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Approaching The Job Market

Category: Tips and Advice

Approaching The Job Market So, you have done all of your research and know the job you want to do and the industry it's in. You have started training courses and you have a CV ready. What’s next? Here are a few things you might like to know…

Be proactive and prepared to approach companies directly – networking is so important. Don’t expect a job to land in your lap - it’s called job-hunting for a reason. Someone once said to me many years ago that job hunting is a full-time job in itself, and it is! If you are doing it properly then it will take up a large amount of your time. Stay motivated!

In the civilian world, ‘most’ people have a one, two or three month notice period. Ideally an employer would like to fill the vacancy as soon as possible. Therefore, start applying for jobs 4 months prior to discharge. Disclaimer – some employers have longer recruitment processes so you must research this to know when you should apply – every company differs.

Think outside the box. Please don’t discount any employer until you have researched them sufficiently and know what is on offer. Many people look at the job title and get put off – read the rest of the advert in detail as you may have all of the experience, skills and qualities required. Job titles in the civilian world differ greatly. Remember that qualifications are not everything.

It is imperative that you populate your RightJob profile so that you get matched to jobs – this can also help you with your research, understand how your skills and experience transfer into the civilian sector and gauge salaries. You can also use job adverts to identify gaps in skills and qualifications and identify relevant training which all help to tailor your CV.

Keep a ring binder and print out all of the jobs you have applied for. Once the job is closed it will disappear off the internet and if you are applying for lots of jobs at the same time, you will forget the detail. It’s all about the job advert and targeting yourself to it. The key words will be in there. 
Use this to target your CV, application form and use this wording within your initial pitch at interview!

Think about the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) and understand what it is (An ATS is a piece of software used by recruiters and employers during the hiring process to collect, sort, scan, and rank the job applications they receive for their open positions). So, what are the top tips to get through an Applicant Tracking System sift then, I hear you cry?

Make sure your application form / CV contains keywords relevant to the job you're applying for. I.e. target the qualifications, skills and qualities. Use the job advert and job description to help - including the job title. Do not use a generic CV – you need to target!

  • Don’t use fancy fonts, colour, lines, tables or graphics as often the ATS does not like them!
  • Specify your qualifications by name if they are relevant to the post.
  • Use bullet points
  • Don't apply for lots of jobs with the same company. The employer can see what you have applied for and it makes it seem as though you are not aware of your own abilities.
  • Your CV will be seen by a human if it makes it through the ATS so it should still be full of achievements and be interesting to read, not just a list of keywords.
Also remember:
  • Some employers will also use software to search the web and look at your social media presence. Think about your brand online and what can be seen. (Consider doing the CTP Social Media Webinar and looking at the Resettlement Guides)
  • Keep networking and use the hidden job market route, don’t just rely on the visible job market – you have more competition!
Final thought: Get used to doing things online and virtually. CTP have embraced this recently with online webinars, events and training being installed alongside physical delivery. A remote future is definitely coming and companies will look to cut costs. Look out for increased working from home and interviews via Zoom or Skype. The work landscape will be changed forever due to Covid-19 so you must embrace it.