Looking for work can be stressful and tiring, especially if you don’t have a plan. Handing out CV’s and making cold calls can be hard on your self-confidence, but being strategic about your job hunt can refocus you and give you the motivation to keep going.
The first thing you should understand is that, unfortunately, rejection is almost always a part of the job search process. Be prepared to go through several interviews and rejections before you get a job offer. You might be lucky and hit the jackpot on your first or second try, but it’s more likely you’ll hear a lot of no’s before you get a yes.
Searching for a new job can often be a lengthy, frustrating process. Yet, you have a much better chance of success when you take the time at the beginning to understand the process, yourself, your goals and your value. Here are six things worth clarifying in your mind at the very beginning.
Are you looking for a job or a career path? Your approach will be different depending on if you are either desperate to just take anything for an income flow; or if you are in the midst of a career change; or if you are young and on the way up; or if you or are working just to keep busy.
Even if you feel you have done this step already, make it a point today to contact people in your network about any new job leads. Ask the closest people to you to contact their family and friends to truly utilise the power of this tool. If every person you meet is a potential networking connection in your job search, he or she is also a potential hiring manager. While this means greater opportunity, it also means being more aware of your interactions and their implications professionally.
A referral is more likely to get a position, simply because HR staff are busy and why not hire someone who already has an advocate within the company? Since informal hiring is happening on a greater scale, if you’re currently looking for work, remember that you are always looking for work, treat every interaction as a potential opportunity!
As the internet and social media grow increasingly important, particularly in business, companies often Google search a candidate before hiring, and social media can be an immediate red flag. Before starting your job hunt, clean up your Facebook! Once it’s out there, it’s hard to remove it. Review your privacy settings and if it’s questionable, maybe leave it off the Internet.
Set up your Linkedin profile. Some recruiters and employers are beginning to place even more importance on a high quality Linkedin profile than on a high quality CV. If you already have Linkedin, go back and review your profile. Ideally, you should be consistently maintaining your Linkedin so that a sudden flurry of activity doesn’t alert your coworkers that you’re looking for a new job. Make sure your experience is up to date, your information is complete, and you’re conveying yourself as someone you would want to employ.
You are going to need a strong CV. Accomplishments are the end results of a given effort. Add to your own value by demonstrating particular unique accomplishments in your field, the value of accounts or clients you can bring with you to your next job, your high status in your own professional circles etc. However, don’t falsely raise expectations just to get a job. Otherwise, you’ll be laying the groundwork for your own short-lived employment.
Standards for CV’s change all the time and just because it worked three or ten years ago doesn’t mean your resume will work now. Since a vast majority of positions that do make it out to job boards will be using online applications, the look of your CV matters far less than the content. It certainly should still be attractive and easy to read, but color and artistic flair are just going to confuse the computer screens. Keep your resume simple! Content is key in the digital age, not the visual bells and whistles.
Skills are abilities you utilise to get things done. I believe that a statement on your skills is a very important part of your C.V. and it’s a section that is often omitted. They can be anything from your ability to use a certain programming language to your ability to persuade customers that your product or service is the best solution to their problems. It is important to be able to differentiate between your skills, responsibilities, actions and accomplishments.
You started getting interview calls! The first interview you go on if you’ve been out of the job hunt for a while may feel very different. First of all, you may be expecting to go in and meet with one person, only to be greeted by an entire department. Team interviews are more common, because it’s not just about the job. It’s also not about how you do with one person, but how you fit with the team. Work is collaborative, so why would interviews not be?
The better prepared you are, the less likely you are to feel nervous in an interview. Make a list of the skills, knowledge, and professional and personal qualities that are required by the employer and are critical for success in the job. You will also be more prompt with your responses and succinct in your answering.
Remember the interviewers are not there to catch you out or interrogate you. It’s in their best interests to put you at ease and bring out the best in you. They want you to be the best person for the job so they can finish the interviewing process.
CareerWise Recrutiment pride ourselves in preparing all our candidates for interview. Why not give us a shout today!
Joe Robbins is co-founder of CareerWise Recruitment. A graduate of the University of Limerick (Degree in Business Studies, 1985), Joe worked in the UK for five years where he specialised in materials management, production management and plant management for a number of companies.
He returned to Ireland in 1992 to become Operations Manager for a Cork-based start-up, FMC Automotive Division which was subsequently taken over by Snap-on Equipment. Joe managed the business re-location of this company to Shannon in 1997 before setting up CareerWise Recruitment in 1999.
He is a committee member of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Mid-West region, and a former Director and Vice President of the Shannon Chamber of Commerce. Joe is former Chairperson of the Sixmilebridge Camogie Club and current Chairperson of the Clare County Camogie Board.
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