For many, the impression of switching industries is that it’s no problem to do when you’re at the early stages of your career but the longer you remain in one industry the harder it becomes to make that switch! And yes while it may be more difficult it doesn’t mean it’s not doable even if you are a senior executive who’s spent your entire career in one industry. The key to switching industries is making your skills, competencies and experience relatable. A mistake many jobseekers make is they write their CV without thinking about the job and the company to which they are applying. They fill their CV with acronyms, lingo and jargon that is relevant to their current industry, yet many of these expressions will be of no relevance to a different industry. So how do you sell yourself to a different industry? Research your target industry Make a list of potential industries you would like to work in and research the following; -Is there a demand for professionals of your ability? -Can you find job adverts of positions that you could fit in this industry? Once you’ve decided on an industry that you feel you can add value to, you need to know everything possible about what’s going on in the industry and at each company you apply to. Read industry blogs, learn the lingo and get an understanding of the market. Read job descriptions and find the commonalities between your current role and your target role. Talk to people in your target industry If you can talk to people in your target industry – do! Check your LinkedIn connections and see if any of your network, work in this industry. See how your accomplishments and skills compare to someone doing your target role. Also see how they present their experience, sometimes you could be doing the exact same tasks but they’re called something different in a different industry. Also make connections with people in your target industry. Attend conferences, join LinkedIn groups and connect. Put yourself out there and express an interest in changing industries, you’d be surprised what leads you can get by simply talking to people. Sell your skills Most people do have skills that can transfer fairly easily from one industry to another but you need to spell that out to employers. The key to moving industry is packaging your current skills so they’re appropriate for the industry you’re targeting. Find a job description of a position you’d like, print it, read it and highlight every matching skill/requirement/keyword you have – these keywords are what you need to emphasise in your CV. Show interest and enthusiasm Finally and perhaps most importantly, show enthusiasm for a new industry. Packaging your skills the right way in your CV will get you an interview – but when it comes to the interview you need to show passion and determination to beat your competition. Changing industries is not as hard as you may think. It just requires some strategic and creative thinking!
With the prevalence of social media and technology in job searches these days, it’s easy to focus all your attention on crafting a killer LinkedIn profile and forget about the basics of finding a job. Whilst social networks and technology are great aids to finding a job, it is ultimately the basics that will bring you success. Focus your job search With access to countless job boards online and with the urge to find a job asap, it is easy to apply to every job you see. But what’s the point in aimlessly applying for jobs you may not be interested in or able to take? You’re ultimately only going to become disheartened in your search when you don’t achieve the results you’ve hoped for. So the first thing you need to do is know what you want. Know the industry, know the field, know the type of work you want, know the locations that suit you and know your salary expectations. Once you know all this, you can now focus your search. Tailor your Applications Your job application is your introduction to an employer and your first impression. Therefore why send the same generic CV to each vacancy? Take the time to research the employer and the role and tailor your CV and cover letter to each vacancy you are applying to. Also always ask someone to read over your CV, Cover Letter and Application Form for spelling and grammatical errors. Be Prepared Prepare and practice thoroughly for any interviews you may get. Do role plays with a friend and come up with answers to all the common interview questions before hand so that the interviewer does not throw you off course. The more comfortable you are with being interviewed, the more relaxed you will be on the day.
No doubt about it, the job market is a tough place to be right now. While that is enough to get you down, don’t let it derail your goals of landing a great job or getting yourself a promotion. No matter what you do for a living, chances are that with a small amount of effort, you can take the education, skills and work experience you already have and make yourself even more marketable. It’s time to make yourself stand out from the crowd and make your boss or potential future employers take notice of you! Continuous upgrade of knowledge and skills Learning does not stop after you finish school/college. If you view learning as a life-long process, you will in the long run be more marketable than those who do not. Strive to find ways to upgrade yourself. Seize opportunities to learn new skills. Classes and courses can be especially helpful if it teaches you a skill that you don’t already have. But learning can be as simple as taking on a new project at work, or reading an article about a new development in your industry. Become technologically savvy The rapid advancements in IT affect almost every profession, some more so than others. Whether you’re planning a career in health care, law, engineering, sales, marketing, HR or financial services, it is essential that you understand how technology influences your line of work. Technologically savvy employees can more easily comprehend how advances in technology enable them to perform their job duties more efficiently. To accomplish this, make sure you have fundamental knowledge of computer operations, e-commerce, and software applications that relate to your field. Even one or two computer and internet-related classes can significantly add to your knowledge base. Develop skills that are transferable Transferable skills are not specific to a single role. These can be adapted to use in any job such as communications skills, leadership and management skills, planning and research skills, teamwork and interpersonal skills and self-management skills. The best way to gain transferable skills is through experience so put yourself into situations where you can build on these skills. By doing something as simple as volunteering to be chairperson of your local sports club for example, you will be improving your leadership and communication skills as you take charge and chair committee meetings. Promote yourself through social networking sites Us Irish have never been the best for blowing our own trumpet but social networks are a great opportunity to do just so and get yourself noticed. As we’ve mentioned before social networks are being used more and more frequently by recruiters and HR managers alike so just make sure you’ve cleaned up all your online profiles. Also try to widen your network of contacts which will give you a greater chance to be noticed by potential employers. Volunteer for assignments Be bold! Seek out special projects at work even if it falls outside the boundaries of your job description. New projects can be a great learning opportunity (that you can add to your CV) and it will really impress your boss that you’ve taken the initiative to get involved in the project. The work and time invested in the assignment will pay off later, whether in the form of a performance-based bonus, a glowing recommendation, or a new position. Stand out during interviews Do not take job interviews lightly, whatever your years of experience might be. In fact, the higher the position, the higher the expectations. Be prepared to be asked about ideas and improvements you can bring to the table. Most of the time, candidates that succeed are the ones that impress the interviewers with ideas that can be executed right away as though they are already part of the organization. Any time you apply for a job, make sure you can tell a story about your career that shows why you would be the best person for the job.
LinkedIn, or should I say “a recruiter’s best friend”, is one of the best tools any jobseeker can avail of when looking for a new job. With millions of users new members signing up every second there is no denying LinkedIn is “the” professional network of choice. So have you signed up yet? And are you taking full advantage of its features? Many LinkedIn users sign up, upload their CV, expecting the job offers to roll in and are then surprised when they don’t receive an email. LinkedIn has evolved from just being an online resume site to a comprehensive networking and personal branding site that you need to become more active on to fully avail of opportunities. Here are five things you can do right now to use LinkedIn more effectively. 1. Upload a profile picture According to LinkedIn, people are eleven times more likely to view your profile if you have a profile picture. But before you get out your iPhone for a selfie or crop that photo from Saturday night, remember this is a professional network so best to use a simple professional headshot. If your company takes staff headshots, see if you can use this for your profile. 2. Make a statement with your headline Your headline appears whenever your profile comes up in a search so it needs to be compelling to catch the eye of Hiring Managers and Recruiters. Make sure it is catchy and keyword rich so potential employers can find you in the first place but at the same time grab their attention. Include information about how you can help your connections, rather than simply stating your position. 3. Fill out your profile completely I cannot stress enough how important it is to complete all sections of your profile particularly your summary, education and skills! A common mistake we see here at Sigmar is that jobseekers fill out their job titles and dates of employment but don’t provide detail on the roles they’ve had. This leaves us or other potential employers with no insight as to whether you have the relevant experience we are looking for. Filling out all sections will provide a compelling overview of who you are and increase your chances of being approached directly by employers. 4. Add media Make your profile more visual and engaging by adding media. You can add photos, videos, documents, presentations and links to make your profile stand out more. If you’re a graphic designer, upload a portfolio of your work. If you write a blog upload a link to direct people to where it is online. If you’ve spoken at conferences, upload videos/mp3s of your speeches. If you’re a Sales Representative, upload a presentation covering what you can provide clients. The possibilities are endless. To add these, click Edit Profile from the menu at the top. Under your Summary, Experience, and Education profile sections is an icon: a square with a (+) symbol. Click this button to upload a file or add a link to something you want to share. 5. Share updates The less frequently you update, the more your profile will look stale and inactive. Set a goal to share/like/comment one item a week. Share industry news and tips or engage with industry conversation to present yourself as a thought leader in your field. LinkedIn has become one of the best content sharing sites around, so by using it actively not only will you be presenting yourself as a thought-leader but you will be staying on top of what’s happening in your industry right now. So what are you waiting for? Get updating now and see yourself on the road to a new job in no time!
A sad day at Sigmar HQ today (not really, just a sad day for me), Betsy (my first car) is off to the scrapyard. I was driving along the motorway at the weekend minding my own business, when all of a sudden; Betsy coughed, spluttered and died. To this point, I’d never broken down before, so being a typical girl I rang my dad for help (oh the shame) as I genuinely didn’t know who to turn to when Betsy stalled. Now before you think I’ve lost the plot, blogging about the passing of my car – the whole situation got me thinking about the people I turn too when I need help. And for anyone that is in a job they’re unhappy with who do you turn to when your career has stalled and what do you do? A career stall is not a nice place to be, you won’t even notice you’ve stalled until one day it hits you that you no longer know where you’re heading. You’ll feel like a lost sheep – that hunger and drive you once had for your job is gone and you don’t know where to turn to for help. The sad part is that once you’ve disengaged from your role, it becomes very hard to perform well and even harder to motivate yourself. So what do you do – do you aimlessly look in the rear view mirror, hoping for someone to notice you’re in need of help? No! You need to take action! Service your Career Firstly like servicing your car, give your career a check to see how you’re doing. Don’t just say you hate your job, figure out exactly what’s bothering you so you can figure out how to deal with it. Are you run ragged from 70 hour weeks or are you bored off your tree? Maybe you feel you’re not getting the recognition you deserve or maybe you’re just not passionate about your job. Also, what elements of your job do you like and dislike? Knowing the reasons you’re unhappy will give you the answers as to what direction you need to take, whether that be changing careers altogether or staying put and resolving current issues. Talk to an expert You wouldn’t chance your arm when it comes to fixing your car yourself (unless you’re a mechanic) so if you’re unsure as to what to do with your career speak to someone you trust. Whether that be a trusted friend who can give you reassurance or your friendly neighbourhood recruiter (shameful plug I know) who can advise you on what areas you are suited to and as to what you need to get your dream job. Research, research, research If you decide on a career change, research, research and research some more as to what you need to do to get there. Do you need to upskill, return to full time education, take an online course? Also what can you afford to do? Get the ball rolling Now that you know what you need to do to get your career motoring again, don’t put off taking action. Put together a plan to resolve any issues you have in your current job or to get a new job. Finally adjust your attitude and try to be positive, negativity is one of the worst traits you can display in your job. Not only is it a bad look to others but it is bringing you down also. It’s easy to lose momentum when trying to making a big change in your life but keep your end goal in mind and hopefully before you know it you’ll be back on the road to career success.
We all turn to our parents regularly for advice whether it’s for cooking/DIY/car tips or health advice. And in general the saying “Mother knows best” rings true but the one area I’d advise you to be wary of parental advice is when it comes to your career. Why you may ask? Well, job searching nowadays is a completely different ballgame compared to when your parents were on the job hunting scene. These days you not only have to do up your CV, you now have online job applications to fill out, psychometric assessments to complete, an online brand to build across social media platforms and multiple career fairs/networking events to attend. It’s a whirlwind of activity that you’re trying to keep on top of, so who do you to turn to for a helping hand?.. It’s natural to ask everyone you know for help and advice regarding interviews and job hunting but often you can get bombarded with conflicting opinions and are left wondering who’s right and who’s leading you down the garden path. Surprisingly, many jobseekers are unaware of the benefits of using a recruitment agency yet (not just saying this because I work for a recruitment agency) we genuinely can help you. Each employer you meet is different and has different ideals of what they’re looking for in a candidate so what worked for one of your friends may not necessarily work for you. At the end of the day, the only opinion that counts is that of your potential next employer and that’s where we come in! Recruiter knows best As recruitment consultants, we know our clients inside out! We know company background, history, industry and culture, we know the role you’re applying for and we probably know who’s interviewing you. We can give you inside knowledge that you wouldn’t have known otherwise if you had approached the company yourself. We know CVs, we know interviews, we know assessment centres! We spend all our days screening CVs and conducting interview preps so we’re perfectly placed to advise you on your CV (content and layout) and different interview styles. We’ll also provide you with honest feedback on your interview technique and will advise you on what areas you need to improve. We know the market! Not sure of what direction to take with you career? Let’s talk! All of our consultants not only have years of recruitment experience but are product knowledge specialists in their respective industries. They can advise you on what industries and companies you are most suited to, identify roles you previously may not have considered and advise you on current market trends. We’re YOUR agent! At the end of the day, we’re here to represent you and get the best possible outcome for you. We’ll act as an intermediary between you and an employer and try to get you your desired salary and benefits. So if you’re looking for a career change, get in touch with one of our consultants today and hopefully we can find you your dream career.
At the start of a new year, we review our lives and what we want for the future. Our working life is one of the first places we turn our attention to, and although you might want to make some changes it is often easier said than done. Feeling trapped in a career you don’t enjoy will leave you feeling frustrated and unmotivated. Although you might worry that moving into another field will mean starting over, you could have skills and experience which will enable you to make the transition easier than you think. Identifying these skills can help you find an area where you might be better suited. Jennifer Ward, senior relationship manager at Sigmar Recruitment, says transferable skills are the skills you can use in a variety of positions that can be applied in many different areas. ‘Transferable skills are job capabilities that bring value to many environments, rather than being specific to a given organisation,’ she said. ‘Although you may have learned and practiced them in the context of one job, they can be applied to new job opportunities.’ transferable, or soft, skills include communication, team work, problem solving, leadership and organisational skills. These are different to technical or hard skills which are easy to quantify, such as qualifications, proficiency in a skill or amount of experience. These skills are not restricted to your working life. Transferable skills could be ones you have gained in previous projects, voluntary work, sport or in your home life. ‘Soft skills can be transferable from other roles,’ Ward explains. ‘By developing your CV based around the skills the company is looking for you can make yourself more relevant for a role.’ If you’re still finding it hard to identify your skills, Ward says you should turn to others for help. ‘Recruiters can help by talking through your experiences’ she adds. ‘If you have past work appraisals you can use them to assess your skill set, or have a look at references from previous roles which list your best skills. If you have a good relationship with your past managers you could speak with them to see if they have any suggestions about skills you have missed.’ You can also look online for help, and reading job descriptions can help you see where your own skills are suited. Job descriptions contain a list of skills companies require, so you can look at roles similar to your current position, see what skills are listed, and match them to your own. Metro Herald’s Career Doctor Jane Downes says that people who want to change the field they work in should first identify the skills needed: ‘If someone wants to move into a new field first things first: become your own career detective and find out the skills needed in that field, review job specifications for evidence, speak to others and get informed. then you’ll be in a position to know where your skills gaps lie and do something about it.’ If you find you need to do some further education for your change in career, then Downes suggests up-skilling in the areas where there is a demand. ‘Short professional courses are a great idea. the golden rule is to know the skills in demand and if they’re of interest upskill there. Another good option is to do a short course in international business or innovation or business change. ‘Skills in information technology will always be in demand so ensure you are solid in MS Office and perhaps try to get to advanced stages. ‘Up-skilling shows an employer you are serious and dedicated to learning. Employers want people who are willing to learn,’ says Downes.
Internships are hugely popular in Ireland yet many people are still sceptical of them due to the bad reputation they get – “interns are taken advantage of as free labour” seems to be a very common opinion nationwide however, speaking as someone who undertook a 3 month unpaid internship and secured a full-time paid position at the end, I can only speak highly of the experience I had. Looking back, the reason I undertook an internship was to test the water. I wasn’t 100% sure of my abilities or what career direction I wanted to take and my internship with Sigmar Recruitment gave me the opportunity to try out the business world. I was also in the typical young person seeking job scenario where each job advertisement I saw featured that sentence ‘1-2 years’ experience required’, something I didn’t have. An internship was an opportunity for me to gain this experience and it also gave me a chance to prove myself for a position that I would not have qualified for, had the role been advertised. Now I’m not going to lie, an internship is not easy. I wasn’t getting paid and to top matters off I wasn’t working close to home, in fact I was travelling from Kilkenny to Dublin each day. But in saying that, the on-the-job experience I gained was invaluable. Yes there were times I was stuck doing monotonous tasks but there were also times I was involved in fascinating projects. Being completely honest I didn’t know exactly what I was doing half the time but that’s the purpose of an internship: to learn!! So how did I go from clueless wannabe to landing a job I love? Here’s how: Take it serious The best way to describe an internship is that it’s an extended job interview so adjust your attitude accordingly. No matter how small a task you’re asked to do, do it well. Never act as though a task is too pointless or tedious, it’s all experience that you can add to your CV at the end of the day. And once you’re seen to be competent with the smaller tasks you’ll gradually be given more and more important tasks. Work hard Might seem like an obvious one but genuinely work you socks off. When given a deadline – try and beat it. When given a project – go above and beyond. Exceed expectations wherever possible and leave your manager with a positive impression of you as a worker. Take on as much as you can It’s simple the more you do, the more you have to show for your internship. If at points you find yourself idle, don’t just sit there and wait for your manager to give you tasks, ask for them. Also if you hear of projects taking place that you are interested in, ask if you can help out. Ask Questions Finally don’t be afraid of asking questions! You’re new to the working world and you’re not expected to know everything. If you’re unsure of how to do something, ask for help – how else will you learn?
FIRST impressions count. In life we are constantly judged by the way we dress by friends, strangers and even our mammies. But in the world of work, what you wear plays an important role in how you are perceived by those around you. In the 1980s, work wear was all about power dressing, but the office has become a much more casual environment. This doesn’t mean the dress code has become extinct; but it does vary dramatically in different companies and sectors. Malwina Koperwas, associate director at Sigmar Recruitment, says that first impressions are hard to reverse. ‘Research shows that the first ten to 40 seconds of meeting someone is the most crucial as people instinctively form an opinion from their first impression.’ At the interview stage your attire can have a significant impact on your chances of getting a job, but Koperwas (pictured) says once in a company the way you dress can demand respect from colleagues. ‘Whilst it’s true there may not be a direct link between the length of your tie and the length of your qualifications on your resumé, attention to your attire can tell a recruiter or interviewer a lot about your interest and dedication to landing a position. The better dressed you are, the more respect and attention you’re automatically going to get.’ Koperwas says the way you dress can help move you up the career ladder. ‘Ultimately receiving a promotion will be dependent on your work and achievements, but your image can play a helping hand. As any good salesperson knows it’s easier to make a sale if you mirror a client in subtle ways, this trick can be applied in how you dress. If you dress like those above you, they’ll subconsciously see you as one of them.’ Stylist and founder of Stylefish.ie, Julie Cobbe, says getting the basics right is important at any point in your career. ‘Invest in great basics no matter what level you are at in your job. The trick then is to create lots of different looks around core classics.’ Cobbe says that your dress should be in keeping with your workplace, but that you don’t want to blend in. ‘It is important that you fit in to your surroundings but you don’t want to blend in. This is especially true the higher up the ladder you are’ ‘Dress is seen as more formal for top management and so more than ever it is important to put your stamp on your look. This is where attention to detail comes in. I think great shoes, a handbag, belts and quality over quantity really count.’ Stylist and Off the Rails presenter, Sonya Lennon (left) knows the way someone dresses can have a huge influence on a person’s daily life. ‘The old adage is ‘Dress for the job you want not the one you have.’ I think how we dress is often a snapshot of who we are. If our dress is organised, considered, appropriate and attractive, the chances are, we are too.’ The assumption is that men are subject to less scrutiny than women when it comes to their attire, but Lennon says this isn’t always the case. ‘I think it’s often easier for men to hide beneath the security of a suit. ‘However, many look a little lost on dress down Friday, and fading into the crowd does not a captain of industry make. It is easier for women to make mistakes as there is more choice.’ Realising the importance of appropriate dress for interviews, Lennon decided to bring not-for-profit organisation Dress for Success to Ireland, to help disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Metro Herald http://origin.misc.pagesuite.com/pdfdownload/57e1f1bb-c074-48e5-8be4-3a6d91b83c67.pdf