Job Seeking Etiquette – how to protect your professional profile


Job Seeking Etiquette – how to protect your professional profile

The 2017 Irish jobs market has kicked off with a bang and it is definitely a really exciting time to be a candidate on the jobs market. Competition between leading employers is heating up and with the flood of interest in the Ireland post Brexit, the battle for talent is well and truly on. For strong and experienced candidates this means opportunity, new horizons and a wealth of choice on the Irish jobs market. But before you take the leap of faith and head on out to market job seeking bear some of the following advice in mind.

Anyone who lives or works in Ireland’s capital city will know that Dublin has that typically Irish ability to look like a city but act like a village. The same faces pop up everywhere and you never know when you’ll be next rubbing shoulders with an ex-colleague or manager at the water cooler. While Dublin’s Finance Industry has massive global reach, it’s still a relatively small space so putting your best foot forward when job seeking and protecting your professional reputation is paramount!

Below are some tips for those of you who may not be as familiar with how hiring processes works or how you should carry yourself throughout them. This is advice I’d give any candidate, friend, family member and even myself if I was actively looking for a new job in 2017. These are simply insights and tips to protect your professional profile in a relatively small market.

Map your market

Put some time into researching how you’re going to approach the jobs market

  • What jobs you’re interested in
  • Which recruiter you’d like to partner with
  • What companies you are interested in
  • What salary you are worth on the current market
  • Decide on your expectations for your next role in detail- likes and dislikes, location, salary, benefits, career goals etc.

Decide on your expectations for your next role in detail- likes and dislikes, location, salary, benefits, career goals etc.

Now you are more aware of what you’re looking for don’t be too eager and  flood jobs boards with your CV for roles you think you like or might be good for. Keep your profile clean and professional and keep an accurate record of where you’re CV is going to avoid too much duplication. You want to look hot to potential employers so go after the right jobs not every job.

Communicate

The key to any successfully recruiter/ candidate relationship is honesty, openness and transparency. There should be no reason for you to be closed about your requirements or position on the market. Believe me, you will not hurt a recruiters feelings by telling them you are working with other recruiters or interviewing for other jobs. What you will do is allow them to navigate the opportunities they have represented you for in the right direction. If you are a strong candidate, of course you’ll be in demand; in fact this can sometimes make you even more attractive or make potential employers act faster in engaging with you. The market is extremely fast moving at the moment, and top employers are ready. The more your recruiter knows about where you’re at and what you want, the more likely you are to land the job you want.

Salary expectations

This is closely linked to the importance of honesty… you should be aware of your market rate and the salaries on offer for the jobs you are targeting, if you don’t your recruiter can guide you. Be realistic with this however, don’t price yourself out and do take your recruiters advice, of course they want you to get as much as possible for your new role so they’ll give you a true depiction of what is achievable. Things can change throughout the process, you might learn more about the job or have a bonus looming and your expectations can change, but be clear with your recruiter. This is the tough part to manage on your own and while recruiters are experts in negotiation they can only work with what you give them. The day you receive an offer is not the time to start changing your expectations. It doesn’t leave a great taste in your potential employer’s mouth and certainly won’t reflect well on your professionalism. Negotiation should happen pre-offer to avoid any disappointment on both sides.

Commitment

Hiring processes can be lengthy and can require a lot of back and forth between candidate, recruiter and company. Keep your professional approach at all times and imagine our committing to dinner with your boss!??  Only commit to roles you are genuinely interested in and know you will commit to attending interview if selected. Try your best to be flexible during business hours where possible. Naturally we all have personal and professional commitments but if interviews and meetings cannot be a lead priority for you, maybe now is not the time to be looking for a new job.

The same should be said for ‘notice of availability’ or start dates. If you’ve accepted an offer with a new firm and advised you’ve got X amount of a notice period, make sure you’re in a position to honour that. Ensure there are no bonuses or claw backs lingering in the near future that would prevent you from starting within and agreed time period. If these crop up at the last minute, it doesn’t look great and can cause frustrations for your new employer.

Counter Offers

When you get to point of receiving an offer from a new employer, a lot of time, work and effort has gone in to the process from both yourself, your recruiter and your potential new employer. Offers aren’t handed out willy nilly and they are a sign of a big commitment from the company, to you as a new investment. Allowing your head to be turned by last ditch attempts to hold on to you will almost certainly burn your bridges with hiring managers and a company that you were genuinely interested in.

While counter offer situations may look like an opportunity to cut yourself a good deal, generally speaking they end up being not so favourable and the statistics associated with those who accept them, suggest that most people are back on the market within six months (but that’s a whole other article!) My advice would be to hypothetically consider ALL options within your current firm before committing to the market. If you’re good, your employer is bound to do whatever they can to keep you (or at least they should have already done so right?….) and you need to know what it would take for them to keep you, before committing to external opportunities. Dream big, think a 10k increments (yes, they happen!) ,a big promotion or even a divisional move. If you’re still saying no to these in your head… you’re ready to jump ship and keep your reputation in check as you do so.

For more advice or to chat about some of the current live roles I’m working on, give me a call at 01 6618740 or forward your CV to ciara@executiveconnections.ie

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