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Job hunting tips for Facilities Managers

Chris Sycamore | Cobalt Recruitment

Article posted by Chris Sycamore on Aug 13, 2020

So, undeniably the last few months have been a difficult time for Facilities Management in the UK. With the scramble to get buildings reoccupied, it’s been a manic time for those in work, but more seriously a number of people in the industry have unfortunately found themselves redundant.

When you find yourself in a competitive job market, you need to make sure you’re on top form when it comes to applying and interviewing for roles. In order to help you do that, I’ve put together a few tips to help you find your next role in facilities management. This list isn’t exhaustive by any means, but hopefully, it puts you on the right track to achieve secure you interviews and ultimately the ideal new position for you.

1. Sell yourself

Most FM professionals really struggle to sell themselves. Having most-likely worked their way through the ranks from the ground up in an industry often (and incorrectly) seen as the less illustrious side of Real Estate, it sometimes feels like most people in the industry have an innate reluctance to shout about their achievements. Too often FM’s see what they do as “just getting on with the job”.

The problem with this is that in a competitive job market, you can’t rely on your company name and job title to get you over the line as to be blunt, there are probably dozens in the process with similar credentials. So you’ve simply got to sell yourself in your CV and your interview; don’t be afraid to shout about your achievements.

But how do you sell yourself? You can’t just say “I’m great at what I do”, which brings me on to my second tip…

2. Be specific

Anyone can say that they’re great, but those who really are great at what they do can back it up with tangible evidence. Your CV should be as specific as possible with examples of your achievements and details of your role.

What sounds better?:

“I oversee all maintenance across the portfolio”


“I’m responsible for all proactive and reactive maintenance to building fabric and plant across my portfolio of 12 commercial offices. In the last 12 months this has included both Cat A and B fit-outs, lift replacements and general lifecycle maintenance for the BMS, AHU’s, and CHP units amongst other plant equipment.”

The devil is in the details. Don’t tell the interviewer you’ve managed a large team, show them how many people you’re currently managing, how many you’ve personally hired, and which outsourced services you’ve tendered for.

The same principle applies in an interview. Make your points (“I’m a strong team leader”) and provide an example (“having managed and mentored a team of 4 Building Managers for which I recruited 2 personally”). Don’t waffle but still provide that evidence to support your claim and you’ll come across as a far stronger candidate.

3. Don't spam yourself around the market

Particularly when not working currently, some people seem to think the best approach is to apply for anything and everything.

Do. Not. Do. This.

Spamming yourself around the market is bad for a number of reasons. If you’re applying for roles you’re not right for constantly with a business, then you’re more likely to get automatically overlooked if you do apply for something you are right for as the gatekeeper will have mentally noted you as someone that is trying their luck for anything. So if you’re an Assistant Estate Manager, it’s probably not the best time to be applying for a Trophy Building Manager, Senior Facilities Manager, and Associate Director position just yet.

Similarly, if you apply for a role you are relevant for, but do so from a number of sources (i.e directly via 3 different job boards, and 2 different recruitment agencies) not only do you run the risk of being overlooked, but if you are considered, you’re more likely to be offered a lower salary as the client will rightly or wrongly assume you’re desperate for a role. I appreciate this may sound harsh and many people may be desperate for a new job right now, but appearing so is never a good thing for your application.

4. Keep a jobs spreadsheet

If you find yourself out of work, and naturally applying for a larger number of roles, it can sometimes be difficult to stop yourself accidentally spamming yourself around the market.

If you applied for 20 roles over 2 weeks, then it can be hard to remember the family-run SME you submitted your CV to at the start. However, if you end up doubling up by consenting to a recruiter then putting yourself forward to that business directly too then it can have negative consequences as highlighted above.

To avoid this, make sure you set up a job-seeking spreadsheet.

Nothing fancy. Just a simple spreadsheet on Excel with the company name, job title and when/how you applied will suffice. Even a handwritten one is fine.

This helps you keep track of where your CV has gone, but equally also serves as a nifty reminder to follow up on your application with the hiring manager or recruiter if you haven’t heard back within a week.

For those that aren’t sure how to set one up, I’ve created one that’s absolutely free for you to use so please feel free to make use of it for your own search. Click here to download.

The above list of tips certainly isn’t the definitive list of everything you need to do to help elevate your applications in the FM job market, but will definitely point you in the right direction towards finding the right facilities role for you.

Job hunting can be full of uncertainty. But with us, you can be sure that we’ll do everything we can to get you to your ideal job. Send your CV to us to get started or search for the latest job vacancies and we’ll get the ball rolling.

You may also be interested in:

How to write a cover letter for a Facilities Manager

Seven key skills for a Facilities Manager