hiring managers. However, they don’t always have to be job related awards, they can be personal achievements too e.g. completed a marathon, raised money for charity, served on a community or student committee etc. It’s good to show on your CV that you’re outgoing and achieve goals outside of work. Extra Curriculars If you play sport or music etc. include this on your CV. This will make you stand out. However, don’t include ridiculous hobbies. Charity work and current hobbies are acceptable, but don’t put down hobbies for the sake of it, like “I enjoy walking”. Use that space on your CV for something more relevant. Don’ts Don’t Leave Gaps Hiring managers like to see exact timeframes on CVs. Dates on your CV should include month to month time frames, as opposed to year to year. Often people will avoid putting dates on a CV or will try to be vague about the dates. This can look suspicious to employers. It’s better to be honest and give reasons for any gaps instead of trying to hide them. Don’t Include Graphics Leave out fancy graphics, complicated formatting and decorative pictures where possible. They just tend to make it more difficult for employers to read. Keep things simple, clear and detailed. Don’t Forget to Include Contact Details You may just assume that sending your CV via email is enough for an employer to contact you but often CVs get forwarded around and saved on hard drives/desktops so the original email you sent could get lost along with your contact email address. Always put your email address and contact number on your CV. Don’t use Personal Details It’s good to show your personality through your CV and give the hiring manager a sense of who you are but some personal details are too personal for your CV. Avoid putting your relationship status on your CV e.g. married, divorced. It’s irrelevant information and it could affect you negatively.
Searching for jobs is a job in itself. It can be challenging and time consuming but there are ways of making the task a little easier. If you are planning on finding a new job, Sigmar Recruitment has devised a list of top 5 job searching tips to help you in your pursuit of the perfect job. 1. Get Employers to Come to You Uploading your CV online can increase your chances of being seen by employers. Most job searching websites like; Jobs.ie and Monster.ie allow jobseekers to create an online profile using their CV content. This online profile can then be viewed by potential employers and recruiters. There is also an option when you create your account to highlight specific jobs and organisations you’re interested in and receive email notifications when positions become available. This is useful for any jobseeker as it does the hard work for you and allows relevant job vacancies to come directly to you. 2. Update Your LinkedIn Profile The first thing you should do before applying for a job is ensure your LinkedIn profile is up to date with all your relevant work experience. Often employers will search for you online while reviewing your CV. It’s important to make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date as it could be the reason you get called for an interview. Extra Tip: If you are unemployed and don’t have an issue with making your employment status public, you may want to update your LinkedIn profile headline to something like, “Currently seeking (insert type of role here) in (insert location here)”. This will let others know that you are currently job seeking. 3. Target the Right Companies It’s important to know what type of company you are looking for. This all comes down to your personal preference. Knowing what you want will make it easier. Would you rather be; “a big fish in a little pond” or “a little fish in a big pond”? By eliminating the type of companies you don’t want in your search, you will narrow down the available jobs suited to you. Extra Tip: If you know of a company you think you would like to work for, search for reviews of the company online. Glassdoor.com lets you search millions of reviews of companies that are all posted anonymously by employees. This is a great way to get an honest appraisal of organisations you’re considering applying to or considering accepting an offer for. 4. Network Use the contacts you have to enquire about available jobs and get the word out that you’re looking for a new position. Often jobs can be found through people we know so it’s a good idea to get in touch with any relevant contacts you may have. Building on your current network can also give you an advantage in your job search. Attending conferences and job expos are a great way to network and find out about career opportunities. 5. Keep Positive Finding the perfect job isn’t easy and may take time. As rejections start coming in, it’s important to always try to stay positive. It’s only natural for you to feel deflated when things aren’t going according to plan but try to use the rejection as a motivation to work harder. The right job is out there for you and you will find it if you stay persistent and optimistic. Don’t have the time to job search? If you find yourself not being able to find the time to search for jobs properly, you can contact us in Sigmar Recruitment. You can upload your details and CV to our website, create an online profile and one of our 125 specialist recruitment consultants will contact you to discuss potential job opportunities.
The supply chain industry in Ireland continued to grow in the last 12 months with a number of multinational companies setting up EMEA manufacturing or virtual headquarters across the country from Galway to Cork and Athlone to Dublin. Candidates are coming to the Irish market in large numbers, in particular experienced Irish supply chain professionals are returning from Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. This in turn increases supply of candidates but they are being more selective of the jobs and the salaries they require. There is currently a gap in the market between what companies are paying and what candidates can now demand. In 2016 salaries increased in the pharmaceutical, medical devices and food industries, however companies with exposure to Brexit in terms of exports will keep salaries constant as they navigate the ramifications of the changing political landscape. After speaking with senior managers and directors all year about developments at their companies a number of key trends have emerged. Real-Time Tracking for Consumers is Paramount for Customer Engagement For any company that is supplying produce or specific products directly to consumers, real time tracking is essential to keep the customer engaged. With the world being “smaller” and more connected, consumers have a myriad of choice when it comes to spending their money. This leads to impulse buys and the expediency of a speedy delivery, is essential. This is making the visibility of tracking technology used by the company directly or third party logistics (3pl) providers vital. Plan, Plan, Plan – Improvements are Always Needed Brexit, currency fluctuations, increased tariffs, geographical disruption – supply shocks are everywhere. 2016 was a year of turbulence and change with most of the aforementioned occurrences unpredicted at the start of the year. However, regular planning or even reactive planning to changing market conditions was essential for nearly every company dealing with a changing geo-political environment in Ireland, the EU and beyond. Flexible Supply Chains V Lean Supply Chains The focus over the past number of years, and rightly so, has been to champion Lean principles throughout the supply chain. This has led to companies reducing costs and trying to improve processes on a regular basis. Between supply shocks and the changing global economic and political landscape, companies can be left with major stock shortages affecting key parts of their supply chain. With consumers being more transient, keeping or maintaining service delivery through a period of disruption is key. More and more companies have set up excess stock facilities and depots for excess raw materials to insure continuation of supply instead of irreparable damage to their brand over the long term period. With expansions and new system implementations rampant as companies seek to increase market share and deliver a better service offering to consumers, supply chain experience to improve and create a flexible supply chain for a European marketplace is being sought in the form of senior contractors for certain durations from 2 months to 2 years. For those in Supply Chain or interested in getting into it, courses to upskill in a different ERP system would be hugely beneficial the movement evermore to Big Data and its usages across the supply chain function. Supply chain qualifications as a primary degree are becoming more in demand, putting certain candidates at a disadvantage therefore bettering a qualification is advisable. Undertaking a supply chain course, particularly one with classroom participation, thus drawing from other students’ supply chain experience would be advisable as more and more companies are looking for people to have a supply chain qualification on top of their initial degree.
There is extensive demand in Ireland for speakers of multiple European languages with German, Dutch, Swedish and French being the most commonly requested. The flow of companies basing themselves in Ireland to deal with their European customer base is constant and this is predominantly in sales, customer service and technical support. Staff retention is a constant challenge for these companies, especially for junior multilingual roles. Candidates will often move without hesitation for an increase in salary and they have little or no loyalty to the organisation they are working for. With regards to senior roles candidate retention is highly prized and can be obtained through benefits, pay rises and changes in job role that the person may not be able to get elsewhere. The multilingual sector is coming under increasing pressure as more and more companies move here and seek to draw on the same pool of candidates. The demand is fast outstripping supply, particularly when it comes to languages such as German and Dutch. One solution to this problem is to source candidates internationally and bring them to Dublin. A challenge with this relocation however is that it is only typically offered in specialised cases or for particularly senior roles. Location is a massive draw for a lot of candidates in the multilingual sector and there are huge challenges for candidates new to Dublin to find suitable accommodation. Offices on the outskirts of the city (Park West/Citywest) are becoming more prevalent due to the lack of office space in the city centre but candidates have a preference for their work to be based in the city which creates additional challenges on attraction and retention. This is something that is likely to turn but will be slow. Mid to high level sales roles have seen exponential rises in both basic salaries and on target earnings. A successful salesperson with 3 years’ experience could be earning €40-45k basic with potential to earn up to €90-100k. Outside of this, marginal increases for junior roles is the order of the day, across numerous types of roles. Essentially, salary comes down to supply and demand, the fewer people based here who speak the language the higher your salary potential. Foe employees in the industry a top tip is to develop your technical skill set – what software packages have you used? Are you familiar with terminology in online advertising? There are lots of short term courses out there to upskill yourself and sometimes a little bit of research will answer any questions you may have prior to any interview. If you want to stand out from the crowd, then you need to show your knowledge!
The market trend in the sales industry at present, is that a lot of companies are hiring, which offers more opportunities to graduates. By far and away the industry with the most marked increase is the construction and technical sector. After a number of hard years for both clients and candidates, there is a tentative upsurge in this area. Numerous companies are now returning to the market, hiring additional staff. In the IT sector there has been very strong growth in inside sales functions with many businesses investing in graduates or junior sales people, so that they can grow them through the ranks. Domestic IT companies have returned to the market with field based sales roles becoming more common after years of cutbacks. Things are looking bright for the Irish FMCG Market for the rest of2017, particularly for many smaller companies and SMEs. The rise in popularity for diverse ranges of produce such as artisan food and craft beers has led to the creation of many more local operators within the industry. Demonstrated sales experience is key. In interviews candidates are being quizzed on their figures and achievements and an inability to demonstrate these clearly makes the difference between getting the role or not. There is a slight disparity across all industries in relation to what candidates are seeking and what is on offer from businesses. Companies want to hire people who can generate new business, whilst candidates are seeking more senior account manager type roles, having ridden out the recession years. This puts a strain on the market as business development roles get turned down in favour of more appealing account manager positions. Salaries in the ICT sector have seen the biggest increase as multinational companies with deep pockets have been driving entry level and experienced salaries up. This has put pressure on smaller companies who can’t compete at those levels. Irish companies need to realise, that they are now competing with multinational companies for talent, as graduates from all backgrounds work in Google, Twitter etc. If you as an employer want someone with 12 months sales experience – so does half the country so be prepared to compete for them. Another factor that is affecting salaries is living costs. A lot of people are struggling with living costs when working in sales roles, especially if commission or bonuses are not paid on a monthly basis. If as an employer you are offering a low base and an annual bonus, you run the risk of failing to attract quality staff or losing them to employers who reward their staff more frequently. Those looking for a career within sales need to get online and make sure your LinkedIn profile is current and relevant to what you want to do next. Every recruiter and company out there is going to look you up online and they want to see someone who is professional and connected regardless of the industry they are in.