banner image

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.  

Share This Post

Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

banner image

5 Key Ways To Reduce Stress In Your New Role

You’ve just secured your new role at one of the best businesses around, and life is good. But life is also stressful.

Wait. What life?

Starting any new job can be stressful, especially if it’s one that you’ve been working towards for a long time, because you’re eager to make the best possible impression. Being faced with numerous new challenges, combined with the pressure to impress, will naturally cause you a certain amount of stress.

However, while occasional stress might push you to meet important deadlines, constant stress and anxiety can leave you feeling exhausted and frustrated. In addition to reducing your productivity, this can lead to career burnout.

Fortunately, there are several things you can do to both relieve stress and combat its negative effects. Here are 5 ways you can reduce stress in your new role.

Get/Stay Organised

Getting and staying organised is not only essential for keeping your stress-level down; it’s also a key to your career success and longevity, especially if you are aspiring to carve out an exceptional career for yourself.

Set up a system for categorising your emails as well as scheduling any ongoing tasks and projects. Most companies nowadays use a form of task-management software, ensure that you get adequate training on how to use this as it will enhance to your role and then get in the habit of using it – it will show your employers that you’re an adaptable team player and will also make your life much easier in the long run.

If your new business doesn’t use a dedicated task-management software, implement your own system. This might mean using your own planner app, or if you’re not the most tech-savvy, you could always do things the traditional way with a daily planner. Regardless of which system you choose, get yourself in the habit of coming up with a rough schedule for how you will go about tackling your tasks.

Another important aspect of staying organised, of course, is maintaining a physically tidy workspace. By keeping your desk neat and free from clutter, you will feel less overwhelmed, while being more efficient and productive.

Set Realistic Goals

It’s natural to want to impress when you’re starting a new role, and employers will often expect you to go above and beyond in your first few months. While it can be tempting to take on more than you can handle, try to be realistic with yourself about your limitations.

If the goals you’ve set for yourself are beyond your current capabilities, you’ll start to get frustrated and discouraged when you keep failing to get things done – this is a sure recipe for a career burnout. Even the most experienced employee is bound to fall short of a goal now and then; as a new hire, it’s going to take you time to learn the ropes of your new workplace. So, allow yourself the chance to learn during this transitional period and try to view your setbacks as a way to become a more efficient and knowledgeable employee.

Rather than cluttering your to-do-list with an excessive number of tasks every day, try to take things slow and celebrate every accomplishment. If you take on too much too soon, you’re likely to get buried and behind on the tasks that really matter, which will only add to your stress. By focusing on your top few priorities each day, you will feel a sense of accomplished when you’re able to clear your to-do list on a daily basis.

Find The Right Balance

When starting a new job that you really like, it can be tempting to throw yourself in headfirst. However, as with setting realistic professional goals, it’s just as important to establish realistic life goals. Don’t lose sight of your work/life balance. In other words, if you don’t make time for the things and people you love outside of work, you won’t be loving your new role for very long.

Finding the right balance between work and family is one of the most important ways to reduce job-related stress. Making time for yourself and your loved ones, as well as disconnecting mentally from your job, will allow you to return to work refreshed. Try to schedule out your week in advance to ensure that you have time blocked out to unwind with family and friends. Setting this time aside will help ensure that you don’t get overly stressed or exhausted in your new role.

Take Care Of Yourself

Just as crucial as finding the right balance between work and play is maintaining your physical, mental and emotional health. You should never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep and a healthy diet. Eating poorly and not getting enough sleep will only cause you to be tired and less productive, which will only lead to more stress.

In addition to maintaining a proper diet and sleeping routine, one of the best ways to manage stress is by staying active. Exercise is not only advantageous for your body; but it also has a positive impact on your mental health, as well. This doesn’t mean that you have to join an expensive gym or punish yourself with an extreme workout. A simple routine of either a short yoga session or a quick run before you go to the office in the morning can simultaneously boost your confidence and improve your performance at work.

Make Use Of Workplace Resources

Your first couple of weeks at a new job can often go by in a blur; the combination of meeting and learning to work with a new group of people, as well as adjusting to new ways of doing things, can leave you feeling overwhelmed with information overload. It’s normal to not remember something that you might have only been showed how to do to once on your first day.

While your new workplace likely will have an induction program, you should never be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand how to do something. It’s possible that you will be placed with a mentor or someone you can go to with questions – don’t hesitate to seek out their help when you need it. While asking your co-workers or boss questions may feel like it shows weakness, actually lets your colleagues know you’re serious about understanding how things work, rather than trying to do something you aren’t sure of on your own.

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.

Share This Post

Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

banner image

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.

Share This Post

Posted By

Lynn Sedgwick

Managing Director

banner image

The 72 Hour Countdown To Your Interview

  • March 25, 2022

Irrespective of whether you are moving into a new private client solicitor role or you are a superb legal secretary looking for their next opportunity, this is still a key career move; at least for now.

You actively applied for this role because you believe it will deliver you closer to your career and broader life goals.

By giving the interview process the respect it deserves, you will increase your chances of being successful and securing the role.

To truly succeed at a legal interview and confirm to your hiring manager you have the appropriate skills, traits and you are a good culture fit, you will need to be ready.

Poor planning delivers poor results.

Therefore, we aren’t talking about a quick look through their website the night before. Instead, we are referring to being fully prepared and ready by making the most of the 72-hour preparation window you need before your interview begins.

Three days is the perfect length of time to deliver you to the interview primed and ready in a calm and confident fashion.

Here is where we suggest starting.

1. Research and a Conversation With Your Legal Recruitment Consultant

In the current legal recruitment market, it’s likely that you will have found your role through a specialist legal recruitment company like Clayton Legal.

That being the case we, your recruiting partner, should be your first port of call when it comes to knowing as much as possible about the specific legal role in question and the company you could potentially join.

It is imperative to do this sooner rather than later, as this will enable you to carry out additional research as necessary, to stand out. Alternatively, this will let you know about gaps you might have that must be addressed in how you communicate your value to your future employer.

Google is naturally your friend here.

Look at any news about the sector of law you will be involved with. For instance, earlier this month I was looking at information about collaborative law and came across a post from a press release by a Bath law firm who were offering free mediation information sessions to people considering divorce, as part of Family Mediation Week.

A talking point maybe? Though your skills and experience are critical, your wider knowledge of the law is important too.

Research the company online. Learn as much as you can from the website, including all their specialisms and any bigger cases they are working on and what their plans might be.

Review all their social media profiles and anything they have published on LinkedIn’s article platform.

If the website has staff profiles and an ‘Our Story’ page, so much the better. If you can, find out how many employees they have and who is part of the leadership team.

During this research stage, you will be able to prepare good questions to ask that will demonstrate you are a serious candidate who’s done their homework. You would be surprised how many candidates don’t make an effort in this regard, and you’re likely to stand out by doing this.

If you are working with a professional legal recruitment consultant, they will be able to help you with most of this too. So, it’s critical to discuss the job description in detail and how you can demonstrate your value, which leads me onto the next point.

2. Know And Demonstrate Your Value

In today’s legal field hiring managers are looking for skills and abilities, yes; though they are also looking for the value you can add.

Imagine some of the questions you might be asked and prepare your answers that communicate how you have added value in the past. For instance, it might be a new system you initiated on creating court documents that improved the process, or the updated advice process you developed that has generated positive testimonials and referrals.

Ask your recruitment consultant to tell you what is behind the job specification and what are the crucial skills to demonstrate and communicate.

Finally, if you have a ‘brag’ file or letters of commendation or an end of year review that is positive and recent, take them with you and USE them.

It has been known for hiring managers to comment that James or Tania brought in a briefcase and never opened it!

Which left them wondering if they had missed something? No, but James and Tania missed the opportunity to demonstrate yet another validation of why they should get the role.

Remember to use everything at your disposal to position yourself as the logical choice.

3. Practical Logistics

With the best will in the world, we can all misjudge time. Double check the time and location of the interview, as well as the name of the hiring manager.

If you haven’t already been to check out the venue, prepare your route by car or train leaving plenty of time to get there in case you end up experiencing one of those annoying traffic jams that come from nowhere.

Let’s be frank, interviews are stressful enough, so there is no point adding to that unnecessarily by getting lost and certainly not by turning up late. Hint: hiring managers dislike latecomers.

Most people reading this post understand dress code and how what you are wearing does have an impact; you do, don’t you?

I will explore this briefly in a minute.

Firstly let’s talk about confidence and what you wear. I am not suggesting you head out and buy a new outfit or shoes. Instead, think about the outfit that always makes you feel good.

I have a few outfits I love, and I always wear them if I want a boost of confidence. Perhaps you have had this experience too?

No matter how many presentations you have given, or appearances in court; never underestimate interview nerves and their unexpected impact.

Finally, remember the goal of the interview is to leave the interviewers talking about your skills, attitude, and law experience and potentially how well you would fit into the team.

A fascinating fact I discovered last year is that over half of the population has a visual preference and a keen sense of smell and though we all like to think we don’t judge, we sometimes do.

The last thing you want to have your interviewers chatting about at lunch is how strong your perfume was or questioning if you smoked, or crikey how did you manage to walk in those heels?!

If you follow the steps in this post you have a template to impress the hiring manager with the depth of your knowledge in the company, and how confidently prepared you are.

About Clayton Recruitment

Clayton Recruitment has been partnering with business’ 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.

If you would more help on preparing for your interview download our interview checklist here.

Share This Post

banner image

Planning Your Career in Our New Normal Workplace

  • January 20, 2022

At the start of a new year, many of us review where we are in both our personal and professional lives. For those of us working in the current job market, it’s no different.

The specific details of the path you want to take might differ slightly. However, the five fundamentals we are sharing today form part of any successful career planning process, as we have observed placing more than 5000 professions over the last twenty-two years.

First, let’s put some context around the impact of the new ‘norm’ when it comes to creating your plan.

The New Norm

As we navigate our way out of the pandemic and multiple new variants, it is fair to say that the new normal hasn’t impacted some sectors as much as others, except for improved technology, communication channels and virtual recruitment.

We noticed here at Clayton Recruitment that the phone continued to ring after the initial few weeks of the first lockdown as clients asked us to help fill their roles. This continued throughout 2021, accelerating at pace as the year went on. 2022, so far, shows so sign of this appetite to hire slowing down.

Hybrid, home, and remote working are still major debates across businesses as they consider the permanency of such working arrangements.

As predicted by the Microsoft Workplace Trends report, many candidates we speak to are keen to have some flexibility around working in the office or at home. Consequently, we are seeing more businesses willing to consider hybrid working moving forward.

The critical piece of the conversation is that skilled candidates are in short supply. This results in employers counter offering employees to stay with them rather than moving to a new business. Some candidates continue to have multiple offers on the table.

In summary, if you are a skilled candidate looking to move, this is your time.

What an opportunity, though let’s have a sense check here. Jumping into a new role with an improved package and a hybrid working opportunity is OK, provided it is part of your long-term plan.

Therefore, consider this as you plan your career. Moving and building your career takes time, depending on the level you want to achieve.

So, what should you be considering in your overall plan?

Decide What You Want

Goal setting and tweaking can happen at any time of the year. As Professor Maxwell Maltz shared in his New York Times bestseller, human beings are success-seeking creatures, and therefore we want to achieve success.

Without goals to inspire and drive you, it’s impossible to know if you’re moving in the right direction. In simple terms, if you don’t know the destination, then you can’t plan the journey.

Deciding what you want allows you to take control of your professional life.
Simply saying that you want something isn’t enough. Goal setting is a strategic process that considers what you want to achieve through a series of milestones and action steps and ends with hard work and dedication.

Therefore, setting a goal and then moving towards it is a logical process we would all be advised to tap into.

Most professionals want:

  • To work in an area of business that they enjoy and find interesting
  • To receive sufficient income for their work to enable them to live comfortably
  • To be considered as being professional and knowledgeable
  • To achieve a work/life balance that allows them to enjoy a life away from their work

No matter your opinion about setting goals, you will find yourself meandering around with no real sense of purpose unless you are clear on what you want.
Choosing stretch goals means finding the right balance between targets you can realistically achieve and aims that challenge you.

However, don’t set goals that are too easy, either. It’s essential to challenge yourself, as that way, you can reap the rewards of feeling accomplished and driven. Find goals that help you raise the bar on your work and performance.
Always have both short- and long-term goals in mind.

A Goal Setting Framework

One of the most popular goal-setting strategies involves creating “SMART” goals. There are variations on what the “SMART” acronym stands for, but most experts agree that it requires your goals to be:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time-Bound

Your career goals must be clear and defined. A vague goal like “I want to get a promotion” doesn’t provide sufficient direction. Determine what kind of promotion you want that will fit your plan and when you want to accomplish that target.

Conduct a Skills Audit and Contact A Recruiter

To accomplish what you want in your career, you will have to up-level your skills relevant to your desired roles. Knowledge is power, and this is where talking to someone who has the ultimate position you want can be useful.

Although, remember that a lot has changed during the last few years and what was once required for a role, either skills or experience, might have changed.

This is where talking to a specialist recruiter will help. Here at Clayton, we have over twenty years’ experience recruiting professionals and can guide you on the best next steps according to the specific career path you want to take.

With the specs for your ideal job to guide you and your CV in hand, write a list of the skills you need to work on and rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 4. A rating of 4 indicates that you’re an expert in the area, while a rating of 1 means that you have very little knowledge or skill in that area.

Once you know which elements need the most work, you can develop a list of activities that will help you close the gap.

Managing Your Mind

The first step in developing your career is to embrace the right mindset by managing your mind. More than ever, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of working with our mentality to handle whatever is happening globally.

It’s easy to assume that creativity, intelligence, or talent are the things that set successful people apart from the rest of the world. However, the truth is that all the most powerful people in business today reached their goals through perseverance, grit, dedication, and the right mindset.

Your ultimate goal may take a few years, and the more you can manage your mind through the process, the better.

Good Luck!

What Next?

Though many workplace sectors experienced poor growth in 2020 and into last year, the sector wasn’t one of them. 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.

Share This Post

banner image

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.

Share This Post

banner image

Your 10 Step Action Plan to Securing a New Role

  • November 20, 2020

With the backdrop of the pandemic still ever present as we cross over into the second half of 2021, job-hunting may not naturally be on the cards due to perceived market uncertainty and a nervousness to jump ship. However, hiring across the sector has accelerated since mid-February leading to a ‘boom’ in opportunities across many practice areas and regions.

For some individuals, looking for a new role right now could be your first foray into the job-hunting market for years; especially for those in middle and senior management roles.

The critical factor here is doing the work needed to get organised and implement your ‘project new role’ plan. With this in mind, our recruiting team have mapped out a 10 point action plan to help you secure your new role now.

1. Updating Your CV

First things first, it’s time to update your CV.

Make sure your CV is up-to-date and showcases not just your previous work experience, but your talents. Employers are receiving higher than normal applications for roles, so now is the time to stand out.

Remember your new employer wants to know what results you will be able to deliver for their team.

For example, rather than describing your role in this way – ‘Commercial Manager – I held this position for two years at a leading UK organisation in a managerial role’.

Instead, detail your achievements in this role. For example, ‘in my most recent role as a Manager in a leading UK commercial organisation, I have been instrumental in helping increase sales, working closely with the marketing team to implement new strategies and as a result, our online sales increased by 26% in one year.’

2. Creating a Cover Letter

Some candidates ask us whether or not they should include a cover letter with their CV, and our advice is always yes!

Cover letters are still the best way to connect with prospective employers and HR managers; it makes you stand out above others too.

Don’t send out the same generic cover letter for each role you apply for; tailor a cover letter for each position. It’s a little extra work, but it is the best way to get noticed.

Getting your messaging right on your cover letter is essential for your new job search – let me explain.

3. Get Your Messaging Right

Your messaging is the way that you are going to present yourself to prospective employers. This will be especially relevant to you if you are changing sectors or looking for a different role to what you have been trained for.

If you are stepping outside your comfort zone and applying for jobs that are different from your usual remit, you should explain this in your cover letter. Demonstrate your ability to learn and to be flexible (with examples) to explain a change of sector or role to get your messaging right.

4. Set Your Goal

Now it’s time to think about what it is you want from your new role.

You might be instinctively looking for a role that is similar to your last one, or in the same sector, but it might be the time to re-evaluate your career goals – however scary that might sound.

You might realise after some soul searching that now is the time to follow that career dream you have always had at the back of your mind. Talking to a recruitment consultant can help you make sense of your career goal.

5. Consider Different and New Options

You might not want to change sector or role completely, but there are other elements to consider when you’re job searching in our post-pandemic world.

For example-

  • Is it possible for you to move to a different location? Even widening your search area by 10 or 20 miles can dramatically increase your choice.
  • Can you revisit a sector you worked in earlier in your career where you have experience or training?
  • Have you talked through your career plan with a dedicated career coach or recruiter like our team here at Clayton Recruitment?

6. Your Homework

If you are considering moving into a new sector or role, make sure you do your homework first. This means getting as much information as you can about the sector and the position and the opportunities it may, or may not bring for you.

  • Attend sector webinars and workshops,
  • research companies online,
  • what do their employee advocacies look like?
  • Do they have case studies and testimonials?

7. Maintain Your Online Profile

Once you have started applying to new roles, either on your own or with the help of a recruitment company like ourselves, remember to maintain your online profile.

Researching you online is the first thing that HR or hiring managers will do, and now as competition for roles are increasing, make sure your online profile positions you as a professional and ideally an expert in your sector.

Be active on social media, but keep it professional; make sure any personal profiles you have communicate your own personal brand. And remember you can alter your privacy settings too.

8. LinkedIn

Staying with social media – during your job search, LinkedIn is going to be your best friend.

Stay up to date with sector news and stay on the radar of the companies you would like to work for by liking, sharing and interacting with company posts. Connect with people from your sector, HR managers and reconnect with old colleagues.

Putting yourself ‘out there’ on LinkedIn is one of the most valuable things you can do in your new job search.

9. Practice Your Interview Technique

Landing a new role is all about confidence. The more confident you are in yourself, the better chance you have of securing a new position when you get to the interview stage.

Assessment Today have a great online resource for practising your interview technique which you can find here.

10. Work with a Recruiter

And finally – if you are struggling to find a role on your own – we understand that it feels tough at the moment for some individuals – we can help.

We offer a full recruitment service and specialise in middle and senior management candidates looking for new roles.

Please get in contact with us today by calling us on 01772 259 121 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 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.

Share This Post

banner image

When Furlough Turns to Redundancy – What Are Your Options Now?

  • September 10, 2020

The UK’s furlough scheme has been an extraordinary event on many levels.

It fulfilled its expectation in protecting many jobs, but now several months on, we see the reality of the employment situation in some sectors.

It’s time for people to start making decisions about the future of their careers.

Despite the gloomy picture the UK media like to paint in regards to jobs, for middle and senior managers, there are many opportunities; and in fact, they are growing daily.

There have indeed been redundancies in some sectors and at all levels. So to help management candidates whose furlough has now unfortunately turned into redundancy, here are the key things to consider now in your job search.

Identifying Your Skills and Abilities

You must first identify what your skills are, what you can bring to the table outside of the skills you have been utilising in your previous roles.

Some people have a regimented idea of what kind of role they can do – based on their career so far.

The truth is that when you think outside the box, a whole new world of opportunities opens up for you.

As someone who has progressed to where you are today as a middle or senior manager, you will have accumulated a lot of skills and experiences, many of which you might not use daily.

It’s now time to look at the entirety of your skillset, and you will possess soft skills which can translate to different sectors.

Soft skills include:

  • Leadership
  • Emotional intelligence
  • A growth mindset
  • Openness to feedback
  • Active listening
  • Adaptability

As much as you need to emphasise how your skillset can be adapted to a new role, likewise, you should leave out unnecessary information from your CV or your interviews about skills that might not be as relevant for the new position you are applying for. Remember to ask your recruitment consultant for advice on tailoring your CV.

Your Hobbies and Interests

Another direction your career search can take is in looking at your life outside of your current career path to see potential opportunities.

You might be an expert in project planning during the community support you gave during the lockdown, or computer technology from your interests outside of your career.

These skills can be essential in landing you a new job in a sector or area you hadn’t considered before.

Changing Your Mindset Ready for Your Next Move

A big part of finding a new role is mentally being ready and accepting it is time to make a significant change to your life.

It’s not a decision which many people feel comfortable with; at first.

It might even lead to some individuals taking a lesser role in an area they are familiar with rather than taking the plunge for something better in a new sector.

Some industries have not thrived, whereas others have – it’s about considering where the opportunities are and then making the decision to go for it!

Data from Fast Company, the worlds biggest media brand, revealed that 42% of applicants apply for a role without possessing all of the required skills, and 62% of these get hired without fully meeting the criteria.

Inspiring.

So when applying for a new role, remember to think outside the box, and don’t be limited by your own beliefs which could be holding you back.

Finally, if it’s been years since you last applied for a job, or have never worked with a recruiter to find a new role, let me explain the benefits of working with a professional and experienced recruitment company to find your new commercial position.

Working with a Recruitment Company to Navigate the Job Market

If it’s been a while since you last applied for a job, you might not have updated your CV for some time, you could be lacking confidence, or you just don’t know where to start.

Many candidates don’t realise the benefits of working with a recruiter to find their next management role. So if you’re unsure, here’s what you get –

  • Help to update and adapt your CV for the roles you want
  • Access to unlisted jobs, thanks to the recruiter’s network and knowledge of new openings.
  • Career advice and insider information on what’s happening in different sectors that you would not be able to uncover yourself.
  • An active search – your recruiter will approach companies they think you will be right for on your behalf, rather than just applying for roles that already exist.
  • Prepare you for interviews with insider knowledge about the company.
  • Negotiate your salary to get you the remuneration you deserve.

And all as a complimentary service, the client you are applying to covers the recruitment fee, not you.

We understand that right now, looking for a new role can seem daunting.

Don’t go it alone – working with a specialist recruiter will give you the expert help and advice you need to take the next step in your commercial career.

If you would like to know more about how we can help you secure your next management position if your leave has turned into redundancy – get in touch with us here, for a confidential and supportive conversation.

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.

Share This Post

banner image

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.

Share This Post

banner image

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.

Share This Post