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Why clarity and communication are key to a successful job hunt

Kate Allen, Executive Chair and Marketing Director, Allen Associates

If you're contemplating your next career move or actively looking for a new role, you may be wondering what more you can do to improve your chances of landing your dream job.

How you approach your job search, the effort you put into applying for roles and how you handle yourself during interviews, matter a lot.

Employers are keen to fill their roles but they are being cautious and taking their time to ensure they get it right!

The clients that we work with in Oxford and other parts of Oxfordshire are generally willing to be flexible to accommodate candidates' needs, but they are also discerning and in many cases, have high expectations.

Crucially, they don't want to be messed around which is why you can make yourself stand out by being clear about what you want and keeping in regular contact with all parties.

We’ve put together a few pointers which may be useful:

Think carefully about what you want from your next role

Take time to consider the reasons why you want to leave your current employer or look for a new opportunity. This may help you to chrystalise what you do and don't want from your next role, your next team, your next employer.

It may be useful to draw up a list to help you evaluate your personal and professional priorities in the context of a new job.  The professional aspects may include the job itself, what you would like to be doing on a day-to-day basis, how you like to be managed, the sort of environment you prefer to work in, the type of people you enjoy spending time with, the type of company you want to work for, and any training or promotional opportunities that are important to you. Overall, it's worth trying to identify what you need to make you feel happy, motivated and fulfilled at work so that you (or your recruitment agent) can unearth the right job opportunities for you.

In parallel, you will also want to consider your personal circumstances. What salary are you looking for? Are there any particular benefits you value highly? Are you willing to commute – and if so, how far? Would you prefer to work from home and if so, how often? Would you like to work full or part-time? How would you like any new job to fit with other commitments and responsibilities? Which aspects are dealbreakers and which ones would you be willing to compromise on?

All of this may sound like pretty obvious stuff but it's amazing how many people embark on a job search without having thought everything through.

It is not uncommon for job candidates to withdraw their applications half-way through the process because they have suddenly decided they don't want to commute into an office two days a week – or to turn down a job offer because the salary isn’t high enough. In the vast majority of cases, these situations could have been avoided and time could have been much better spent focusing on opportunities that were better suited to their circumstances.

Open and honest communication is key

When it comes to recruitment, nothing beats regular, open and honest communication with your recruitment consultant (if you're working with one) as well as any prospective employers that you come into contact with.

The more transparent you are about your circumstances and what you are looking for, the better your recruitment consultant will be able to help you. Equally, the quicker you respond and the more open you are about your activities – for example which jobs you are applying for direct and which other agencies you've signed up to – the less duplication there will be and the faster your job search is likely to progress.

Your dream job is out there!

If you do your research and carefully consider your next move from all angles, and approach your search with integrity and commitment, you will be highly regarded and your dream job should be yours for the taking!

We’re on your side

Allen Associates has a friendly team of highly experienced consultants working on permanent and temporary roles in Oxford and across Oxfordshire. We help to fill vacancies at all levels in PA and Administration, HR, Marketing and Finance, working with businesses and not-for-profit organisations, including schools, colleges, universities and charities, of all sizes.

If you’re looking for a job and are not currently registered with Allen Associates, please contact us and one of our consultants will be in touch.