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Main » 2011 » January » 4 » How to secure job interviews in today’s economic climate
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How to secure job interviews in today’s economic climate

It should be apparent from the above points that one of the secrets to securing a new role in this market is a devotion to tracking down and applying for a (small) selection of consulting roles for which you are genuinely a highly-qualified candidate – and ensuring you have positioned yourself as such.

By way of a checklist when job-hunting, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Are you restricting your applications on job boards to just those couple of roles where there is genuinely a strong fit between your experience profile and that being sought by the employer?

2. Having identified the handful of roles for which you are genuinely an ideal candidate, have you then taken the time to craft a tailored CV for each and every one of those applications? (Cautionary note: each employer is looking for a different balance of skills and experience, so the "one CV fits all” approach inevitably results in your application coming across as far less compelling when it hits the recruiter’s desk).

3. Are you working with some reputable recruitment agencies? It often comes as a surprise to candidates, but across our industry some 50%-60% of hires are still made via recruitment agencies – despite employers’ best efforts to hire direct and avoid the expense of recruitment agency fees. Indeed there is a "hidden market” of open consulting vacancies that you may simply never tap into if you have excluded agencies from your career change strategy.

4. Have you leveraged your personal network? One of the surest ways to make it to the interview rounds is to have had a recommendation from within the firm that you are a candidate the firm really should be interviewing. Networking with your contacts at firms may also uncover openings that have yet to be signed off, meaning you could be interviewed and could secure the role without it ever even going out to the market. Ask yourself – have you truthfully researched in depth which of your contacts could assist with an approach to the various firms you are considering applying to? Again – this comes down to putting your efforts into ensuring the quality rather than the quantity of your applications. (Cautionary note: I have yet to meet a candidate who is doing this with the rigor and thoroughness necessary to uncover all the opportunities in their network – so even if you’re an active networker there’s almost certainly lots of room for improvement).

The above list is not exhaustive, but should be enough to highlight the gulf between the actions of a regular consulting candidate and someone who is focused on uncovering and applying only to roles for which they are ideally suited. Make yourself one of the rarer candidates adopting a targeted approach like this and you’ll be well on your way to securing your next consulting role – and in all likelihood a decent pay hike too.

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