Looking for a job during the coronavirus pandemic

Mar 30, 2020
A rapidly changing job market requires a new job search methodology.

Here is some guidance in relation to devising your approach in the weeks and months ahead. 

1. RESEARCH PHASE 

Start a spreadsheet with multiple tabs for different sectors and job titles that appeal to you. 
Review the Irish Times top 1000 companies listing and research the various job websites and then create a target hit list of organisations that match your interest. Put these into the tabs in your spreadsheet and start researching each individual company by growth, location, suitability etc. Essentially market-mapping! 
Go into the website of each company and review their career section. See what open jobs they have currently or even old ones yet unfilled. Follow the company on LinkedIn. Consequently your LinkedIn feed will be populated by their recent news and you will be more informed. 

LinkedIn

Review the profiles of finance people in each company of interest via LinkedIn. Check to see if you have any warm connections within these companies for example ex-colleagues or friends. 
If you haven’t done so already update your LinkedIn profile and ensure that is reflects the role that you are seeking next. Join the Chartered Accountants Ireland LinkedIn Group and use it to connect with other members.

Recruiters

As well as registering with the recruitment service offered by Chartered Accountants Ireland, connect with a handful of good recruiters who understand your background as an ACA or FCA. Discuss the market with them. 
Professional development
This is also an ideal time to spend on your personal and professional development and there are a wide range of courses and webinars available on-line that will support you. Check out the free webinars on www.charteredaccountants.ie

2. APPLICATION PHASE 

Only apply for roles that you genuinely feel are of interest and are a good fit. Concentrate your efforts on these roles rather than flooding the market with your CV. 

Tailor your CV

Tailor your CV for each application that you make so that you can highlight the specific skills and experience that you have that are relevant to the role in question. It is worth investing this time as you are more likely to be shortlisted for interview if you do. Don’t just tailor the cover letter as this may not be read and the recruiter may just go straight to your CV and you will have missed an opportunity to showcase your most relevant skills and experience. 
If applying for a role through a recruitment agency ask them for advice in relation to your CV and get some insights into the role in advance of applying. Gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the requirements of the role will help you to better tailor your application to the role, enhancing your chances of being shortlisted for interview.

Keep a record

Keep a note of the applications that you have made and when you applied so that you know what applications you need to follow up on. It will also help you to avoid duplicating on applications. If you haven’t heard back from an organisation in relation to your application within 2 weeks follow up with them via an email or call. If possible, get a name and a number for the appropriate person so that if required you can follow up again at a later stage.

Keep an open mind

During a period of uncertainty in the job market it can be advisable to consider contract and interim roles as well as permanent. Typically employers can be quicker to recruit on a contract basis initially and it can mean that you have more options to consider and it may lead to you finding a new role more quickly that if you focus exclusively on permanent roles. You may also find that what started initially as a contract role may become a permanent role as your make an impact in the role and as the economy improves.

3. INTERVIEW PHASE

Preparation is key especially when it comes to doing a virtual interview which you may not have experienced before. You will find tips and advice in relation to interview preparation (including virtual interviews) on our website. (www.charteredaccountants.ie)

4. DECISION PHASE  

The ideal scenario, where possible, is to have multiple interview processes running at the same time so that you can ultimately hopefully choose between a number of offers. In reality this can be a challenge, especially given current circumstances. However, the more interview activity you have the more you will feel you have fully explored the options open to you and the easier it will be for you to make decisions.
 At the offer and decision stage make sure that everyone involved is clear on the elements that are important to you, whether that is remuneration, flexibility or advancement prospects so that there are no surprises when the offer comes in. Take a measured approach to the decision. There are always questions to be asked and clarifications to be made before verbal acceptance. When you receive the offer perhaps sense-check it with a third party, a mentor, a trusted recruiter or someone that understands your career path and then go for it!

For further advice and career supports email careers@charteredaccountants.ie