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Helen Whiting of Groundsearch Consultancy, offers a few pointers for those looking to return to work or move up the career ladder

In today's economic climate, whether you are unemployed and looking for a job or employed but looking to move up the ladder in a new role, there are a few key tips I would recommend:

• Be organised and structured - routinely search newspapers and online job boards for relevant vacancies. Make the most of existing contacts and see if they know of any opportunities. The idea is to have as many irons in the fire as possible, or as many different people/organisations looking with you for that right opportunity. Keep a record of jobs applied for, where they were advertised and the date so, if you are contacted, you will know quickly which role that person is talking about.

• Be Proactive - Some roles can be gained by directly contacting local grounds or golf courses. If you meet with the Head Groundsman or Greenkeeper, even if they don't have any vacancies at that time, they hopefully will remember you when a role does come up.

• Work on your CV - this is your main sales tool to get you an interview, so take your time to ensure that it not only reads well but also looks good. It probably will take at least four proofs until you are happy with the result.

• Apply for any roles that you are more than 60% interested in - don't wait for that perfect job to come round, as it may never arrive. By applying for ones that you are more than 60% interested in you will gain practice in completing application forms and attending interviews. You never know, if you did go for an interview, the job may actually be better than it sounded on paper.

• Before the interview - do some research into the ground, golf course, company that would be employing you, and always read the job description (if one is available). This will show that you have made an effort in regard to preparation for the interview.

• Remember to go smartly dressed for the meeting - they are only clothes and do not show whether you are a good grounds person or not, but it makes a good first impression, that you are taking the interview seriously and have put some effort into the meeting.

• Always take questions with you - and preferably not just about pay, e.g. opportunities for progression or training.

• If you are not offered the role - after the interview remember to follow the decision up, and ask how you could improve your interview technique or where the employer felt your interview let you down.

Groundsearch Consultancy Ltd., in its present format, started business in 2001. Previous to this Helen worked for an agriculture and horticulture centred recruitment business. In 2001, to develop the company, she gained the AQA/REC Certificate in Recruitment Practice and became a member of the REC (Recruitment and Employment Confederation).

She attends industry shows, and the occasional conference, mainly to put faces to names and voices. As most of her work is done over the telephone she says that it is nice to meet people she has worked with.

She enjoys working in the industry as it is satisfying to work with candidates who have a passion for what they do.

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