Growth through Talent

Ways to Make Incremental Gains in The Job Search

 19th Feb 2024

At Pivotal, we understand the complexities of navigating this job market. 2023 presented various external factors which drove the volume of new roles down; whilst the amount of available candidates increased. This in turn has created a highly competitive market. Now in 2024, the market remains challenging, however we are seeing signs of improvement due to an increase in new jobs.


With over 400 successful placements in the past year, we recognise the challenges and potential opportunities that you could tap in to help with your search. As you go about your job search, we want to help provide you with valuable insights and strategies which can help you to stand out from the crowd in the competitive candidate landscape.

Below, we've outlined key areas where you can make incremental gains in your job search. Please note, they aren’t exhaustive but should help cover a lot of the basics.


  • Crafting Your Elevator Pitch:

Your career is filled with accomplishments – remember them! Develop a succinct elevator pitch that summarises your professional journey and highlights your own unique value proposition. Whether reaching out to potential employers, your promoters/network, or recruiters; a compelling elevator pitch can set the stage for meaningful conversations.


  • CV Tips:

Your CV is your ultimate sales pitch. Ensure your CV stands out by:

  1. Keeping it concise (2-3 pages)
  2. Include your phone number, email address, link to LinkedIn profile
  3. Include a compelling personal statement/elevator pitch
  4. Emphasise key achievements, not just responsibilities
  5. Incorporate relevant keywords for search optimisation
  6. We recommend to place most emphasis on your most recent and relevant experience
  7. Add an interests section for a personal touch – and be honest! Don’t say you are a bookworm if it’s been 5 years since you read one. You may be asked in interview about it
  8. Utilise tools like Grammarly for the final touch


  • Optimising Your LinkedIn Profile:

Your LinkedIn profile is your professional public shop window. You have many opportunities to shine the light on you and help you to differentiate and stand out. Here are some ways to stand out to maximise its impact:

  1. Add a recent professional photo
  2. Crafting a compelling "About" section
  3. Highlight key achievements not just responsibilities in each experience entry
  4. We recommend to place most emphasis on your most recent and relevant experience
  5. Keyword optimise your profile so your profile comes back in searches
  6. Request new LinkedIn recommendations from promoters, ex-colleagues, bosses, clients
  7. Set up job alerts so you get daily emails of new jobs posted that are relevant to you
  8. Follow key companies in your industry and that you would like to work for


  • Researching Top Companies:

There will be your dream companies that you would love to work for. There are different ways to approach them and it is not a one size fits all approach between direct applications, network, using a specialist recruiter to introduce you.

  1. Map out key contacts within these target companies
  2. Leverage your network to see if you can identify promoters who are connected to this business
  3. Find out which trusted recruitment partners they use
  4. Make a decision based on who you believe can help you get in front of them most effectively


  • Nurture Your Network:

There will be lots of people who say great things about you. Tap into your network of promoters:

  1. Identify 10 individuals who can vouch for your abilities and speak highly of you
  2. Reach out to them to make them aware you are looking for a role; and ask for introductions
  3. Make their life easy by sharing your Elevator pitch, updated CV with them
  4. Network, network, network
  5. Along the way remember to thank these people


  • Partnering With Recruitment Experts:

Having trusted recruiters in your corner is a powerful strategy, as they are deeply connected across the landscape, can help you stand out and are aware of vacancies that are not on the open market.

  1. Identify the top recruitment agencies in your sector
  2. Get referred into these recruitment agencies from your network if possible
  3. Share your Elevator pitch and revised CV and LinkedIn profile
  4. Suggest to the recruiter that you meet face to face or video (as a minimum)
  5. Agree on a clear action plan at the end of the meeting
  6. Follow up weekly with the recruiters


  • Mastering Video Interviews:

Another shop window in the process of finding a new role. The impression that you give on video interviews as just as important as in-person interviews. Here are a few ways how to excel:

  1. Choose a professional background or virtual background from Teams, Zoom, Google etc.
  2. Ensure you have a good internet connection
  3. Have a proper camera setup (you can buy a webcam for £15)
  4. Dress appropriately for your industry
  5. Utilise split-screen so you can have half of screen the video; and the half your prompts


  • Tracking Your Progress:

By staying organised you will feel in more control of your job search:

  1. Create a Google sheet or Excel sheet to track applications, conversations and progress
  2. Follow up on job applications you have made
  3. Continue to nurture relationships with promoters and recruiters
  4. Stay consistent and keep your
  5. Maintain eye contact


By implementing some of or all of these strategies, you'll enhance your job search effectiveness and increase your chances of securing your next opportunity. Each marginal gain a difference, if all applied it can make a big difference.


Best of luck

The Pivotal Team

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