Getting out of the ‘Job-Hunt-Slump’
Recently there’s been a lot of buzz in the media around University Graduates of Australia struggling to find work. An article was recently published by the Herald Sun stating that graduates are ‘overqualified’ and thus unsuitable for the roles they are applying to. Though this is more an argument around the process of post graduate study vs. work experience and the delicate balance between each, it got us thinking…
Whether the economy is booming, stable or in a slump, there are always candidates who come to us with the same gripes; ‘I just can’t seem to find a job; I’ve been applying for X number of months and keep getting rejected; I can’t even seem to get an interview etc. etc…’ Yes, these candidates are sometimes those who are out of work all together, but more often than not, they are those who are looking to leave their current job in search of ‘greener pastures’. Sound like you?
Often, the ensuing conversation between one of our consultants and these candidates addresses a number of ‘check points’ which can assist in getting past that ‘job-hunt-slump’ and proceed with more efficiency. Some of the below may seem obvious but those combined with the things you haven’t thought of could be the key difference to landing your next dream role…!
10 ‘Check Points’ to Effective Job Hunting:
1. Revamp your CV
Candidates often send us generic, old, out-dated and sometimes even unfinished copies of their CV. Think of your CV as your own personalised commercial. Would any company release a commercial to the media without having checked, double checked and triple checked it for perfection and to ensure it was a sparkling representation of their brand? Of course not! This is your chance to shine. Ensure the formatting, clarity of qualifications and relevant experience, spelling and grammar are in check (as a very minimum). For more, check out our guidelines on composing a CV in our resources section.
2. Find a good recruitment partner
Often, something as simple as the right recruitment partner can make all the difference in finding your next dream job. Do your research; find a recruitment partner who specialises in your field of work. They are often well connected in your industry and will be able to go out to the market on your behalf and speak with their clients who may not have a live job now, but may have something on the horizon for you. Speak with your recruiter honestly. Ensure they understand your wants, needs and aspirations. If you suspect they will not be in a position to assist there’s no shame in moving to someone who can…contact us!
3. LISTEN, LISTEN and ASK
One of the most important things in job hunting with purpose is taking all the constructive feedback you can get. LISTEN more than you speak. Ask honestly about feedback on your CV, role expectations, interview performance and feedback for next time. Ask important questions around the way your CV is perceived and your image as a candidate, and aim to get an honest answer (without fear or favour) from anyone you speak with; recruiters, family, friends. Often, you must ask to get this feedback.
4. Tailor your CV EVERY time you apply
I can’t tell you how many times I have received an application which is addressed to a completely different company, role or title; simply reused for any and all jobs which fall under a generalist category. Recruiters review over anywhere from 400-600 CV’s a day and scan each for 20-50 seconds. If the first thing they see is a mis-addressed CV or one which is not immediately relevant to the key aspects of the role, you better believe it is going to the bottom of the pile. You could be a suitable applicant for the role (somewhere buried in the text you’ve had experience with X or Y) however based on poor CV preparation, attention to detail and basic administration skills, this is enough to bump you off the shortlist. THINK before applying for any old role. Ensure you know EXACTLY which roles you have applied to and TAILOR your CV for each one. I often suggest including a BULLET POINT list at the very top of your CV of the key selection criteria and how you have demonstrated experience of each. This often ensures a quick shortlist.
5. Follow up, Find out, Check in
If you’re doing your job right, you will have been recording each role you apply for and exactly who has a copy of your CV. From here, your next move is to follow up. Call one to two weeks after your application has been submitted to follow up on where your CV sits. Find out if there is any feedback and if so, how to address this feedback. Should you be unsuccessful for this role, there are bound to be others coming up. Check in every 1-2 months with your contact to keep in touch and be the first to know should anything else come up!
6. Reassess your career path
Sometimes, after further discussion, candidates realise that the roles they have been applying for are not actually those which will lead to job satisfaction and keep them passionate throughout their career. This is always an interesting conversation. Really try to break down which aspects of your current or past roles you have enjoyed and which parts you haven’t enjoyed. Construct your ideal role based on your skills, passions and desired career path. This exercise may change your direction all together…
7. Network; use your Resources
Social media has come very far over the past 10 years. If you are not currently on LinkedIn or you are, but your profile is less than exciting ensure you have this updated. This is another way to represent your personal brand. Check spelling, grammar and career succession. Recruiters are using LinkedIn more and more to conduct headhunting drives and if your profile doesn’t catch the eye you could miss out. Also, think back to those you’ve worked for and with in the past. Now might be a good time to reconnect and see where they are working and whether they have anything which might be of interest to you.
8. Research industry trends
Often individuals (especially in the IT industry) fall behind with regards to industry trends, new versions of technology or practical experience. Keep up with these trends through following relevant blogs, social media, or through speaking with others in the industry. Something which makes you particularly interesting to a future employer is your knowledge around relevant IT trends, or breaking edge information.
9. Engage in further training or certifications
A sure-fire way to turn heads is to be certified in the newest and emerging technology. Ensure you are well certified as required by your industry standard and ensure you keep your certifications up to date and relevant.
10. Keep a positive attitude.
This may seem like a strange way to cap this list off (and no, I haven’t run out of checkpoints!) but I can’t stress how important it is to keep a positive attitude when job hunting and speaking with the ‘all-important’ network in your field. Nothing stifles a conversation more than a candidate with a negative attitude and this carries over into any potential leads you may get. A good attitude tends to set the mood for the entire conversation and conveys passion, dedication and tenacity; all good qualities in a potential employee. Even if you’re feeling frustrated or overwhelmed by the process make a mental note to smile on the phone or when speaking with someone face to face; this will change the tone of your voice and even send ‘happy’ signals to your brain which will in turn result in a more effective and profitable conversation; promise!
In sum, we hope these have been helpful! Should you wish to discuss any of the above, our consultants are here to assist. Check out our contact page to discuss further!