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Last year, the Recruitment & Employment Confederation published its April report on jobs.  (www.rec.uk.com/press/news/645)

It makes for fairly gloomy reading...

...Recruitment consultancies reported another drop in vacancies during April...

...Average salaries for people placed in permanent jobs continued to fall in April, albeit at the slowest rate in three months...

...Hourly rates of pay for staff in temporary/contract employment also declined at the least marked pace since January...

...The gap between job vacancy supply and demand widened further in April, driven by high levels of redundancies, coupled with fewer job opportunities....

Unfortunately, this isn’t another case of ‘lies, lies & damn statistics’, as this report validates what I have been hearing on the grapevine & from the recruitment consultants in my network . Whilst there is some movement on the lower paid roles, there is a currently a dearth of £50k+ vacancies. (And a herd of recruitment consultants chasing every prospect!)

 So, let’s reflect on what this report is saying  - at the moment we have the lowest level of vacancies for 11 years (particularly at the top end of the labour market), lower salaries when you do get a job and loads more people chasing each job vacancy. Mmmm, definitely not great, particularly if you have been unfortunate enough to get laid off in the last 6 months. But, seeing the positive side, it is a very good time to be hiring!

So, how do you get yourself noticed? And, are there any jobs out there?

The answer is yes, there are jobs out there – and it is possible to find one that matches your salary expectations. The two questions that every job hunter are asking, currently, ‘how do you find that job?’ – and make yourself stand out from the big pile of CVs on the recruiting manager’s desk?

Read on for The Efficiency Coach’s top tips to help you stand out from the crowd and quickly find your next job.

1. Write down your career goals in 1-2 short sentences

Lots of people (including recruitment consultants) are going to be asking how they can help you, or what you are looking for from your next role. By articulating simply your career goals, e.g. “I am looking for an in-house finance manager role in local government or the not-for-profit sector”, you will achieve more through your network & well-meaning offers of help.

 2. Think creatively about your skills and experiences & how you can use them

In my experience, most people’s first reaction, (after the shock has subsided), to learning they are going to be job hunting is to brush up their CV, and then look for a similar role in a similar industry. But, what happens if there are no vacancies in a similar role in a similar industry – for example investment banking or corporate finance at the moment? Or you want to do something completely different! This is when you have to think creatively about what you can do (rather than what you think you are qualified to do), and who could help you achieve your career goals.

 3. Be systematic in your networking

Set up an excel spreadsheet detailing all your personal and business contacts. Rank (High, medium, low) them by the probability that they will be help you find your next role. Aim to personally speak (not just a round robin e-mail) with the high priority contacts fortnightly, medium priority contacts monthly and low priority contacts every six weeks. On your spreadsheet, record when you speak to people, and always ask them the question – ‘who do you know that I should speak to help me achieve my career aims’. Don’t write any contact off – your Auntie’s sister Sarah, may not on first sight be your best prospect to help you, but she may live next to a director of a company needing your skills.

4. Focus on the unpublished job market

At least 80% of all vacancies are never published. It’s true! The more senior a role, the more likely that the role will never be advertised externally. In the job seeking world, it is more who you know, than what you know.  Plus, over 80% of candidates predominantly focus their efforts on the 20% of vacancies that form the published job market

 5. Print out your CV on high quality paper, and send it through the post to the hiring manager.

Employers receive 90%+ CVs through e-mail. Consequently, your CV is more likely to be read if you send it through the post to the hiring manager, rather than e-mail it. Do take the time to find out the correct details for the hiring manager’s name, job title and business address.

6. Promote yourself to boss of your own business

Then, only you can make yourself redundant! The rewards and the risks are significantly higher when you become your own boss, but now is actually a good time to start up a business. Why? Well, if you can succeed in a recession you will excel when the economy picks up... If you have had the luxury of some redundancy money, this nicely bridges the gap between your last pay check and your business actually earning money.

 8. Work together with other job hunters

The highest probability of success for job hunters is to work together and focus on the unpublished job market. It’s the power (and the support) of a team that once again makes a difference.

 9. Do the basics well

By this I mean all the stuff that other job-hunting articles will tell you to do... i.e. prepare for your interviews, have a well written, error-free CV...

10. Work with a career coach

Research has shown that most coaching relationships yield between 5-7 times a return on the initial investment. A career coach, such as one from The Efficiency Coach, will help you identify your career goals, identify and implement an effective job strategy, and most importantly support you all the way to your next career move.

The Efficiency Coach specialises in working with professionals who need a new career challenge – either through necessity (i.e. redundancy) or personal choice. If you need help to achieve your career goals, give us a call (01234 48 0123) we would love to hear from you – you’ve nothing to lose, as the first coaching session is free. If you've enjoyed reading this blog, take a look at our website -

www.theefficiencycoach.co.uk

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I help professionals, mostly accountants and lawyers become the Go-To-Expert. After joining BDO LLP in 2004, I have now almost clocked up ten years working predominantly with accountants helping them achieve their career and business goals. Unusually for someone with an Engineering Degree, I accidentally became a writer and used my knowledge on social media to write the current best-selling and award-winning book on networking, The FT Guide To Business Networking. (over 100 five star reviews on amazon) In 2012, the book I always wanted to write, 'How to make partner and still have a life' was published. In March 2014, my next book, 'The Go-To-Expert: How to build your reputation, differentiate yourself from the competition and win business' is published. People frequently talk about me as someone who really knows her stuff – which may be the reason I have, over the last decade, worked with over 300 partners, coached and trained over 2000 professionals at every level of the UK’s most ambitious professional practices. 

I am honoured to have been asked to judge the British Accountancy Awards in 2011 and 2012. I am a member of the Accountant's Club Global Advisory Panel, and write regularly on practice management issues for CCH.

Myself, and Jon (my co-director) are approved Growth Accelerator Coaches. This means that we can if you are eligible, through the Growth Accelerator scheme, help you get some coaching funded by the scheme. Click here for more details to see whether you are eligible for the scheme.

The types of work I am currently helping my small professional practice clients with, includes:

1) Helping a £2m t/o practice grow to £4m by restructuring the firm and helping the management team step up 

2) Working with a £1m t/o practice to grow to £2m by generating more leads, and getting more work from existing clients

3) Enabling a £300k t/o practice grow to £1m by helping it sort out it's profitability by adding in efficient systems and processes, and increasing the quality of the  lead generation by marketing to a niche

4) Facilitating the growth of a one man band practice into a 3 person practice by helping increase the lead generation and conversion rate of leads, plus keeping the practice owner accountable to his goals.

The Excedia Group was founded by myself and Jon Baker to bring clarity, perspective and knowledge to help our clients achieve their business goals. We specialise in working with highly technical individuals, typically lawyers and accountants, helping them to get out of their comfort zone and build a profitable and sustainable client portfolio whilst handling the challenges of leading a business. 

My work splits into about 50% Executive & Business Coaching with Partners & potential partners, with the rest split between training, consultancy and writing.

My articles & quotes regularly appear in the press, e.g. FT, Guardian, Accountancy Age, Accounting Today, Economia, ACCA's publications. I regularly blog at Partnership Potentialventure-NowJoined up networking and How to make partner.

To book me for a speaking engagement please contact my PR Agency, Meerkat PR, on 020 8563 0182, and ask for David Stoch. For any other work related enquiries, please contact me directly.

My clients have included: Deloitte LLP, KPMG LLP, BDO LLP, Haines Watts, MSI Global Alliance, UK200 group, Macintyre Hudson LLP amongst others.