Current Job Seekers = inexperienced!

Thursday, July 16th, 2009 - career change, CV Examples, CV Help, Employment, how to make a cv, How to Write a CV, Job Advert, Job Application Rejection, job hunting, Job Interview, job search, Professional CV

Current Job Seekers = inexperienced!


The current job market is sad. It is also hopeless, and without reason.

Why? Because there are no jobs? Err no – loads of jobs, enough for most. Possibly in the wrong location yes, but lots of jobs.

The problem with the current job market is the job seekers: they have wholly forgotten how the job finding and job search process works.

When there were too few people for too many jobs, job seekers didn’t need to know how to find a job. They just needed to be assured it was a better Audi, BMW or Mercedes they were getting, together with a healthcare package that included dental, and membership of a more select country club. No need to look at the salary, if it wasn’t at least 15% up the stupid recruiter would never have called you in the first place!

Now – just possibly as little as 18months later – the problem is you have no job, and the stupid recruiter may also be in the same “looking for work” position. Mean while, the slightly brighter recruiters and once desperate employers now just don’t return your phone calls: at all, nothing, nowt, nada, termination!

Hence, having been burnt by at least 10 new recruiters and 10 employers you never wanted to work for in the first place, and rejected from at least 20 job applications, you wonder: what has someone with an encyclopaedia of qualifications, and an arms length of experience, got to do to get any job?

How about – learning how to apply for job again?

How to apply for a job:

The basics of when you left school or university of applying for a job are still true: find a job, apply, get interviewed at least twice, review job offer, start

The problem I find is that much as though people know the process, they just don’t do the basics. Missing these and honestly, after six months of unemployment you will still be wondering what you did wrong:

  1. Start with the ideal job in mind: at some point in the job application process, you will end up in an interview room, and the nice HR person will ask you: and why do you want this job? Yes, your CV/resume may show you can do six jobs horribly competently, but if you don’t want that job it will show like a big, huge, massive flashing beacon above your head, with letters spelling REJECT in a nice luminous pattern. Know what you want to do first, rather than applying for anything: desperation = rejection
  2. Be realistic: once you know what you want to do, undertake a check of whether such a job exists. Go to some of the major jobs boards like Monster, and tap in the ideal job title and radius from home you want to work. Can’t find at least 10 suitable vacancies, then widen the search radius first until you do; then widen the criteria. If you can not find suitable jobs 10 in the country, it is a good sign that presently there is no demand for that skill in this market – not never, not just now. Go back to step one, and realign your goals – either change your location, or your ideal job goal until you can find 10 suitable jobs
  3. Rewrite your CV: I have said it before, and I will say it again – the 100day old CV is out of date. If your company does business planning on a 90days cycle, how can you not be ready to job seek in that time scale? I bet that most job seekers have a CV which is at best 2years out of date, appended by an insertion of their last job. I can tell an old CV, by looking at the fact you claim MSOffice as a skill: that is a given these days, like saying you can read and write. Do yourself a favour, freshen it up by rewriting it around your last three roles/five years of employment, and focusing on what you really want to do
  4. Learn how to read Job Adverts: yes, I know you can read, but can you read a job advert to be able to pick out the five skills required by the employer/recruiter? If you can, can you adjust your CV/job application to focus on those five skills required by the employer? If the employer only wants five skills, then that is how they have written the job advert, and that is where you need to focus your job application. The fact you may be the worlds best at Tiddlywinks may be of value to another employer, but I would really prefer to be able to easily find the five skills I am looking for and not everything else you offer – that’s just a bonus
  5. Cover Letters – click to apply is easy, but still requires a Cover Letter. One third of job applications don’t include one, and are instantly rejected
  6. References – never, ever, give your references out before you get to the point where the employer says “We would like to offer you a job, subject to references.” If they ask for them before that point, ask why? There is no rhyme or reason for doing so, apart from if you are applying via a recruiter and they want to find additional skills to fill their dBase, and not actually employ people
  7. If you get rejected – ask for feedback! If you ignore everything else written here, then at least after every rejection ask for feedback. Less than 10% do, and hence they remain doing the same things again for the next job application, expecting a different result. Which it almost certainly will not be, it will be another rejection.

Do the basics of the job search and job application process, get rejected less, and hence – get the job you want!

Good Luck!

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