Whether you are just starting your career, looking for a change or just want to take the next step, finding a job in a competitive market is frustrating. No doubt about it. Contrary to popular believe though, applying to everything and anything and hoping you land a job SOMEWHERE is not the key to success. More often than not you’ll find that no employers respond your application respond and then you’ll be left wondering where you’re going wrong. The secret to successfully navigating the deep, dark depths of a difficult and crammed sea of job hunters is to be methodical in your search. Job hunting is a process and the key is to understand it and use it to your advantage.
Here are four important steps to improve your job search success.
Your CV will get you an interview not a job.
A common mistake often made is that you send a CV in order to obtain a job. Wrong. If you are invited for an interview then you have the opportunity to demonstrate why you would be perfect for the job, but firstly you need to get that meeting and the only way to do that is ensure your CV stands out.
Structuring your CV for the purpose of an interview will save you from writing eight pages of work experience and boring any potential employers to sleep with 20 years of office experience. Making your CV stand out doesn’t necessarily mean it needs to look artistic – this would only be relevant for a Graphic Designer or a marketing professional, but you certainly need to keep in mind a number of rules when planning. You can find our CV tips here
Know where you are going wrong
Sent your CV off to 100 job postings and not received a single response? Still going to send the same CV out to the same kind of jobs? Then I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you are going to continue down an exhausting road of no-responses.
I have said this before and I’ll say it again, choose your applications carefully and plan them down to the very last letter. Learn how to write a cover letter, how to send an email, how to format a decent word document – chances are the simplest tasks are what have you tripping over the first hurdle. Of course it could be a number of other reasons; You may not be receiving any calls because you are over or under qualified, it could be because you’re applying for a job you’ve never done before and you aren’t showcasing your skills in a way that proves they are transferrable. Whatever the reason, identify and rectify the situation and watch the results return in your favour.
A great way to be noticed by the right people is to make sure your online presence is consistent and professional. Making sure your profile picture is the same on each platform is just like seeing the same logo of a company pop up on your computer screen every day. Network on websites like LinkedIn and exchange recommendations with past or present colleagues in order to boost your own professional appearance. Online branding is no longer just an obligation for businesses, it will really help you as an individual stand out from the crowd.
Improve your interview technique
Once you’ve got the perfect CV, a smooth-talking cover letter and your social media is free of any embarrassing images, it’s time to make sure you are fully prepared for when you finally get an interview. THIS is your opportunity to shine and the main thing to remember is: “It’s not what they can do for you, it’s what you can do for them”. Many people fall over at this stage by asking too many questions that benefit their own agenda. At this stage it doesn’t matter what the salary is or whether you get a company car you actually need to convince the employer that you would be better than the 100s of other applicants that have walked through the door.
Honestly, in the current market any industry could be considered competitive and it’s really important you take your job search seriously if you want to land the job of your dreams. Hone your skills, work hard and treat the process with a methodical approach! Let us know who you get on!