The recruitment process can be challenging at the best of times. But when your job search is cut short due to unexpected events such as the current health crisis, it can be really hard to keep motivated and maintain momentum.
This is a period of unprecedented uncertainty and while we cannot predict how events will unravel over the coming weeks, it is vital that we stay positive and keep on track with our goals.
From fine-tuning your CV to strengthening your contacts, we offer tips for staying on your career path and maintaining the search for your perfect procurement and supply chain role.
Perfect your CV and cover letter
Even if you have recently worked on your CV and consider it to be as fine-tuned as it can possibly be, there might still be improvements to make.
Try returning to your resume and reading it as if for the first time. When a document is this familiar to you, a task like this isn’t easy so a second pair of eyes is hugely beneficial. Perhaps you can exchange your docs with a friend or colleague and conduct an objective appraisal of one another’s?
Whether or not you were at the application stage already, your CV should always be targeted for each job you have applied for. There just isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution.
Here’s a checklist to help you on your way:
Do your CV and resume demonstrate a thorough understanding of your potential employer’s business, what they are looking for and what the role requires? Mirroring language that they use in the specs can help with this, as can reviewing their website and marketing as well as their sector and competitors in general.
Are your experience and achievements prioritised well? The order should also reflect the wording and focus on the job spec. For example, if the recruiter or company has positioned financial acumen at the top of their requirements, make sure the first statements demonstrate your accomplishments in this area.
Are you using the correct jargon and terminology? Even if you are new to the sector, make sure the language you use is current and appropriate. Don’t be overly technical though. This could be distracting and detract from your pitch.
Are both your CV and cover letter as concise as they can possibly be? Ideally, your CV should only be one or two sides of A4 and your cover letter only one. Include a personal statement at the top of the letter that grabs the attention in just a few sentences, clearly stating your key strengths. You can then hone in on your other attributes and accomplishments and demonstrate the industry and company knowledge that we mentioned above.
Are both documents formatted well? Recruiters sift through a huge amount of CVs every day. Your information must be clearly set out, scannable and absolutely error-free.
Does the content of both documents demonstrate your soft skills as well as your technical skills? Procurement and supply chain professionals are often required to be highly collaborative, have good problem-solving skills and maintain a cool head under pressure. Make sure you show your strengths clearly in both documents.
Keep in touch
Obviously, this requires a high level of sensitivity so make sure you consider what your recruitment agency or the company you have applied to are going through during this troubling time. It might be best to wait until they contact you, but if you feel it is appropriate to reach out, then do so via a brief email or call, stating your ongoing interest and that you’re looking forward to keeping in touch.
If you have applications in the pipeline, keep checking that the ads are still live and make a note of those that have fallen at the wayside for now and those that remain opportunities. With the former, remember that the situation may change in the future, so try to stay positive and be ready with that fine-tuned CV and cover letter when they do. For the latter scenario, you need to make that judgement that we mentioned before. Is it OK to stay in touch at the moment or should you hold off for now?
Take the time to improve your skills
Many of us struggle to devote time to learning and development in our day-to-day lives or to keep up with industry trends. If there are online courses that you’ve been meaning to do, now’s the time. If your budget doesn’t allow, think creatively. Many companies are currently offering free webinars and podcasts to help maintain their own momentum. Check out what your LinkedIn contacts are doing or ask your colleagues for recommendations.
Work on your interview skills
Roleplaying interview situations and workshopping responses is a great use of your time in this situation. You can even make this a communal activity by organising a video chat with some like-minded friends.
If you need some guidance on structuring these meetups and measuring each other’s performance, check out our top tips for preparing for interviews.
Above all else, try to maintain a positive outlook. Find a balance between keeping informed and becoming overly-focused on news updates. Stay in touch with friends and family and give yourself time out to enjoy a hobby or get some fresh air (in line with government guidelines, of course).
You should also keep searching for that ideal job. Many companies have recruitment freezes on but some will continue to advertise. Try to be flexible where possible. Perhaps there are temporary roles that will see you through for now, or you could consider volunteering for a community group or for the NHS.
Take good care, stay safe and stay in touch. We’re here to help in whatever way we can.
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