Finding the time and motivation to find a new job can be difficult sometimes but these ten tips should help to get you on your way and give you the edge in finding that new career.
Every new year the idea of a new job crosses most people’s minds, but for whatever reason, many people put off applying for a new role – which they can sometimes regret. The sales sector can change quickly and some people can be left behind in roles that haven’t moved with the times. Ambitious and driven sales professionals continuously look for that new challenge to help them reach their goals and receive a salary they deserve, amongst other things, that is not achieved by standing still.
If you’re caught in two minds about whether a change in jobs is the right idea in 2020, then you need to ask yourself a few questions.
- Does your current salary match your ability?
- Does the company provide sufficient room for progression?
- Is the job challenging enough to ensure you are motivated each day?
If you have answered any of those questions with a no, then maybe it’s time to look for a new and more fulfilling career.
Make sure you’re at the top of your game
When looking for a new job you should first make sure that you are an asset in your current role, as this will make you a more attractive proposition to any potential employers. Ensure you are consistently hitting targets, or better yet going beyond them to top any leaderboards.
Salespeople at the top of their game are highly sought after and could even find themselves being headhunted, but it is also a sure fire way of getting your application to the front of the pile in such a results-driven industry. Not only this, but it will also help secure a strong reference from your current employer.
It seems obvious, but an individual who is doing the bare minimum and achieving less than impressive results will find it much harder to step up the ladder.
Determine what you can bring to the table
Before you begin your job search you should be fully aware of your skills and qualities so you can find a role which will let you perform to the best of your abilities. Establishing your skill set will also let you refine your search so you can discover jobs that meet your needs and filter out any jobs that are irrelevant.
Outline your main strengths and create a shortlist of your core skill set which can form the basis of your tailored CV and cover letter, these skills should be applied to the job description to show what you can bring to the role and the business.
Don’t apply for every job you see
Be selective and make sure each application is tailored for that specific role – an experienced recruiter can easily spot a template cover letter and it is very likely that it will end up in the ‘no pile’.
Searching for a new job can be an exhaustive process so you want to waste as little time as possible. Taking the time to create an application for a job that is unsuited to your abilities, or isn’t necessarily an upgrade on your current job is exactly that, a waste of time.
Create a list of the jobs most suited to your skills within a commutable area and focus your attention on them, rather than applying a scattergun approach to your job search.
Focus on your online presence
Ensure your LinkedIn profile is fully up to date and advertises your qualities.
LinkedIn is one of the first places a recruiter looks at when they receive an application, as it provides them with a much more in-depth CV and gives them more insight into the individual.
When updating your LinkedIn profile you should make sure of the following:
- Make sure your profile is set to public and update your location & contact information
- Narrow down your endorsed skills to only include ones which are most relevant to sales
- Create a customised URL which includes your name
- Make your profile is more pleasing to the eye by including a background picture which says something about you. If you’re a keen traveller then you can show this here. Also include a current profile picture which puts across a positive image.
- Create a headline which summarises your approach to sales and the skills you can provide.
- Streamline your profile and remove any jargon or irrelevant content.
- Request recommendations from colleagues and managers to promote your ability and achievements.
If you use Twitter you should also try to keep it as professional as possible while hunting for a new job, or perhaps just switch your profile so it is not visible to the public.
Keep your mind on the job search
Even if you are not actively looking for a new job but would be open to offers, it is sensible to be prepared for any approaches. Keep track of the successes and achievements in your current job so you can present them to any potential employers if required. If you have topped the sales leaderboard or broken a record then keep a note of it.
Don’t let your CV go stale, if you feel you have improved in one area of the job then update your CV accordingly. Also mention any training or professional development that you think a recruiter should know about.
Establish what you want from your new career
Why are you specifically looking for a new job in sales?
Outline the pros and cons of your current job and highlight what you would like to be improved in your new job. Is location a key factor? Salary? Or are you looking for a more challenging working environment?
Until you have established why you want to leave your current job, you will struggle to determine why another role is an attractive proposition. This could result in applying for jobs that present the same issues you are currently facing.
Try to create a profile of your ideal job and employer
Knowing exactly what you want from a new opportunity can make it much easier to narrow down your search to only jobs that could be a perfect fit.
List what you want from your new job – what it would entail? How much would you like to earn? Where would you like to be based? What product would you be selling? What progression would there be?
Once you have created a summary of your perfect job, you should then do something similar for your ideal employer. Do you want to work for a small or large firm? What benefits would you like the company to offer? Do you want to work for an established, well-known company, or an exciting up & comer?
These profiles can then be applied to your search, making it much easier to identify companies and job descriptions that match your requirements.
You could also complete an online career assessment which could identify what values and ethos’ you want from an employer. The ethics of a company may be extremely important to you without you necessarily realising it. Do your research and identify companies that you would love to work for and try to connect with them, whether it is online, or by attending networking events.
Network with new and existing connections within the sector
Showing that you are enthusiastic about the industry and taking the time out to speak to people working within the sector can go a long way in being considered for a job. A passionate individual who goes the extra mile to improve their knowledge will stand out from the crowd when recruiters are sifting through applications, particularly if the candidate has reached out to them in the past.
Reply to tweets made by industry experts and thought leaders, join sales related discussion groups on Facebook and LinkedIn and attend networking events and job fairs to speak to recruiters directly. A person who is previously known to a company could have the edge when any vacancy arises in the future.
It can also be beneficial to connect with former colleagues who may be aware of vacancies that may have previously passed you by. Who knows, a previous colleague may now be a manager at another company and is in charge of the hiring and firing.
Try to create a network of sales professionals and ensure you stay in touch, even if it is just a friendly, catch up message once a year.
Make sure your cover letter is flawless
Think of your cover letter as your elevator pitch where you have just a few seconds to explain why the company should hire you and why you would be an excellent fit for their team. Here is where you can talk about your achievements, why you have been successful and how you would like to apply your skills and experience to this specific role.
Big yourself up without sounding boastful and make sure you cover all the requirements listed in the job description, getting rid of any additional information which isn’t directly applicable to the job listed.
Your cover letter should try and grab the recruiter’s attention immediately and convey what makes you such a strong candidate within a few seconds.
Follow up emails
Some people do not send follow up emails as it can be considered pushy, or slightly desperate, however, research shows that most human resource managers expect a follow up email from candidates.
You should wait at least one week before sending a follow up email and usually wait no longer than two weeks. However, you should refer to the initial job posting before sending anything as some companies state that they do not want any additional correspondence.
Once you have located the hiring manager’s details you can begin to write a letter which should include:
- A clear subject line, stating the purpose of the email
- A polite message to check on the status of your application
- A reiteration of why you would like to be considered for the job and what you can bring to the role
Of course, you could also try to call the hiring manager directly which could be even more effective in some cases.
We hope the tips above have been helpful in your search for a new job and we wish you luck in your new career.
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