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Turn Brexit uncertainty into job search success

According to data by CEB, job adverts fell by 700,000 in the week after Brexit. As job vacancies fall, how can you make sure your CV shines and your job search is effective? This advice-focused blog looks at tips for job hunting in uncertain times – how to up your game and make sure your career progresses. Can you make the aftermath of Brexit work for you and your career?

With all the doom and gloom news in the media post Brexit, if you were thinking of changing jobs or careers you might be forgiven for feeling you should put your CV on ice for the foreseeable future. No one likes uncertainty and until there is more clarity on our relationship with the EU and the impact on the jobs market that is what we could be facing for at least a couple of years.  However, we need to get some perspective and focus on the positives, it may not be as bad as we fear, the UK is still the 5th largest economy in the world. Plus findings from a Bank of England survey of its nationwide agents revealed that two thirds of firms are pressing on with plans as normal and there is no clear evidence of a sharp general slowdown.

Now is actually the time to start thinking how you can turn the current situation to your advantage and get ahead of the game.

Don’t think everyone has stopped recruiting

The news would certainly have us believe that employers are not hiring but actually it is likely that firms who put recruitment on hold pre Brexit are now needing to fill the vacancies they froze until the Brexit result was announced. Do your research and check whether the industry/companies you are interested in are advertising and continue applying for jobs. And be proactive by sending out tailored on spec applications to the companies you want to work for – they might just arrive in a recruiting manager’s inbox at the right time.

Continuing with your job search now can improve your odds as others give up

Take the view that the competition for jobs may be reduced post Brexit as many job hunters assume it’s not a good time to apply for jobs and that there may be less EU nationals applying for roles in the UK.

If you decide to wait for a while to see how the job market changes then use your time well to prepare and get ready to be proactive.

If you feel more cautious or your industry is more affected by the Brexit result, for example, financial services then you may decide to put your job search on hold. However if you do then use the time you have now to prepare by gaining new skills, making contacts, and updating your CV.

Update your CV and LinkedIn and develop additional skills

Investing time now in crafting a really strong CV and updating your LinkedIn profile will reap benefits later. Again, do your research and think about what you can bring to a company post Brexit – what are the changes Brexit will mean to your industry and how can you contribute? You can drill down even further and consider what Brexit will mean to your profession, for example, if you work in marketing, communications or HR what new skills or knowledge could you focus on developing to be able to deal with Brexit challenges.

Make sure you highlight these areas in your applications – it demonstrates you are thinking strategically and are commercially aware.

Attend networking events and schedule lunches

Employers will continue to recruit using non traditional routes so building a sound network and letting your contacts know what you’re looking for can be an effective way to hear about potential vacancies and position yourself as a possible candidate. It is also a good way to find out what employers are looking for post Brexit. Be clear about your message and how you can add value.

Re-evaluate and reach out to recruiters

Similarly taking time to develop strong relationships with recruiters is a good investment of your time. Find out which agencies your industry respects and uses, and work hard to get to meet them so you can talk about what you have to offer and also what you want to get from your next role. Sometimes the small boutique agencies can offer a more personalised service, and also give you useful feedback on the market trends and what employers are looking for.

Stay Positive

Developing and maintaining an optimistic outlook will be very attractive to potential employers. When times are tough employers want team members who help maintain morale rather than contributing to the office moans. Make sure at interviews you show how resilient you are and how you can cope with adversity. These will be valuable and sought after traits in the coming months.


This article first appeared on Guardian Careers in August 2016.


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