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How to Create a LinkedIn Profile That Stands Out To Employers 

When it comes to selling your value to a recruitment company like Clayton Recruitment and the clients we work for, there are a few pivotal documents required to draw attention to yourself. 

The humble CV is one, followed quickly by your LinkedIn profile. 

As LinkedIn is the biggest social business network outside China, with 850 million members listed, it is more crucial than ever to leverage the opportunities your LinkedIn profile provides as a positioning tool for your career. 

Your LinkedIn profile has many positive attributes. Unless you share a name with a well-known person, it is highly likely that your profile, if created properly, will appear on the first page of Google. 

Even though your CV/Resume is a standard document that demonstrates your career journey, a LinkedIn profile can deliver even more insight about you as a potential recruit in an interactive and engaging style that a CV alone cannot achieve. 

In today’s post, I want to share why your profile is so important and the easy, quick wins to ensure your LinkedIn profile stands out from the crowd. 

Headlines and Pronouns

Your headline is often the first piece of text a recruiter or potential hiring manager will see, so make it count. Paraphrase what you do, and the good news is LinkedIn now allows 220 characters, including spaces. Here is an example of a headline that works.  

“Marketing Manager at IKEM Solutions building B2B business and brand growth across the North West” 

With D.E.I. being on most workplace agendas, LinkedIn now allows you to add your preferred pronouns on your profile. The use of pronouns will let hiring managers, colleagues or online connections know how to address you to prevent any misconceptions.  

A Professional Photo

LinkedIn produces numerous reports that demonstrate the power of imagery and media on your profile. Profiles with a professional photograph can get 14 times more profile views vs those with selfie style images or group pictures. 

Phone technology today means there is no excuse not to have a professional LinkedIn profile picture. Ask a colleague or friend to take a photograph with their smartphone in good lighting where you shoulders and face are visible to give an honest and accurate perception of who you are professionally. 

Head and shoulders are the best shots. Your face, preferably smiling in appropriate business attire, makes the best impact. Remember, recruitment consultants viewing your profile are imagining how you will fit into their client’s organisation, so this is an easy way to make an impact.  

How To Get In Contact

As a first start, do you have all your contact details visible?  

Make sure you have a mobile number and a Gmail/Hotmail address that is your most active and professional email account. Try to avoid the likes of 90sbaby@hotmail.com or something with your birth year in as this can indicate age bias subconsciously.  

A professional url demonstrates your attention to detail, for instance, LinkedIn.com/in/Andy Gold as opposed to LinkedIn.com/in/Andy-Gold-2671c567. 

It’s also important to include links to your blog where you share knowledge related to your sector which is a great feature a lot of LinkedIn users forget to utilise.  

Featured Section

Have you written papers or presented at an industry conference, or recorded any work-related videos?  

If the answer is yes, add them here, and this will certainly make you stand out from the crowd and gives recruiters or potential businesses the chance to see more of what you can do rather than just reading it on a CV. 

Your About Section

Please do not add only your essential skills or paste sections from your CV into your summary section. Use it to catch people’s attention as you share relevant information about who you are and your skills and abilities; you have 2000 characters, so make them count. 

In this section, talk about the value you will add to an organisation alongside your skillset. Be different and stand out by explaining how you might help a potential new employer solve their problems while being genuine and authentic. 

Our experience as recruiters is this attracts our attention, plus it makes it easier for us to ‘sell’ the fact you are a ‘must see’ candidate for our client and pick out your best attributes towards their needs. 

Here are some examples from LinkedIn themselves as to what they see as great profile summaries. 

Add to Profile and Open To

On the right-hand side of your profile, you will see a button that says ‘add to profile’. When you click this, it reveals all the additional sections you can add to your profile.  

From featured items to licenses and certifications, and courses and recommendations the list is endless to really boost your profile against your competitors.  

If you are open to work and currently not employed, you can add this to your profile picture by clicking the relevant button. This lets recruiters know instantly without even clicking on your profile that you are a potential candidate for their client and therefor you are most likely to be seen.  

In the ‘add your profile’ section under background, share details of all your work experience that will communicate your capability. Then list all your education and volunteer activities. Today, organisations have an active CSR programme that they love to promote to new starters; therefore, this area is essential to share too should you have experience in those departments. 

Under accomplishments, you can list publications, certifications, patents, courses, projects, honours and awards, test scores, languages and how you are involved with communities that are important to you. 

This makes it easy for a recruitment organisation to identify your skills and expertise as a potential match for their client. 

The big question is, does your profile: 

  • Help your standout? 
  • Communicate your value, including providing supporting evidence? 
  • List your work achievements? 

Share Useful Content

Depending on your current organisation and their social presence, you can share and like content until your heart is content. This unconsciously communicates to everyone how connected you are and what is important to you. When someone arrives on your profile, it is one of the first sections they can see. 

You can now share an article or even upload a compelling image or create a video on your LinkedIn profile. All of which enable you to communicate your personal brand and show recruiters areas of your work you are particularly interested in the most. 

List The Skills You Know Are Important in Your Industry

When it comes to skills, you can add up to 50, which could help you stand out to a recruitment consultant and your future employer. You don’t have to add all of them as only your top ten will be profiled, so make these the most important. 

The UK is in the grip of a skills shortage. Therefore, if you know you have in-demand skills, communicate them on your profile wherever you can. You would be surprised that this is an area often forgotten by even the best of candidates. 

Endorsements and Recommendations

We all now live and work in the review society. Social proof is a significant influencer in our current community. Who has not viewed Trip Advisor before booking a restaurant or holiday with their significant other? It is the same in the business world. 

Therefore, collecting recommendations and endorsements is crucial for your career. If you have not got any, ask for them from your contacts. All too often, people are shy about asking for validations of their work. The good news, which might surprise you, is that many people are more than willing to give you a recommendation as long as you offer to give one back in return. 

Finally, Complete Your Profile in Full

A question for you? Are you using all the features we have mentioned? 

Do you have a presentation or video on your summary? Have you got a link to a paper you have written? 

It is interesting the impression people get from reading a full LinkedIn profile. It sends a message to recruitment companies that you are a person with attention to detail and take their career and work-life seriously – a great candidate for their clients.  

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Time To Move On? Top 10 Tips On How To Resign Gracefully

With the prospect of a new role on the horizon, arguably the hard bit is done. You have aced your interviews, impressed your new employer, and are no doubt looking to the future and the next steps in your career.

But even with the excitement of a new position looming, there is still an incredibly important step to take in making that move – handing in your resignation to your current company.

Here we offer our top tips on how to address this often-uncomfortable conversation – and ultimately remain professional, and on good terms as you exit the business.

1. Communicate To Your Manager First

With an exciting new role to look forward to, it can be tempting to tell close associates and friends, however the first person who should hear about it is your reporting manager. If a senior partner, or even your Manager themselves hears about your intention to leave from another colleague, it goes without saying that it won’t leave a favourable impression which is ultimately what a well-thought our resignation is trying to achieve.

Arrange a time to speak to your Manager and let them know the situation first. Face-to-face is ideal as it minimises any misunderstandings or miscommunication, although video call would also work well for those who work remotely or in order to expedite the process.  It is best practice to verbally tell your Manager of your intention to leave along with the reasons that have led to that decision as it is highly likely that you will be asked both why you are leaving and where you are going to – so it’s wise to have a response planned.

2. Be Prepared For Conversations Around Negotiation

Whatever the reason or reasons for leaving your current company, it is always worth having a preliminary conversation before you start looking for new opportunities, to see if those initial reasons may be overcome. If, however that conversation didn’t take place, you should nevertheless consider what you would do should a counter-offer be on the table once your make your intention to resign clear.

In the current market, where demand for talented professionals is outstripping supply, this is exceptionally common, so you need to at least be prepared for such a scenario and ask yourself, would you actually accept a counter-offer?. The answer to that lies in ultimately revisiting the reasons you wish to leave in the first place.

Counter-offers take many forms including increased pay, a promotion, enhanced benefits, or a combination of all of those, and there is no doubt that it can feel flattering to be in that position. However, research suggests that 80% of people who accept a counter-offer tend to leave within 6-12 months of accepting. Is it likely you’ll also be part of that statistic?

3. Prepare Your Resignation Letter

Once the decision to leave is final, you must put this in writing. When it comes to your resignation letter, it should be short and polite. Within the letter itself, it is not necessary to justify your reasons for leaving your current company or go into lengthy explanations as you can are likely to have (or have had) a more informal chat about this with your reporting Manager. The document is simply to cover the legalities of ending your contractual agreement with your employer and will be kept on record, so details like the date of the notice, confirmation of notice period, and last working day should be accurate.

You may wish to use the formal communication as an opportunity to highlight things you are grateful for – skills you have learnt, help and advice you have received, and opportunities to boost your career that have been offered, but that is not mandatory. Do, however, avoid the temptation to criticise your colleagues, boss, partners or clients.

4. Discuss Those Finer Details

Your Manager will mostly likely want to discuss with you the finer details around how and when you will let colleagues know you are leaving. You may wish to inform them individually, or as a group, or have your Manager tell them for you.

You also need to confirm your notice period and how this effects your new role start date. This should be communicated clearly in your contract of employment, but it is always worth a conversation on whether it is realistic to shorten this (if desired by any party) or even extended on request.

Whether your notice period is 2 weeks, 2 months or anything in between, its important you are aware of this before giving your new employer a start date that you may not be able to commit to. Be prepared that in some cases, you may be placed on gardening leave rather than working your notice period.

Garden leave (or gardening leave) is when an employer tells an employee not to work either part or all of their notice period. This could be because the employer does not want the employee to have access to sensitive or confidential information they could use in a new job (Source: ACAS) In this case, you are still employed by your employer, just not working for them and therefore you are still entitled to your salary and contractual agreements in this period of time.

5. Plan A Robust Handover

Scheduling time to plan for a smooth transition shows you to be a true legal professional and not someone who leaves a business or an employer in the lurch, or projects unfinished. Think about your specific areas of responsibility – current caseloads, unfinished assigments, urgent jobs and upcoming commitments, as well as information on your clients that your successor or wider team will need.

If possible, invest some time in training up your successor, or at least making formal handover notes, to ensure you minimise the impact on the company when you leave and once again, keep the working relationship positive.

6. Start Clearing Your Desk

Once colleagues are aware that you are leaving, you can start to clear your desk so that it’s ready for the next occupant. Removing paperwork, filing and archiving, binning wastepaper and taking personal items such as photographs home will ensure your workplace is ready, clean and welcoming for the next person.

7. Stay Committed

It may be tempting to spend time planning what you will do in your upcoming new legal role (and if time permits, there is definitely merit in keeping in touch with your new employer during your notice period – following their social media accounts to keep track of the latest news, be aware of any networking events etc) but nevertheless, you are still being paid to do your current job – so it’s important to remain committed to that role until the very end.

Remaining an active team player, working hard up to the last minute and completing casework where possible will be noted by colleagues and your employer and will ensure you leave on a positive note – and your professional reputation within the working community follows you as you move on.

8. Embrace The Exit Interview

If you are offered an exit interview by your employer, it’s always a good idea to take that opportunity while you can. These usually take place between yourself and a HR manager and are aimed at establishing any way in which they can improve the firm or addressing issues of which they may be unaware of.

While you can, at this point, bring to light any concerns you might have, keep your observations professional and your criticism constructive, always keeping in mind not to burn any bridges.

Taking these steps will not only provide closure on your previous role but will ensure you leave your company a well-respected and professional ex-colleague, with whom your former team and senior partners will be happy to network with and recommend in the future.

Next Steps

If you’re reading this article because you are looking for the next move in your career, call one of the Clayton Recruitment team on 01772 259 121 and let’s have a conversation to explore your options. With our help and market insight, your transition can be smoother and quicker – and get you the outcome you’re looking for.

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Your Career Checklist

When was the last time you sat down and reviewed to what extent you are meeting your career objectives?

And I don’t mean your annual review with your line manager; I’m talking about your deeply personal career goals and intentions.

Wherever you are in your career journey, it is a good idea to periodically analyse your current position depending on where you want to be. When you dig a little deeper, is everything on track and working out as you expected? Or do you need to make some changes in order to meet your goals?

To help you measure if your career is progressing as you envisaged when you started out, we have created the following checklist to provide you with a snapshot of whether you’re on the right track.

When you work through this checklist, it is essential to remember the reasons you got into your current role in the first place.

What did you set out to achieve in your career – did you plan on making a certain amount of money in a specific timeframe?

Was your move into your current role related to what was going on in your personal life? For example, were you about to leave home, get married or were you saving for a deposit for a house?

And also, what is important to you about the company you work for? Do you fit in with your company’s culture? Do you have a good working relationship with your colleagues and managers?

If your current role or company is not fulfilling you in the way you had hoped, or if the pace has slowed down recently, it could be a sign that you need to start making some big career decisions – is it time to move organisations?

Read each statement below and decide on how much you agree, using the following scale –

1 – Strongly disagree

2 – Disagree

3 – Neutral

4 – Agree

5 – Strongly agree

So, let’s get started!

Career Checklist

1. I am progressing the way I want in my career.

2. I have achieved some of my career goals, and others are within reach.

3. I enjoy my work and look forward to going in each day.

4. The people I work with are very supportive and friendly.

5. I feel like a valued member of the team I work within.

6. My manager gives me the right balance between support/guidance and working under my initiative.

7. I feel I make a difference within the company I work for, rather than just being a number.

8. The company I work for really invests in supporting me to achieve my goals.

9. I can see a clear progression path within my current company.

10. I am happy with the level of training and personal development offered by my current employer.

11. The company I work for believes in me and trusts me to do my job well.

12. I feel that my company enables and supports my focus.

13. I am recognised and rewarded for my work.

14. The sector I work in really interests me.

15. I am happy with the location of and commute to my place of work.

16. I feel my company offer a fair and competitive commission structure (if applicable).

17. The monetary remuneration I receive has enabled me to achieve goals in my personal life (i.e. buy a house, go on my dream holiday, etc.)

18. I feel I have the right work/life balance working for my current company.

19. I am happy with the way my working day is structured.

20. I can see myself staying with this company for a long time.

What Did You Score?

Tally up what you scored and take a look below at some of the points you may want to consider when thinking about how you want your career to progress in the future:

 

20-40

Alarm Bells! This score says your career isn’t going to plan, and you are probably not enjoying your current role. We suggest thinking about why you aren’t enjoying your position or not achieving what you want. It might be time for you to move on or think about whether your current company or role is for you. Do you need a more supportive environment, better career progression, or even a change of sector?

 

41-60

Room for More A better score, which suggests you enjoy aspects of your job, but there’s lots of room for improvement. For example, you might like the people you work with, but you feel you aren’t personally getting the support you need to achieve your career and personal goals. You need to consider if you can see changes happening in your current company by speaking to your manager, or if you feel working here has run its course and to progress, you need to move on.

 

61-80

Meeting Some Goals You’re neither very happy nor unhappy, though you wouldn’t describe yourself as completely engaged. Which means that if the right opportunity came your way, you would consider it. When you feel this way, sometimes the grass isn’t always greener on the other side. You need to decide if you want to move, why is this? Understand if it’s just a case of you only feel like this when you have a bad day or if it’s more often.

81+

Loving Life and Your Job You are achieving your goals, meeting targets and enjoy the place you work. There may be small elements that you feel could be better, but they aren’t big enough to make you think about working somewhere else. However, we suggest you don’t become complacent. Sometimes, being in a company for too long can demotivate you in the long run. If you’ve been working with the same company for a while, is it time for a fresh challenge with new people?

 

If this checklist has prompted you to think harder about what your current role and company are providing you with, and it has made you realise that now is time for a change, then get in touch with Clayton Recruitment today. We can help you in deciding what step to take next to further your career.

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Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

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Why Soft Skill Development Will Be A Success Factor In Your Growth This Year

  • April 12, 2022

Last week, I watched an old comedy re-run and interview featuring Joan Rivers, an iconic U.S. comedian.  

During the interview, she shared a quote; “life doesn’t get better; you get better”. As you manage your way through the relevant training for your job and/or education required to progress, you also need to work on the core skills you carry throughout your working life. 

Enter the ability to develop your soft skills. 

Soft Skills For Growth 

Functional or hard skills are one skill area to develop. Yet, the skills that make the most difference to accelerating your career or growing your business are the ‘soft skills’ that will help you manage your mind, communicate well consistently, and influence your team to improve their performance. 

Here at Clayton Recruitment, we help our clients craft role descriptions for candidates who are critical for their firm’s growth.  

Alongside this, we assist candidates in developing their careers where we consistently share the softer skills that need to be developed. 

Self-Awareness 

One of the key challenges when managing and developing a team is a lack of self-awareness from the employee.  

You will hear the term emotional intelligence shared in many circles. The term was defined as a person’s ability to manage their feelings and to express those feelings appropriately and effectively.

The original book on this topic is worth getting from Amazon by Daniel Goleman. 

Who has not come across a colleague in the business who has zero idea about their impact on others? Only last week, a candidate approached us looking for a new role because of the behaviour of a new manager in the business; yes, managers can lack self-awareness too. 

It appears that every morning the manager in question would appear with a sore head, grumbling and snapping at people. The individual had no idea how his behaviour affected the team. 

Self-awareness also covers motivation, empathy, self-regulation, and appropriate social skills. 

Communication Skills 

All professions include varied people with effective communication skills and some that don’t hold the ability to have a conversation. Summing up a procedure to employees with jargon-free lingo are all expected skills for someone to hold. However, talking over a team member in a meeting does not demonstrate communication excellence. 

A large part of being a great communicator is the ability to listen. We can all tell the difference when someone hears the words you are saying or when they are actively listening. 

As an experiment, notice how often people have their phones open during conversations or look over your shoulder at other people and what’s going on when speaking with you; worse, they sit on the edge of their seats waiting to interrupt. 

I hope I have not just described you. 

Active listeners, meanwhile, pay close attention to meeting presenters, offer up clarifying questions or responses, and refer back to notes in future discussions. They do not need things repeated to them because they heard them the first time, making active listeners respectful colleagues. 

Openness to Feedback 

This might sound like a different soft skill, yet a lack of openness to feedback often indicates an individual is stuck in a pattern and unwilling to learn. 

The ability to accept developmental feedback is critical for all of us; otherwise, how will we improve? Think about it; constructive feedback will help you do the best job possible when it comes to your role, and yet often, people take it personally and react defensively; when this happens, feedback is not heard. 

No one is ever perfect, no matter how long they have been in a role. Reflecting on this, when did you last ‘overreact’ to feedback? 

Growth Mindset 

Having a growth mindset leads to the ability to accept feedback. Individuals with a growth mindset see feedback as the gift that it is. 

Their mind is focused on what is possible rather than what is not. No matter what role, you will encounter roadblocks, disappointments, and other situations that might frustrate you. A soft skill critical to your ability to persevere is having a growth mindset. 

Dr Carol Dweck conducted the original work on this several years ago. Her book is well worth reading to identify if you have a growth or fixed mindset. 

For instance, someone with a growth mindset who did not achieve their billable target would look at this as an opportunity to double down and focus on what they could do differently in the next quarter. 

Whereas someone with a fixed mindset would see this differently, complaining that the target was too high, the clients they were working with were demanding, and the list of complaints goes on. 

Adaptability and Flexibility 

The last few years have been a challenge for many, yet certain employees have stood out above others; Two words describe them. 

Adaptable and Flexible. 

No matter your role in your business, the ability to adapt to change and a positive, flexible attitude about what is happening never go unnoticed. 

Many people have no idea how negative they can be when something does not go their way. Worse still, they become a classic mood hoover. 

Fact: Our business landscape is changing, and no matter what role you hold in an organisation, you have to be willing to adapt and change. 

In summary, soft skills focus on developing a positive can-do attitude. A well-worn statement, I know, and yet developing abilities like this will help you navigate most things that are thrown your way while making you stand out as a potential new hire for a firm (as well as being areas to focus on if you are indeed in the hiring seat, and looking for a standout candidate to bring on board). 

How Can We Help? 

Here at Clayton Recruitment, we have multiple clients looking for skilled and ambitious candidates to join their teams. For a confidential conversation about your career goals and your next move, please contact one of one of our team here. 

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How To Negotiate Your Pay Rise This Year

  • February 23, 2022

As I sit down to write this post, my phone has pinged to let me know that the UK economy has rebounded with the fastest growth since World War Two. A 7.5% increase despite falling back in December due to Omicron is a positive situation for business in the UK.

In contrast, our cost-of-living worsened in December after inflation jumped to 5.4% – its highest level in almost 30 years – driven by the higher cost of clothes, food, and footwear; this is likely to get worse as the cost of fuel doubles for many.

Andrew Bailey, the governor of the Bank of England, says to ask for a pay rise now is to cause further economic decline.

In fact, according to a recent analysis by the Office for Budget Responsibility shared in the Newstatesman, the UK is on course to endure two more decades of stagnant wages, revealing the negative news that we should expect to earn less in 2026 than 2008.

Confusing when we consider certain sectors.

The last two years have seen many businesses report their best year ever, which we can confirm with the number of recruitment instructions we are receiving from our clients.

As a hardworking and productive professional, what are your options? Let’s share a few suggestions in this post.

Know Your Facts

The candidates we work with here at Clayton Recruitment are switched on. They know how their business is faring in the market and what growth is anticipated in future years.

When businesses plan growth, they also understand that they will need to plan financially to increase headcount and ensure their current team is engaged and recompensed appropriately.

Well, hopefully, that is the case.

Though not in every company.

Taking your time to research salary packages puts you a step ahead because it demonstrates that you have evidence to back up your pay raise request. This data is vital because it will give you leverage when starting the negotiation.

The question then is where your current firm sits on the spectrum, and are you being paid the going rate?

This brings me to the next point.

Know Your Value

Pay and remuneration is a prickly subject, and we aren’t guaranteed a pay rise every year for simply turning up and delivering on our objectives.

Remember, no manager likes being held to ransom and at the same time, they appreciate honesty. If you aren’t happy with your remuneration package, you have to tell them; as uncomfortable as that conversation feels.

At Clayton, whenever a candidate comes to us where pay is a problem, we always ask if they have had a discussion with their manager first.

It’s surprising how many people haven’t.
Sometimes a straightforward conversation like this works.

Sometimes it doesn’t, and this is where honesty with yourself is important. Here are a few questions to consider.

  • What value are you delivering to the company?
  • What results did you achieve last year that were above what was expected?
  • Is your manager or HR fully aware of your contribution to the business?
  • Considering this, how will you demonstrate how valuable you are?

As a first start, use your performance objectives showing all your achievements. This way, you will let your company appreciate your worth and what it might cost to replace you.

You could take your manager through the goals that were agreed upon together and what actions you have taken to achieve the results you have.

You will be surprised how well this works. Your manager could be responsible for a lot of people. They are human too, and might not have all your performance wins etched in their memory.

Know What You Want

This final point is key; know what you want, and here are a few things to consider.

  • Do you have a figure in mind?
  • Is this based on your personal need?
  • Your analysis of the current market?
  • How much you think you are worth?

It is important to know what you want and why and have justification for the figure you are asking.

Here is something else.

Is money your real motivator, or are there other options to consider? The world of work is changing, and many firms could consider hybrid working for day weeks and sabbatical leave. These are all options that are now on the negotiating table that wasn’t just a few short years ago.

Know Your Walk-Away Point And Your Options

You might be pleasantly surprised that your pay rise suggestion is accepted, especially in the current talent market.

However, be prepared that it might not. Therefore you need to consider your options.

The upside is that we are currently in a candidate-driven market because of the skill shortage fuelled by Covid-19.

For you, this means that your options are open, and if you are prepared to move, you can potentially join a new business and continue to develop your career while being appropriately rewarded.

And this is where we can help.

The team here at Clayton Recruitment have placed literally thousands of professionals.

Depending on your role and experience, we may be able to personally represent you to our clients too. If you would like to have a confidential conversation about you and your career then do get in touch. You will find all our contact details here.

What Next?

Though many workplace sectors experienced poor growth last year, there are certain sectors in the UK job market that aren’t. Here at Clayton Recruitment, we have multiple clients looking for skilled and ambitious candidates like you. For a confidential conversation about your career goals and your next move, please get in contact with one of our team here.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.
With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis.

If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121.

If you would like to access our free guides, view them all here.

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Why 2021 is the Year to Look for a New Finance Role

  • December 16, 2020

Despite most of 2020 being taken up in the crisis and recovery stages of the pandemic, the start of 2021 really is the time for us to celebrate and look forward to life after Covid.

With the vaccine promising a return to a new kind of normal, it is finally time to start planning with confidence for your next move in your finance career.

Finance professionals have been the saviour of many organisations this year, providing essential services and protecting businesses in what has been an incredibly challenging environment.

As a finance professional, you will probably have acquired some new skills, and certainly lots of new experience this year.

This means that it is the perfect time to think about what you want from your finance career, and how to find it.

Today we look at current opportunities for you as a finance candidate and why now is the ideal time to look for a new role.

Covid Recovery

We are finally approaching the end of the Covid period now, with the vaccination programme in full force in the UK.

That means that the time businesses have spent waiting and being tentative in their hiring decisions are over – the accounting opportunities that are going to be created over the next few months will be plentiful as businesses focus on growth once again.

Businesses are now looking to take advantage of market conditions and grow, rather than be stifled like they were for the most part of 2020.

Where Are the Opportunities?

As well as Covid, there has been increasing concern about UK finance sector jobs due to Brexit. Still, recent reports show that employment in the finance sector is defying the warnings that were originally predicted.

Finance roles have been retained for the most part since the 2016 referendum, and hiring sprees in some parts of the country have seen opportunities increase substantially.

The areas we see the need for accounting roles increase are in public practice, commerce and industry, and the public sector.

Despite the upheaval caused by Covid, opportunities in industries such as eCommerce and virtual communications have skyrocketed.

However, despite finance and accounting opportunities rising, there has also been an increase in the number and variety of candidates applying for each vacancy. This means that the need to stand out in your job search is greater than ever.

Let’s look at what you can do as a finance and accounting candidate to prepare for your 2021 job search.

Industry Versus Practice

Many accounting professionals will stay within their remit, either industry or practice for the majority of their career.

But to find a new role in 2021, it might be time to think outside the box.

Finance roles within a practice are in high demand right now, as SMEs get to grips with accounting, audits, tax, and assurance issues that have been caused by the pandemic. In contrast, finance departments in larger SMEs, particularly in certain commercial and retail sectors have struggled.

If you have always worked in an industry position, is it time to consider a practice role?

Whatever your thoughts might be on where to take your finance career, right now, enlisting the help of a financial careers expert will be invaluable.

Formulating Your Plan

Any career move you make in 2021 should always be considered with your ultimate career goal in mind. Deciding on where to make your next move will depend on several factors such as your location and family responsibilities; sometimes, you need an independent expert to help you see the clearer picture.

Depending on whether you plan to cultivate a career working in financial practice or in industry, we can help you figure out your next strategic move. Get in touch with us here if you are considering a career move this year, but you need help on where to focus your job search.

Finally, let’s look at my top tips to help you right now as you embark upon your new job search.

Standing Out in Your Job Search

Finance professionals embarking on a job hunt in 2021 will have to work harder than ever to get noticed, so here are my expert recruiting tips to improve your new job prospects.

Refresh Your LinkedIn – your professional online persona might have been the last thing on your mind this year but before you start applying for new roles, make sure that your profile is not just correct but also up to date. Enhance your profile with new post-Covid skills, get liking and sharing industry news and start making new connections. Most hiring managers will check you out online – you want them to see your active interest in your career and your network.

Tailor Each Application with Your USP – let each hiring manager know in your cover letter and throughout your CV why you are the ideal candidate for this role. What unique skills do you have that make you a candidate that deserves an interview over your competitors?

Get in Touch With a Finance Recruiter – this is by far the best thing that you can do as a finance candidate. At Clayton Recruitment, we specialise in finance and accountancy recruitment. We can advise you on your current job search, help update and tailor your CV for your post-Covid job search, as well as finding and arranging your next interviews.

Next Steps?

If you are looking for a new finance and accounting role for 2021 – get in touch with our team of career experts today, click here or call us on 01772 259 121.

Let 2021 be the year you make your most valuable financial career move.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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2021 Job Seekers – THIS is Where the Current Opportunities Are

  • December 10, 2020

At Clayton Recruitment, we have been providing expert recruitment and career planning services to candidates like you for over 30 years.

This year, due to the widespread upheaval of coronavirus, we have changed the way we are now helping candidates.

We talk to candidates daily about the challenges they are currently faced with as they look for new opportunities and new niches to work in after the pandemic.

Job seekers who have been looking for a new role this year will have had to face the issue of looking for a new position during a pandemic, and for many people, this hasn’t been easy.

But we are now seeing positive changes in the job market. Data from the Staffing Industry Analysts show that job vacancies each week are increasing, with hiring in some areas back to pre-Covid levels.

The good news is we have identified two areas where we are focusing our efforts which are demonstrating the most significant growth and the best opportunities.

If you are looking for a new role, and you have sales and marketing knowledge or finance and accounting experience – or other excellent transferrable skills – today, we explain how we can help you.

So, where are the biggest opportunities? Sales, marketing and accounting and utilising the many transferable skills you have.

Let me start to explain more here.

Sales and Marketing

Suppose you are a candidate with sales and marketing experience, despite cuts to these departments in some sectors. In that case, there are plenty of opportunities in the industries which have been successful this year.

Sales roles are essential in all industries, including retail, finance, and manufacturing – companies cannot grow next year without talented sales and marketing employees.

In 2021 and beyond, sales and marketing, like many other areas of our lives, is going digital. Successful sales and marketing candidates will have a growth mindset and be continually looking to adopt new technologies to drive sales forwards, including CRM systems, data technology and A.I.

Have you been working on building your digital skill for the ‘new normal’ since lockdown started? If you’ve got a growth mindset and are looking to build on your digital sales and marketing skills in a new role – we want to hear from you.

If you are considering a new sales and marketing role, we can help you find a unique opportunity in the sectors which are booming, such as technology, retail and eCommerce, legal plus many more.

Contact our team today to find out more about the current opportunities we have.

Accounting and Finance

Many candidates have put promotion or new job plans on hold this year, for understandable reasons.

But what accounting and finance candidates should know is that looking for a new role right now is not risky; it is a smart strategy to work with a recruiter to take advantage of the current opportunities in the market.

In early November 2020, the Chancellor set out the ambitious plan for the future of the U.K. financial service sector, with goals to extend its global leadership in green finance and financial technology.

Even despite the pandemic and Brexit on the horizon, banking and financial service jobs remain stable.

Accountancy has also been largely unaffected by the pandemic, with opportunities in affected sectors suffering, while roles are opening up in many other growth sectors like technology, online retail and construction.

Transferrable Skills

If you haven’t got direct experience in sales and marketing, or accounting and finance, there are excellent transferrable skills which are valuable right now, which will help you stand out and secure a new role.

Employers are on the lookout for talented candidates with the following transferrable skills:

  • Tech skills such as confidence using digital communications, digital project management and social media management.
  • Business strategy skills – you may not have direct experience working in a finance department or a sales role. Still, if you have leadership experience where you have contributed to developing a business strategy, this is a transferrable skill which employers value highly.
  • Commercial awareness – for most businesses, 2021 is going to be about recovery and building back any shortfall from 2020. This means that they need employees with astute commercial awareness to create and drive revenue.

Do you have transferrable skills that you know you could flex in a sales or marketing or an accounting and finance role?

We’ve got opportunities for talented candidates, get in touch with our team today to discuss your options.

Working with Clayton to Find a New Role

We are using our three decades of successful experience to help candidates find new roles in an increasingly challenging jobs market.

If you have struggled to find roles which excite you or that fit into your ultimate career plan, we can help.

With extensive previous experience recruiting in both Sales, Marketing, Accounting and Finance, we are committed to focusing on these sectors as this is where we know we can help candidates the most.

If you are looking for a new role in these sectors, we can help – get in touch today.

Contact us here or call our team on 01772 259 121 to discuss your career options with our career planning experts.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on a permanent basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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The Benefits of Taking a Temp Role Right Now

  • July 25, 2020

Are you one of the thousands of people looking for work due to a change in circumstance because of Covid-19?

If so, we can help.

The official figures show that 649,000 fewer people are employed now than were pre-Covid, with numbers set to rise over the coming months.

Many employees have been furloughed by their employers, being left in limbo until October, others are unsure if their jobs will even be there to go back to.

It has been a worrying and challenging time for everyone who has been affected by the pandemic. And yet there is help and options available for individuals looking for employment right now.

Lots of employees in the U.K. are now making use of temporary employment and contract work; in this article, we look at the benefits of taking a temp position right now, and critically how to land a role you’ll enjoy.

An Increase in Temp Roles – More Opportunities

With an increase in demand, there has been a fortuitous rise in temp jobs since the lockdown was imposed, highlighting the uncertainty in the current job market.

The number of temporary jobs rose by 148,900 from May to June, to create a total of 2.2 million temp roles in the U.K.

After large parts of the country were closed down entirely by the government-imposed restrictions, we entered the first stages of a recession as GDP fell for the first time in several years.

Now the country is opening up again, we see an increase in job opportunities. The country is bouncing back as predictions had hoped.

The pandemic has caused many people to evaluate their careers. A recent survey found in HR Director shared that 20% of people have realised that their current role isn’t for them, with half (50%) of all respondents stating that they plan to change jobs within the next two years.

So where does that leave individuals looking for temp roles right now?

Let me share some recruiting knowledge about the benefits of temp roles and how to take advantage of the job market as it currently stands.

The Benefits of Taking a Temp Role Now

Temporary employment might not be your first choice. Still, there are many benefits associated with taking a temp role, especially in the current climate; and remember that the flexibility of temporary contracts doesn’t only benefit employers.

Many organisations are currently offering temporary contracts for employees to see them through the next few months. If you are currently unemployed, this could be an excellent opportunity to explore different career options or try something you have always wanted to explore.

Temp roles tend to offer more flexibility, so you can choose one where the hours fit around your personal life. You can treat a temp role as a trial run for a new career direction; you might love it and want to continue to look for employment in this sector after your temp contract finishes, or you may realise this isn’t the right path for you.

You will gain experience fast in a new role; you will learn valuable skills to strengthen your CV and show that you are dedicated and hard-working to future prospective employers.

Contrary to popular belief, temporary workers get the same right and benefits as permanent workers; a good recruiter specialising in temp work will be able to help you to understand your temporary contract.

As I mentioned earlier, career changes are happening up and down the country – there has never been a better time to explore new career opportunities than right now.

How to Impress in Your Temp Role

Many employers will advertise temp-to-perm roles, where the position will become permanent for the right candidate. Of course, given the current situation, these roles could occur less frequently.

But the truth is that organisations always need great talented employees, pandemic or not – so bear in mind the following tips when looking for a temp or a temp-to-perm role:

  • Cater your CV to the temp roles you are interested in applying for – this easy task will make employers take you far more seriously.
  • Think of your temp assignment as an extended interview – if you get taken on initially for a period of a few weeks, show up every day and give your best.
  • Always look the part – you will be taken more seriously by management.
  • Keep your eyes open for where you can help other team members – being a team player is an essential skill and one that will get you noticed.
  • Complete all of your work to a high standard – bringing the attitude of ‘its only a temp role’ into your work will not do you any favours.
  • Finally – be sure to work with a reputable recruitment agency that will find you your desired position; check out their website, testimonials and get to know them before you decide to work with them.

Managers are always on the lookout for employees who will add value to their organisation, and impressing as a temp is a great way to increase your permanent job prospects.

Finding the ‘Right’ Temp Role

We understand that the job market can feel strange and competitive right now.

At Clayton Recruitment, we are helping candidates find the temp roles they need right now – and we can help you too.

We help candidates across the North West find the temp roles that can fit in with their current circumstances, and around their family lives.

We offer expert free career consultancy too, so if you want to speak to someone about a temp role or your next career move, call us on 01772 259121 or contact us here.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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Life After Lockdown – Planning Your Successful Re-Entry

  • May 30, 2020

While many employees have been enjoying working from home and others have been keen to get back into the workplace, now is the time to think about the next stages.

You might have already returned to work in a workplace that looks very different, or perhaps you’re still working from home. Whatever your situation, the reality is that as we move forwards, your working life will be different from the one you left in March.

This can throw up all kinds of questions as to what the future holds.

You will be considering the future of your career, your current workplace, and how to navigate this workplace in the coming weeks and months.

Returning to work in a place that looks different might be a challenge at first, but there are ways to familiarise yourself and feel in control.

In today’s article, we look at the key areas employees must consider right now and as we go forward.

Your Employer’s Future

The first thing you must consider is your employer’s position. The pandemic has changed many businesses, and while some have remained relatively untouched, others have faced significant difficulties.

Your employer should have been keeping you informed in terms of returning to work, restructuring and redundancies, but of course, this is not always the case.

If it is clear that your current organisation will be making cuts, you must ascertain where you stand with your manager. It might be an uncomfortable conversation to have, but you must plan for your future.

If we do enter a recession, for every business that makes redundancies, others will be hiring. If you find yourself in a position where you will need to look for a new job, upskilling and demonstrating your skills will be crucial – I will talk about this more later.

Next, let’s look at how to manage your career in the coming months.

Advancing Your Career

The next few months will be critical in many people’s careers. As the job market shifts to adapt to the new economic changes, there will be a mixture of challenges and opportunities. If your role is secure and your organisation is in the position for you to return working as usual, then nothing should change.

In this case, your priorities should be working alongside your employer to get back to speed, get used to working in your socially distanced office and demonstrating your key skills.

In times of significant change, this is an excellent opportunity to prove your skills to your current employer, and develop your skills thinking about future opportunities.

Stepping up to help management, taking on additional roles and overcoming challenges posed by COVID-19 will all be great additions to your CV when the time comes to move on.

However, if upon returning, you realise that your role or your workplace is not conducive with your career goals, it might be time to think about moving to one that is.

A Change of Role?

Think back to before the pandemic – where were you in terms of advancing your career? The outbreak stopped everyone in their tracks, but there will no doubt have been employees who were considering, or even applying for new roles. With recruitment freezes in many organisations, your career plans might have been put on hold.

If the same career opportunities aren’t available anymore, what does that mean for you?

Returning to your role and finding those previous opportunities are no longer there can be a shock, but it is key to weigh up the pros and cons of this.

Yes, you might have envisaged being in your current role for many years to come, but instead, focus on how a move to a different position will be even more beneficial to you.

In times where organisations are making cutbacks, you might feel as though looking for a new job will be a difficult task. However, many organisations are continuing to thrive, and while some are making redundancies, others are recruiting in numbers – the key to navigating this job market is upskilling.

Upskilling

Now is the time to amplify your critical skills and become more attractive to employers. As I mentioned earlier, taking on additional responsibilities is a great way to do this. Additionally, consider the following –

  • Find a way to adapt old working practices to fit in with life post-COVID-19. Are there changes you can make to the workplace or your processes that will make life more manageable for everyone?
  • Be proactive and set your objectives if old ones are out of date and your manager has not discussed new ones with you. What are your new goals for the next three months?
  • Overcommunicate and be hyper-aware of problems in your workplace. There will likely be teething problems from the recent changes; how can you apply yourself to solve these problems?
  • Take additional courses, either provided by your employer or online. Online courses have seen a surge in uptake since the start of lockdown – if others are upskilling themselves, don’t get left behind.

Your role after lockdown might be very different from what you have been used to, especially in the period as we return to the workplace and as we find a ‘new normal’.

But what is key to remember is that it is possible to keep your career progressing in the way you want. It’s about being aware of your current situation, constantly re-evaluating, and upskilling yourself as much as possible.

What Next?

If your pre-COVID-19 job is not able to provide what you need and you are looking for a new role, we can help.

We have a range of roles available, call our team on 01772 259 121 or get in contact here to discuss your career options.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989, and during that time has built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

With specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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The 7 Ways to Upskill in a Rapidly Changing Job Market

  • May 8, 2020

After growing significantly before the COVID-19 outbreak, the job market in the UK was in a strong position.

While coronavirus has temporarily slowed down recruitment in some sectors, some are still thriving. But with many furloughed employees and the fact that it is unclear how long the lockdown measures will last, there is still some uncertainty in the job market.

However, once lockdown has been eased and ended, we know that there will be a sharp increase in recruitment, meaning plenty of opportunities for those who are looking for a new role.

Until then, whether you’re still working full-time, part-time, on furlough, or have unfortunately been made redundant – upskilling is one way to increase your career prospects going forward.

Today, I want to share with you seven of the best ways to upskill in the current rapidly changing job market.

1. Develop Your Interview Skills

First things first, if it’s been a while since you looked for a new role, working on your interview skills is a great way to make yourself feel confident when speaking on the phone with new prospective employers or your recruiter.

Practising speaking on the phone, rehearsing your interview skills, especially on a video call such as Zoom, will help you significantly when it comes to interviewing time. Ask a family member or friend to act as an interviewer, over the phone, or on a video call. With extensive remote working, it is highly likely that your interviews will be virtual.

Remember, in challenging times employers will be looking for dependable employees, rather than loose-canons that they might take a risk on during other more secure economic times. Knowing that you have been in your current role for some time will be a positive for many employers.

2. Network

Networking is free, and can increase your future job prospects – now is the perfect time to engage with your peers and enhance your personal brand.

LinkedIn is still the number one tool for online networking and is a great way to feel connected to others, especially if you are feeling the effects of isolation.

You can start small, by ‘liking’ and commenting on posts from colleagues, peers, as well as clients and businesses you work with or companies you would like to work for.

Keep your posts professional and positive – networking is about getting your name seen and heard, for the right reasons.

3. Training

By law, furloughed workers are not able to undertake any work for their employer; they can, however, complete training.

If you have been furloughed, ask your employer for as many training resources as they can provide. Explore what courses, workshops or seminars your employer can give you access to. At the same time, demonstrate your proactivity. Many professional bodies and training organisations are providing access to free webinars and training. Let me explain further.

4. Take a Course

Furloughed workers are being encouraged by the government to take advantage of free courses that have been made available.

The courses, which have been launched by the Department of Education, are on a collection of job-related skills such as numeracy, coding, internet and digital skills.

Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said that he hopes the free courses will improve employees’ knowledge, build their confidence and support their mental health.

Several companies are providing resources such as The Open University – you can find out more about the courses here.

5. Work on Your Productivity

Switching from the office to working from home has been a big shock for many people. Some have found it easy to adapt to remote working, while others have found it challenging for a variety of reasons. You may be homeschooling children, or have the special person in your life working from home and juggling when you can do Zoom calls, all can and will impact your productivity.

If you have been struggling to feel and stay positive, which has impacted your productivity, then explore what you can do to change how you are feeling and responding to the situation you find yourself in. Firstly, take the time to review the following:

  • Your working habits – notice what is and isn’t working for you.
  • What worked for you when you were in your workplace? What can you replicate at home?
  • How is your working space set up – is it supporting your productivity?
  • How are you planning your day – if you have children at home you may need to talk with your employer and discuss being flexible with your time?
  • Are you batching tasks?

Once you get into more productive habits, it’s surprising how your mood lifts as you begin to feel better about yourself. Taking time to work on your personal and professional development will support you to improve your performance as well as enhance your job prospects for the future.

6. Self-Development

Similar to upskilling your productivity muscle, there are other aspects of self-development you can work on too.

These could include learning a new language (which boosts brain activity and can positively affect other aspects of your life), starting a journal about your career goals, reading books on subjects that interest you or could help you in your career.
It could be a fitness goal or to improve your sleep routine. The happier and more confident we are in ourselves, the brighter our future looks.

7. Explore New Options

Finally, if you have been furloughed, made redundant or if the last few weeks and months have made you rethink where your career is going, it might be time to consider some different options.

When we slow down, we can take stock of where we are in life, and where we want to be. If your current role is not fulfilling you, or if you decide to explore new opportunities in an area you have been interested in for a while, we can help.

We have a range of vacancies across the North West for talented individuals, and we can help you find a role that suit – get in touch with us here to find out more, or browse our vacancies here.

What Next?

If you’re upskilling right now intending to land a new role, we can help – get in touch with us today.

We are still here, remotely working to help find candidates new roles in which they will thrive.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with organisations across the country since 1989. During that time, we have built up an excellent reputation for trust and reliability.

We have specialist divisions covering Commercial, Financial, Industrial, and Engineering appointments, on both a permanent and temporary basis. If you are looking for your next career move, we can help. Call us on 01772 259 121 or email us here.

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