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Three ways to improve your chances of a great job

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Recruitment. Despite the coronavirus there will still be jobs out there.  And the basic premise of recruitment is still simple. 

Can you do the job, do they want you, do you want them? 

Of course, there is a wee bit more to it than this.  So, apart from being well educated, pretty damn good at what you do and having lots of straight-shooter, demonstrable experience, what else do you need to get your dream job?

For a start, you have to find it. But, and it’s not exactly a secret, most of the really good jobs aren’t advertised, especially in the current market.  That means you need to be speaking to someone who knows where these really good jobs still are … someone like us for example. As one of Scotland’s biggest, best-known and reputable construction and property recruiters, we’ll put you on the right path.

Secondly, make the most of your transferable skills. If you are tied in a seeming dead heat with another candidate for technical ability and all other things are equal, then that HR/finance/marketing course you attended in 2013 might just tip the balance.  

Now bring your great communication, organisational (teamwork) and interpersonal skills to the party.  Remember, people buy people. If you can instantly get on the same wavelength as your interviewer then you’re halfway there, even over the video platforms we're all going to be using!  Bring these together in the mix of your answers – show the interviewer when, where and how you used teamworking, allied to your technical skills, to overcome a problem and add value and, with luck, the only other thing is to discuss your start date…

Chris Peace, MD, Peace Recruitment

P.S.  If you want to read more on the subject of transferable skills, scroll down to a more detailed article (three-minute read)


Getting a great job offer

Using your transferable skills to improve your chances of a great job

What are the key things a prospective employer looks for when they cast their eyes over your CV or stare at you beadily over the interview table?  The technical skills, naturally – be they surveying, engineering, building etc. – plus demonstrable competence and a pleasant personality are, of course, essential. And bear in mind you won’t get anywhere near the interview if your CV doesn’t focus on the key components of your career. But how much attention do you pay to your transferable skills?  Is a potential employer really interested in what you did on that boring finance or HR course in 2009?  After all, it’s your technical knowledge and experience that they are really interested in – isn’t it?

Yes, of course it is your education and track record that are first on a recruiter’s wish-list, but just suppose that you are tied in a seeming dead heat with another candidate for technical ability and that all other things are equal. Trust me, at this point they don’t toss a coin. This is where all the little things matter, and perhaps nothing matters more than the transferable skills you can bring to the party. 

Perhaps the best way to think of transferable skills is as “portable skills” that you take from job to job irrespective of what is your actual job title and specialism.  Many, possibly most, of them are what I’d call “interpersonal skills” – such as the ability to get on well with people at all levels of a business, to communicate effectively, to organise and work efficiently in teams, to take a proactive approach and be adaptable when required.

If you are actively looking for a job, make a list of your personal skills.  It might surprise you!  Think how well you communicate, how dependable you are, how well you work with others, how flexible you are - and also of any non-job specific training you have had and how it has helped make you the well-rounded individual you are today. Have you been on courses to understand HR, finance, leadership, marketing or even recruitment?  These are all great additions to your CV. 

It’s a good idea to note these skills down on your phone the day before your interview. This will help you to reassess and update them and in doing so it will help you articulate them better at interview. This is especially the case now that video interviewing is standard practice during the crisis.  You should also think about how you can develop these skills and add them to your CV as you go along. Successful people learn new things as they progress throughout their career and use them to their, and their employers’, advantage.

The reasons for identifying, understanding and be able to describe your transferable skills are simple: they will help you get the job you want.  Employers really do value transferable skills which augment your education, training and work experience.  Some recruitment managers in particular are looking for well-rounded candidates who have the right mix of technical skills and creative flair and imagination. In today’s con-tech world, “thinking outside the box” is increasingly a prerequisite for businesses which want to set themselves apart from the competition. Show them that’s you!

Finally, think how you can make the most of these transferable skills at interview and how to project them over video. Use them in a discussion about overcoming a specific construction or engineering challenge, showing examples of how you have been able to use these skills to create the desired result for your current/previous employers. The better you can understand how each one of these “portable skills” adds value to you as a prospective employee, the better your chance of landing the job. 

Chris Peace, Peace Recruitment



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