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Real Recruiter Insights: Job Search Tips

If you have experienced a lengthy job search at any point in your career, you have probably realized that there are times during that job hunt where you feel like your motivation is diminishing or you're simply stuck with how to find a job altogether. Maybe you are confused on how to optimize your resume, or are nervous preparing for an upcoming interview. Seeking job search tips and other career-related advice from professionals in the HR field is a strategic avenue for wisdom and inspiration. It is always beneficial for job seekers to gain insider knowledge from the pros themself! Continue reading for key recruiter insights from two WilsonCTS Recruitment Consultants, Gulnaaz Akbar and Michelle Walker, regarding the question below: 

QWhat is the best job search, resume or interview advice you can give to candidates regardless of industry and generation?


Be mentally, physically and financially prepared for a "Change" or Simply a "New Start". Changing a job or starting a new position affects all avenues no matter what industry or generation.  Speak to your family, consider geographic preferences, review school options, costs and commute time, etc; prior to applying to open positions. Invest your time wisely through your job search process! 

Once you are sure you want or need a career change; read up and inform yourself on the related industry market trends. Understand and plan your next step in your career progression in terms of job responsibilities and titles etc. Review and update your resume keeping it concise and current with the trends. Anything that is 7+ years should be mentioned, but as a reference versus detailed bullets. Avoid recent gaps on the resume. If it can't be avoided, briefly explain the reason for the gap (E.g.: "returned home to assist with family business management April 2016-December 2016). Always infer the dates on the resume with month and year. Avoid the guessing game, and risking the assumptions made by the employers. Your resume may be knocked off the table based on wrong interpretations, spelling or grammatical errors etc. Take the time to run the spellcheck tool - we are only human and can make a typo. Enhance technical and tactical skills explicitly, with reference to them within the professional experience where appropriate. The resume should reflect integrity, determination to succeed, self-motivation to advance and most-importantly, the value add statement on how you intend to be an asset to an organization. Remember, your resume is your first foot forward -  Step it up and make it count! 

Plan your application process effectively. Don't present your resume to the market when you have an extended vacation planned in the near future. Employers see this as a sign of being an unorganized / unplanned resource. Apply to job postings and be available to accommodate interview schedules. Be prompt in responding to employer requests (direct or through recruitment consultants). Prior to an interview, be well-informed of the company profile, growth trends, completed / future projects and company culture. Remember: An interview is an opportunity for you to respectfully meet with a company, and decide if it is the right partnership where you can share mutual goals for success! Be resourceful and well-prepared!! 


A: Michelle Walker 

Know your personal brand! Brand differentiation transcends the marketing discipline. Understanding who you are as a professional can be the most powerful tool you have in your arsenal of job search techniques. As a recruiter, when I am considering what candidate is the best match for my client I’m looking for more than keywords that match the job description or a certain number of years of experience.  A strong candidate in my mind is someone that knows who they are professionally; understands the environments in which they thrive, and knows what they are offering that is unique from other candidates. This level of professional self-awareness can be as evident on a resume as it is in an interview. On a resume, a succinct and specific profile or motivation section can serve as an indication of a candidate that knows their brand along with a job summary that is a targeted list of accomplishments that are unique to them performing the job, rather than a list of responsibilities that are given to anyone in that position. In a conversation, a candidate that knows their brand can answer common interview questions with specificity; such as explaining motivations for leaving and joining each organization, what they learned from each role and what they are looking for in a new organization. I am listening for candidates who own their brand by answering questions honestly, displaying vulnerability when needed and who can articulate what makes them different. 

To get to this point of professional self-actualization, some upfront work is required.  Here are a few questions you can ask yourself (keep in mind it’s important to be brutally honest!). Ask, what is unique about my experience?  What did I learn from each role? What job did I enjoy the most and why? What job did I least like, and why?  Who was my favourite and least favourite boss, and why?  What are the reasons I left and took each job? Then, look for commonalities in your answers to identify patterns of feelings, preferences and behaviours. This is the foundation of understanding who you are as a professional. The next step is to understand what is interesting about your experience. A few questions to ask yourself to help understand this part is: What do I do better than my colleagues? Has there been any common recognition in performance discussions? What do I take the most pride in? This exercise of knowing your brand will be critical to the success of your job search. It will help narrow down opportunities that you want to invest your time into, can expedite the interview process and most importantly, exhibiting professional self-awareness will establish credibility and confidence in your candidacy.

[BLOG] Building Your Personal Brand to  Stand out as a Job Seeker


Career Advice


WilsonCTS is a leading global provider of contingent talent solutions committed to finding the right employees at the right time for its clients. Providing a full suite of services — including contract staffing, permanent placement and temp-to-perm — WilsonCTS acts as a seamless extension of its clients’ talent acquisition function. WilsonCTS leads the industry in flexibility and scalability, and has the people, processes and technology to help clients recruit highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals in even the most demanding of situations.