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Last week’s feature on recruitment in design showed that, while times are tough and competition fierce, consultancies are still hiring. What advice would you give to people looking for a job?

‘Find out who the winners and losers are at the moment and the ones who seem to know what they are doing. Most businesses go under as the economy starts to pick up and you don’t want to be job hunting again in six months time. Be picky and approach the handful of companies that you really feel you have something to offer. Finally, be flexible on salary since it’s a buyers’ market and value for money is everything.’

Ian Cochrane, Chairman, Ticegroup

‘Honesty. With so many people walking the streets it’s tempting to take the first thing that comes along, but don’t settle for “any old job” – it’ll show up in your work. Talent will always out itself, so it’s important to keep your dream alive.’

Simon Waterfall, Designer, Poke London

‘All of the best advice could probably be put into one word: preparation. Know exactly what you can offer, and the value you can bring. Know exactly what the recruiting company is, what they do and what they want from a new employee. Put the two together meticulously.’

Shan Preddy, Management, Marketing and training warrior, The Preddy Consultancy

‘This is without doubt a buyers’ market at the moment. Individuals pitching themselves to companies need to offer something above and beyond an impressive skillset. Be flexible, informed and creative in your approach. Only the most energetic and persistent candidates are going to come out on top.’

Annabelle Rhiando, Producer, The Grand Union

‘Be honest with yourself. Be kind. And, be courteous. Applying these criteria means being honest about the following: your strengths and weaknesses – build on and play to the former and improve the latter; where you really want to work – if you want to work for the best and believe you are able, then go for it; what you really want to do; what sets your heart on fire – use this enthusiasm to keep you focused; and what you can offer that others can’t. Then once you’re in an interview (and I have interviewed probably thousands in my time) being honest about yourself, kind and courteous makes for an impressionable and memorable half hour, believe me.’

Jan Casey, Consultant and practicing psychotherapist

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