Billy Humphreys is the Group Marketing Executive at LoveLocalJobs.com. He has worked in marketing for six years and been involved in jobs board for three years. We sat down with him to discuss his top tips on how to look for work in today’s jobs market.
What is the first step to take when looking for work?
One of the first things I would do when looking for work is to research the types of roles I would be interested in. Taking marketing as an example, I would look into the different sectors within marketing (creative, social, B2C, B2B) and then find which ones I would potentially like to work in.
Research is one of the biggest things when it comes to finding work. Many job seekers don’t really know what is out there and just look for ‘easy’ jobs that may not really want to do. Sitting back and taking the time to actually find out about a sector is a massive help.
What are your top 3 time management tips for job seekers?
Tip 1 – Job alerts. This will save you loads of time. Getting jobs which you like straight into your inbox will save you a lot of time. Of course it’s good to search different online sites, however, the ease of just looking at your emails with five brand new jobs which you can apply for straightaway is a good thing.
Tip 2 – Cover Letter. This is the one thing which candidates don’t get right. Getting a basic template is key for your cover letter, but you need to tailor make parts of it for the role you are applying for. It’s the first thing recruiters will see and they will make an impression straight after reading it.
Tip 3 – Being CV Ready. Your CV is your shop window and the one thing to sell yourself. There are hundreds of different templates all over the internet, but that doesn’t mean they are very good. Keep it simple, sell yourself and be honest. I know that we’ll be rolling out more CV advice soon, so stayed tuned!
Which soft skills do the majority of businesses look for today, based on requests and feedback you receive each week?
Communication skills are one of the most common. Everybody needs to have great communications, whether that’s between you and your manager or team members. Everyone loves a team player. Teamwork and collaboration are nearly as important. This helps you to build relationships at work and to learn new skills.
What are the most common mistakes candidates make?
Spelling! From looking at the thousands of CVs that come in each and every month at LoveLocalJobs.com, we get to analyse quite a few of them. Spelling mistakes have to be the most common mistake. This really is CV 101. If you’re making these mistakes on your CV and then write that you have ‘attention to detail’, you have basically just lied. Based on feedback we receive, we know that recruiters will just throw your CV away if they see spelling mistakes in the opening paragraph. TIP: get someone else to read over your CV after to check for spelling mistakes.
Lack of knowledge: People go to an interview with little knowledge about the company they could potentially be working for. From my own experiences of interviewing candidates, the first question I have to ask is whether the candidate can tell me what they know about the company. Unfortunately half of them look at me like I have said something in a different language. My advice is to find out about the company, the background and their USP. This is will demonstrate that you have taken the time to research the company before the interview.
How should candidates approach a second interview?
Being accepted for a second interview is a great feeling; you’ve aced the first one and they would like to see more of you and take it to the next level. Approaching it can be difficult as you may have asked a lot of questions in the first interview. They may ask you to prep something for a second interview so research is key.
TIP: Come prepared with around 10 questions to ask at the end of the interview – they will love this! These questions will need to go a little deeper into the role, such as:
- What challenges will I have in the role?
- What are the first actions to be tackled in the role?
- What is the bonus structure?
- How will my successes be measured?
How much does social media play a part in the recruitment process, and what should job seekers do to clean up their pages?
With social media being a big part of almost all our lives, some recruiters will take to social media channels to look you up. Mainly this is to see if you would fit the culture of their company and to see what you are like in ‘real life’ past a faceless cover letter and CV. Even though social media is your own network and your freedom of speech, if you have photos of you being inappropriate and sharing offence things, a recruiter is going to automatically feel negative vibes toward you. If I was job hunting, I would make sure that my social channels don’t have anything which would be offensive. That includes photos, posts or even things that people have tagged you in.
After working with candidates and businesses for many years, what advice would you now tell your younger self during your own job search?
If I could go back to my younger self, the advice I’d give would be to sign up for job alerts to save time; I wouldn’t need to spend all evening scrolling through 10 different job sites looking at different roles. I would research more about the types of roles I could work in, this is something I didn’t do, and I would look at a job description and think “Yeah, I can do that!” rather than look into different career opportunities. I have to say that in my first couple of interviews, I didn’t do much research about the company. I never really got asked about what I knew about them. However, if I did, I would have looked very silly. Research makes you look good to the recruiter and it gives you a detailed look into the company.
Follow Billy’s advice today by signing up to our fast and free job alerts service for job seekers on the go!