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How searching for a Halloween Costume is like Searching for a Job!

With 174 million people celebrating Halloween this weekend with costumes, sweets, pumpkins, decorations and parties…it is big business!!!

Over 3 million pumpkins will be sold in the UK, 92% of people will hand out goodies to trick or treaters and 120 million people will dress up in a costume — with 11.5% of them also dressing up their pet. (Yes really)

It also seems that each year the costumes and decorations become more and more extravagant with some people spending hours and hours on achieving the perfect look. It’s enough to make me think what would happen if these people spent as much time thinking about their career as they did applying zombie makeup.

With this in mind let’s have some fun and see what lessons from Halloween we can apply to the business of you.

Prepare the Ingredients for Success

You think a haunted house is frightening? Believe me, nothing is scarier than the scene and long lines at Elliot’s fancy dress in Belfast if you wait until the last minute. They won’t have any good costumes left, and the ones that are decent won’t be in your size.  You need to prepare and research the costume you want in advance.

When planning your career preparation is key.  Why put off starting your job search until tomorrow when others are preparing as we speak? And even while you’re in your current job, you should be thinking about the next step up the ladder and learning the skills needed to get there.  It’s important to keep track of your achievements and stay in good communication with your boss if you are thinking about asking for a raise or a promotion in the near future.

Just like with costumes at Elliot’s fancy dress, the best positions and opportunities often go to those who get there first.

Be Current

When it is time to choose your costume, don’t get stuck in the past.  The best costumes by far are those that are the most current and relevant.   Take a look at the latest Internet trends, check out the most recent movies, and read a few magazines.   You want to be strutting your stuff on Halloween night in a cool current costume, not dressed up as an irrelevant old cliché. (Anyone else tired with the 118 118 costume)?

In the workplace, make sure your skills aren’t stuck in the past.  Keep current in your career.  When was the last time you read a book to enhance your knowledge, signed up for a class outside of work or took a training course?  Regardless if it’s a certification within your field, up-skilling to a new industry or learning the latest software, make sure you’re up to date and relevant.

This is also essential in regards to your salary. If you don’t know your value on the marketplace, check out our salary guides to find out what your salary level should be. You might be underpaid and ready for a promotion or pay rise.

Be Authentic

When people try too hard at Halloween to desperately try to be something they’re not, it’s usually met with a resounding fail.  Whether you’re a java developer who loves karaoke, a data scientist who loves the saxophone, a quiet accountant who skydives on the weekend, or a flamboyant solicitor who likes to knit, you can find a costume that suits your personality.

This also applies to how you represent yourself both on your CV and online profile.  It goes without saying that if you lie on your CV, it will come back to haunt you (no joke intended). In creating a presence on the web, a hiring manager should be able to tell pretty quickly what your skills are and what you stand for.

The Details Count

To me the most important in making a good costume a great costume are the fine details. It’s one thing to liberate some of your wife’s gold jewellery (the less said about it the better) and a weightlifting belt and go as a vintage Mr. T. It’s another to shave your head into the Mohawk/beard combo and refuse to get on the plane!!!

These fine details also count during your job search. Did you research all aspects of the company before an interview? Is you CV typo free? Did you get the name of every person you met with and send a thank you email? Do you have a portfolio of your best work to present? It’s the little things that count.  Check out ourInterview tips for more information.

There is no I in Team

When it comes time to choose a great costume this Halloween, you don’t have to go it alone. Whether it’s a classic group such as the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (personal favourite), the A-Team, the gang from Scooby Doo, or everyone from made in Chelsea, it can be fun to have a group theme.

When looking to advance your career, collaboration is key. Studies show that up to 70% of jobs are found through networking, so if you’re not meeting with people on a regular basis, working with a mentor, and building out your contacts on LinkedIn, you’re missing out.  At Abacus…we are your team.  It is our job to network on your behalf with suitable clients, help guide you maximise your LinkedIn performance and mentor you on your career.

These are some of our Halloween related on job searching…we’d love to hear yours.

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