The risk/compliance job hunter’s survival toolkit (in the era of COVID-19)

 

Job hunting can be tricky at the best of times...

But while the world has been in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, finding the perfect role has become an even greater challenge.

However, it isn't impossible.

In fact, whether you’re looking for a role in regulatory compliance, financial crime, risk management or another regulatory role, this handy toolkit has all the tips you need to help you get started on your career-finding journey. You can also take a look at the roles we have available here!

Specifically, you will learn how to:

  1. Find amazing risk/compliance risk roles
  2. Optimise your LinkedIn profile for powerful networking opportunities
  3. Get yourself noticed by hiring managers
  4. Tailor your CV to ensure the greatest chances for success
  5. Prepare confidently for your interview

An important note before we begin:

When it comes to finding a new role, it’s important to use a multi-channel approach in order to stand out from the crowd.

In today’s climate, simply applying for roles just won’t cut it, as competition for regulatory compliance, financial crime, risk management and other similar roles is rapidly increasing. Specifically, only around 1-3% of applicants get an interview through a job application!

For the best chances of success, you should spend around 40% of your time on applications, and the rest of that time on building your own personal “branding,” as well as building relationships with recruiters and potential hiring managers. Making the most of any current connections you may have who could potentially “put in a good word” for you can also be helpful, too.

So with that in mind, let’s get started!

The job hunter’s survival toolkit

Step 1: Setting up job alerts

Job hunting takes a significant amount of time, but one of the ways you can streamline your search in order to use that time more effectively and efficiently on developing your CV or taking part in training opportunities is through setting up job alerts.

Websites including LinkedIn, efinancialcareers, reed, CityJobs, indeed, Adzuna and others will allow you to sign up for new regulatory-centred job alerts based on criteria such as job type, salary, location and more.

You can set these alerts to arrive in your inbox as regularly as you like, whether that’s as soon as they’re posted or on a weekly basis. We would recommend setting these alerts to “instant” so that you can get ahead of the competition.

We’d also recommend registering to our automatic jobs-by-email list here so that you can be the first to know about the opportunities we have available!

LinkedIn job search

Step 2: Setting up your LinkedIn profile

LinkedIn job searches are just one benefit of the website. An astounding 77% of recruiters rely on LinkedIn to find new employees, so it’s an extremely powerful tool to have in your job-hunting arsenal.

The trick here is to optimise your page to make it as easy as possible for financial crime, compliance, risk and other recruiters to find you, as well as making your profile stand out using your previous experience.

Optimising your profile

When optimising your profile, be sure to:

  • Complete every section in the profile, including your industry, where you are based, your current employment position if you have one, at least two past roles, education and qualifications, and at least three skills
  • Check that your current job title reflects the type of role that you want to be found for, as Recruiters often search on ‘current’ job titles. If you have finished your last role and are now immediately available, then be sure to add a new role which has a ‘To Present’ date on it, as well as the job titles that you wish to be found for. This will ensure that you still come up in Recruiters searches for ‘current’ job titles
  • Use relevant and honest keywords within these sections that you want to be found for, such as “Financial crime expert,” “compliance consultant”
  • Add any relevant links in the Features section – for example, any projects you have previously worked on and any relevant certificates or articles
  • Move the sections of your profile around so that the most relevant parts that employers want to see will be visible above the fold – in this case, your previous roles and certifications.
  • Create a vanity URL. When you first create a LinkedIn account, your page URL will be a mix of numbers and letters. Be sure to change this to your name.
  • Set your profile to “open to opportunities” mode, and be sure to share it with “all LinkedIn users”

Making your profile stand out

  • Ensure your profile headshot looks professional and relevant
  • Feature any written recommendations from current and/or previous roles in the financial sector in the “written recommendations” section
  • Showcase any awards or achievements you have accomplished in your current and/or previous roles
  • Find and share – or even write – posts and relevant updates relating to the financial and compliance industry. If you’re busy, you can use a tool like Hootsuite to automate these posts for you! Remember to put any links to articles in the comments section so that your post gets more reach, too
  • Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to like, comment on and share your post within the first hour that you share it – this will boost its visibility as it will enable algorithms to send it around
  • Try and time these posts in line with the most popular times of day that employers browse through LinkedIn (currently mornings and mid-late afternoons on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday)

Now that your LinkedIn profile is set up and optimised, it’s time to start networking!

Step 3: Get yourself noticed by hiring managers

According to TopResume, 60% of jobs are found through networking, rather than online. What’s more, platforms like LinkedIn actually have recruiter application, meaning that recruiters use them regularly to find potential employees.

Some of the ways you can take advantage of this include:

  • Joining LinkedIn groups and webinars related to the financial crime, risk and compliance industry
  • Sending connection requests on LinkedIn to current and previous colleagues relevant to your industry
  • Connecting with people you haven’t worked with before and may hire you - just be sure that you give context to your invitation, such as noting that you have read their work or seen them speaking at an event, or noticed that they have a relevant role open that you could be suitable for. Once you’re connected, feel free to comment meaningfully on/share their posts to get yourself noticed, and aim to add value to them in some way
  • During your LinkedIn job search and applications, also be sure to try and find hiring managers on the platform to let them know you have applied. This is a two-pronged approach that will ensure you have contacted both the HR and Talent Acquisition team through your application, as well as the hiring manager

By connecting with a network of professionals like yourself and using LinkedIn regularly to comment on, share and like posts, you’ll become easier to find as the LinkedIn algorithm likes active profiles. This way you’ll also become attractive to prospective managers, and be open to roles on the hidden jobs market.

This term is used to describe roles that haven’t been publically advertised, usually because businesses are looking to save money on advertising their positions on job sites or because they want to find candidates through employee referrals and networks.

LinkedIn job search 2

Step 4: Tailor your CV to ensure the greatest chance for success

Typically, an employer will only read a CV for about ten seconds before deciding if its creator is worthy of the role they’re hiring for, so it’s essential that yours is tailored for the specific financial crime/compliance role you’re applying for and packs a punch! Here’s how:

  • Read the job advert - whether that’s from your LinkedIn job search or the company website – plus any attached documents carefully, making note of any essential or desired skills or experience highlighted, and edit your CV to include these where possible
  • Make note of the kinds of language they use, and alter your CV to match this
  • Place your most relevant experience at the top of your CV, including training, qualifications and both soft and hard skills so they’re quick and easy for the employer to find
  • Cut out any irrelevant information
  • Explore the website of the company advertising the role to learn about their culture and values, and include anything you have done that links to these - for example, if they have a sociable culture and you have previously been in charge of a workplace social committee, mention that!

There’s plenty more information about CV-writing on our website, which you can access here.

Step 5: Preparing confidently for your interview

We recently wrote a helpful blog which goes into detail about preparing for financial crime and compliance job interviews, which you can read here.

However, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is highly likely that any interviews you have for the foreseeable future will take place via video call. In which case, be sure to follow these tips:

  • Ensure that the room you will be in for your interview is free from noises and distractions (be sure your phone is on silent), and has stable internet access to avoid any connectivity drop-outs
  • If you are sharing your living space with other people, be sure to remind them that you have an interview so that they know not to disturb you
  • Test your webcam and microphone in the lead-up and on the day of the interview to ensure they are working
  • If you are using a laptop or tablet, be sure it is connected to a reliable power supply
  • Wear smart clothes as you would for a face-to-face interview, in line with the type of company culture that you are interviewing for. For example, a shirt and tie would be appropriate for an interview with a big bank, or an open-necked shirt and jacket for FinTech companies
  • Use open body language and show that you are engaged and listening to the interviewer(s) by smiling and nodding. Also, look into the webcam and not at the screen to maintain eye contact
  • Make your answers shorter and more succinct than they would be in a normal interview situation, as attention can be lost more quickly on a video call
  • Ensure you have a pen and paper handy so you can make notes, as well as your CV/completed application form to refer back to. You could even attach post-it notes around your screen for any basic reminders and prompts
  • Practice with a trusted friend or family member!

Bonus step: Keep track of company funding rounds

Back in June, £600 million of funding was released in the previous 90 days for UK FinTech companies – and funding often leads to hiring! You can see a full list of the companies that have benefited here (one-third of which have live compliance and risk management roles).

It is, therefore, worth keeping an eye on websites of similar companies to see whether they’ve received funding and are likely to have new roles in the pipeline.

Google Chrome’s Page Monitor extension is a handy tool for this, as it will let you know automatically when any of these websites make updates, so if any new opportunities arise, you’ll be among the first to hear about them! Alternatively, you could use a tool like Crunchbase, which tracks company funding rounds.

Twenty84 can help you further...

Here at Twenty84, we have helped financial crime, risk, compliance, regulatory and other relevant candidates succeed in finding and securing roles during the COVID-19 pandemic – without meeting the employer face-to-face!

If you are currently looking to find your ideal role, take a look at the opportunities currently available via our website, register your CV with us, or contact us to speak with one of our recruitment experts today!

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