Job Search Secret

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009 - Article, CV Help, CV Tips, Employment, job search, Personal Profile, recruitment, tutorial

Job Search Secret

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I thought today, it was about time, that I told you the successful job hunters secret.

The problem is, is that it is not much of a secret; it certainly is not that big. It is just that what it is in not actually implemented very well.

But if I wrote a headline that said something along the lines of “The most well known and successful job hunting strategy that everyone knows about but less than one third of job seekers actually do” then you would not have read this far, and wordpress would have fallen over.

The number1 strategy of a successful job seeker is – have a goal in mind, in the form of an ideal job! Gosh, what a let down…. couldn’t you have spiced it up a bit Ian? No – because the bit I want to focus on is the implementation of that goal, not the goal setting itself.

Ideal Job

If you don’t know what you want to do next, then:

  1. How do you expect an employer to tell you, and then employ you?
  2. You probably don’t have a career plan, and are suffering from Any Job Will Do syndrome.

Now, we could help you if that is your problem, but that probably requires around four to six one hour sessions of job counselling, and there are specialist providers of job counselling and employee outplacement out there: but we are simply recruiters who write Professional CV‘s successfully.

Hence, lesson1 of this blog post: stick to what you know, where your skills are, and what you love. Yes, there are opportunities to change careers, but unless someone offers you an opportunity or support package to do that – your existing employer, a future employer, or JobCentre+ – then stick to what you love, know and do. HR Professionals look at skills, and analyse that anything deployed in the last three years is usable/deployable, and the last five years re-trainable: everything before that is pure career history.

Personal Branding

Lesson 2 is: be a solution to a problem. This is my more “works with all job seekers” practical way of addressing the high brow idea of personal branding. Now, much as though I love the idea of personal branding, for the “average Joe” employee and most companies or organisations seeking to recruit people, personal branding has about as much relevance as a Goodyear tyre, a bar of Cadbury’s chocolate or a bottle of Clairol shampoo. But what both job seeker and employer need is common ground on which to talk, and for the employer to see that person as their solution to their present staffing needs – not in six months time, right now!  So, don’t confuse employers by being the Swiss Army knife solution, just pick which blade you want to be.


Lesson 3 is: do your research. If you want to be an X to the Y market, then tap in those keywords to the biggest general and specialist job boards for that market, and see what appears. If you can’t find any jobs in your defined geographic search area, then open the range to country wide. Still no jobs shown – or less than 50 – and you are being told that no employer presently requires those types of skills: its not never, just not now. If you find yourself in that situation, go back and think what you want and could do.

Secondly, research potential employers before you apply for any jobs. It take 10minutes to read the basics of a good companies website, and it can give you lots of information about them, their market and their approach to it, and their employment policies. Ask yourself two key questions:

  1. Is the company and its market growing or shrinking
  2. Is this a company I would like to work for?

If the company or market is shrinking, or you don’t like the sound of the company from its own website – let alone its press coverage that Google will provide for free to you – then simply don’t apply to work there. If you do, you will just end up unhappy and looking for work again soon enough, and you will have created additional turnover on your CV.

Click to Apply?

Lesson 4 is: be direct! I have a view of the current jobs market, which is “click to applyfor rejection.” The jobs market has really changed in the last few years technologically, but not really from a decision making view point. Yes, machines and internet powered technology may be doing more advertising (job boards) and sifting (keyword scanning), but people do the choosing at the end of the day. Please, if you are a confused or frustrated job seeker, never ever forget this one rule: people do business with people – which can be extended to people employ people. Hence, bespoke applications and questioning employers about job adverts before applying are all good and right tactics.

So that’s it. One not so secret secret, that I hope through implementation will get yourself employed quicker.

Good Luck!


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