Thursday 6 December 2018 12:42 pm

Brexit may shake up the jobs market, so get your CV in shape now

We are less than four months away from when the UK is officially meant to leave the EU, but there’s still confusion and much negotiation to be done before we find out exactly what impact Brexit will have on the City.

Jobs are already crossing the Channel – JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds and more have launched subsidiaries elsewhere in Europe as the various negotiation deadlines loom.

So if you’re worried about redundancy, or you just want to escape the confusion and get a new job, now is the time to get your career strategy in shape. Here are my top tips.

Be positive

If you’re asked about redundancy in interviews, don’t sound like a victim, or worse, angry and bitter. Deal with it.

Act as if you’re a valuable asset, because you are, and never feel embarrassed about redundancy. Say it out loud: “The experience has been character building and a great opportunity for bringing positive change.”

Be a spin doctor. Devise a narrative that’s truthful and puts you in a professional, positive light.

Spin your LinkedIn

LinkedIn is very effective in circulating your availability to headhunters and recruiters. Don’t be shy – go public with your availability, and make sure that the right people know.

When your profile is 100 per cent complete, you’ll appear far higher up on search shortlists – studies suggest that you receive 40 per cent more approaches because of it.

Polish your profile until it sparkles. It needs to be professional, likeable, approachable, and enjoyable to read. A common mistake is to think that a an old photograph that you have lying around is sufficient. It’s not. Use a professional-looking headshot (maybe ask a friend with a half decent camera) against a neutral background.

Use all 120 characters of the headline under your name, include your target role and a reference to “currently seeking new opportunities”. Recruiters frequently search for these keywords.

Make your motivations, personality, and major achievements engaging. Don’t be boring. And double-check your profile for typos – a cardinal sin.

Revamp your CV

In this rarefied pre-Brexit atmosphere, the jobs market is more competitive than ever. Fight back with a slick CV, which should be tweaked for each job.

Pack it with keywords relevant to the job to get past the Applicant Tracking System software that most recruiters use – if you don’t, it’ll never reach a human being.

Remember, your CV shouldn’t just list every single job that you’ve ever had. It’s a marketing brochure that should demonstrate what value you’re going to add to a business. Use your own achievements as examples, focusing on commercial impact. Always quantify outcomes where possible.

Brevity and clarity are essential – keep it to two pages.

Go to the best recruiters

To many recruiters, you’re a meal ticket – this has been drummed into them in by managers who make the sergeant from Full Metal Jacket look like the teacher from Good Will Hunting. I know – I used to be one.

Nevertheless, always be professional with a recruiter. They may be informal, late, or even bored, but don’t let your own standards slip. They’re assessing how you’ll perform for their clients – if you don’t present brilliantly, they won’t send you to an interview.

Approach recruitment agencies, look on LinkedIn for jobs where employers are advertising directly, and register with the best job boards.

Recruiters are searching all the time to find the best candidates. Present yourself brilliantly – and the best post-Brexit job could be yours.