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Dealing with redundancy

In the first in a new series of articles on careers Hays Civil & Structural director Greg Lettington sets out the options available to those finding themselves made redundant.

Q

I’ve been made redundant and don’t know where to start looking! What do I do now?

A

“While no one can deny that there are fewer jobs than there were a year ago, you shouldn’t panic. Although the competition has intensified, the sector remains resilient compared to other industries and there are still jobs out there. It’s vital to stay positive; employers are looking to hire individuals who can demonstrate an ability to add value in a challenging environment.

Firstly, I would suggest dusting off your CV. It may have been some time since you last needed it and will probably need some attention. A good recruitment consultancy can help advise you on this. Specialist recruitment consultants are experienced in finding the right jobs for the right people and will have supported the career paths of many professionals before you. Opportunities are not always advertised and a good recruiter will often put you in front of employers who may be keen to build a role around your specialist skills.

Think about any industry contacts you have made over the years; it’s worth giving them a call to see if they know of any current opportunities that might suit you. Speak to old college friends, people that graduated at the same time as you, you never know; it may end up in a lead to a new job.

It’s a good idea to attend formal networking events such as seminars and breakfast meetings, where possible. Attending these can help you to meet relevant people, while they may not be able to help you there and then, they may think of you in the future if something comes up.

When it comes to applying for jobs I would advise looking in the appointment sections of trade magazines and newspapers and check out various websites for jobs. When sending out your CV make sure it states all your relevant skills - it is crucial to tailor your CV to each role you apply for. Take the time to research each company and fully understand the job description.

Once you secure an interview prepare, prepare, and then prepare some more. A year ago you could get away with ticking 70% of the boxes at interview; now you should aim to tick at least 90%.

If you are still struggling to find work in the current market you should make sure you consider all of your options. Being flexible is key in the present climate. For example, think about your transferable skills and consider unpaid experience or re-training in an area with skills shortages.”

There will be more detailed information on CV writing and interviews tips in next week’s careers advice.

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