Hi, I work for a medium sized multi-disciplinary consultancy in the north east, so can hopefully shed a bit of advice (or at least try)...
- Firstly, have you had your CV proof read by a few different people? I can be good to get different viewpoints. Also, are you re-writing it for each job you apply for? Make a list of key attributes/experience noted in the advert and tailor your CV around these, most importantly stating what experience you have with them, even if it was just a project at Uni. Call a company up and ask to speak to someone about the role prior to applying, this lets you know a bit more about the role and puts your name on the radar. Don't forget a covering letter!
- Don't just consider the big boys (Atkins, Motts, etc.), look at medium sized contractors/consultants too, good place to look is on the NCE website (for jobs as well).
- Have you tried a recruitment agency? Despite the often bad press there are some good ones out there and some companies only use agencies.
- LinkeIn; set yourself up a profile, keep it business focussed and have a look around on there - don't be afraid to drop people emails at companies you'd like to work for, nothing ventured nothing gained.
- Nag! Don't just send in a CV and hope for the best, most places will receive hundreds, often pre-sorted by HR folk, so if you want to stand out call up and ask how the applications are going, if they'd like any more info, etc. etc.
- What sort of role are you looking for? Are you just looking for consultancy work or would you consider a specialist contractor? There can be very interesting work at the latter, and although it can be high pressure it can also be very rewarding.
- Don't forget to stress what makes you a likeable and interesting person and a team player. Mention mountain bike adventures you've been on, charity work, etc. Nearly all of the people I've seen leave companies (either out of their own choice or otherwise), have been because their personality just didn't fit in and they couldn't work effectively in teams. Try and show some examples of this, companies look for staff retention and really don;t want to be re-advertising a position three months down the line.
Hopefully the above is a starter for ten. Feel free to get in touch if you want to chat any further.