Update your details
Before you start applying for every role that you can find, your very first step should be to update your CV. Highlight what you’ve done in each of your roles and give clear examples of how your work has made a difference. Statistics are always a good way of grabbing attention so if you’ve generated x amount of revenue, then say so. If you’ve been with the same company for a significant number of years, then try to break down your time there into separate sections – i.e. have you had different job titles or responsibilities?
Next you need to update your LinkedIn profile. Much of the information can be duplicated from your new CV, and don’t feel embarrassed to change your LinkedIn headline to something like ‘an experienced Travel Consultant currently seeking a new role’ – you’re looking for a new position so be brazen about it.
It’s vital to stay upbeat – remember that you lost your job through no fault of your own and that many other companies are recruiting for staff at the moment. The travel industry has had a skills shortage for the past few years, so there are many roles available for experienced travel professionals like you.
Get your name out there
There’s only so much you can do on your own, so submit your CV to the job boards and register with a specialist recruitment company that knows the industry and can match your experiences to a relevant role. Recruiters can also offer you advice about improving your CV and interview technique, advise you about exclusive roles that aren’t advertised elsewhere and let you know how much you should realistically be earning.
Unfortunately, it’s likely that many other people will be in the same situation as you, so it’s important to act quickly and stay ahead of the competition. It may be a cliché, but to really give yourself the best chance of finding a great new role as soon as possible, you need to treat your search as a job in itself. Dedicate your time to it and be fast but be thorough. Tailor each application for each individual role and don’t rush your wording because it’s far more important to sell yourself properly than to send in an application that’s riddled with mistakes.
Use your contacts
This is the ideal time to reconnect with your old contacts and suppliers. Be proactive and ask around to see if anyone knows of any vacancies or has any leads for you. And don’t be ashamed about it – many companies are searching for quality candidates at the moment, so why wouldn’t they want to know that someone of your experience is currently available? LinkedIn is perfect for this – send out some messages and see what comes back.
Attending industry events can also be a very useful way to connect or reconnect with people that may have influence. It’s also worth remembering that some companies have even been known to create an opportunity specifically for a candidate if their skillset or product knowledge is particularly niche or specific, so do ensure you remind people about what you can do. Finally, a glowing referral from a well-known industry name can really grab the attention of recruiters and employers, so ask around and see who’s willing to vouch for you.
Clean up your social media profile
It’s now common practice for employers to search a candidate’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages before they invite them for interview, so this is the perfect time to go back through your profiles and make sure they’re all appropriate.
Is there anything on there that you’re now embarrassed by? If so, it’s a good idea to delete it. Our personalities are reflected in our social media profiles so no-one’s expecting them to be 100 per cent professional, but if you want to find a new role quickly then it’s wise to ensure your online presence isn’t likely to seriously offend.
Read the press
Another key source is to read the trade press and stay abreast of the news. Our industry can move quickly and it’s sometimes impossible to predict which direction it will go in, so stay on top of events and seek out the latest industry columns to see if there’s anything you can capitalise on. You may even find out about a new role that hasn’t even been advertised yet. Who’s recruiting? Who’s retiring? How much am I worth? Who’s opening a new office? Who’s launching a homeworking division?
For even more advice about finding a new travel job, just contact the recruitment team at C&M.