Every day I receive dozens of applications, conduct tens of interviews, and listen to people tell me how hard it is to find a job. I regularly find myself thinking “it’s really not that difficult”.
If people just put a bit of effort in, their job-seeking problems will all be solved.
If you’re having a hard time finding a job BUT you’re willing to put some effort in, read on and you’ll have everything you need to land that perfect role. If you’re NOT willing to put some effort in, I’m sorry, but I can’t help you…
One of the biggest things that bugs me is when I ask candidates if they’re doing anything outside of work to benefit their professional development, they say no because they haven’t had time. This is a lie. What you mean is you haven’t made any effort because you’ve been spending countless hours watching Netflix (eye roll emoji).
If you really want to land your ideal job, I mean really, you’ve got to start up-skilling. Read some books, undertake some online courses, learn a language. These are all things that stand out to employers. They a) show you’re proactive in learning, and b) make you more skilful than other candidates (aka your competition).
Picture this, a company you like is advertising for someone with your experience, but three other people have the same experience. The company is looking at expanding into German markets. Guess who’s spend the last 6-months learning German? Du hast! Or in English, you have!
Ok, I think this blog post is becoming a rant, but it’ll be insightful…
Another thing that annoys me is that most candidates put minimal effort (if any at all) into researching the companies they’re applying to. Hello?! Do you want this job or not?
Having a decent knowledge of the company won’t just impress the interviewer, but it’ll help you determine whether this is a business you genuinely want to work in or not. A bit of research will help you find out the company’s values, their goals, what their environment is like, insights from the people that work there, etc. If it aligns with what you’re looking for, great! Now you have the experience and skills to work there, and a deep understanding of the business. You’ve just gotten yourself employed, my friend.
Employer: opens applications to Sales Executive vacancy
Applicant Cover Letter: I’d be an excellent fit for your Marketing Assistant role that's advertised
You’ve been rejected, and the employer hasn’t even gotten past the first line in your cover letter! Your CV might be full of relevant experience and skills, and you might be precisely what the employer is looking for, but you’ve been lazy and used the same CV and cover letter for every application.
Put. Some. Effort. In. Tailor your application each time you apply to a new job. The employer will feel you’ve cherry-picked their job out of hundreds of others and will see you have a genuine interest in working for their business.
This is often overlooked because people believe that social profiles are off-limits and private, but what’s the first thing you do when you find out your friend has started dating someone? You stalk their Facebook profile. The same applies to when you apply for a job. They look at your Facebook profile to find out the kind of person you are.
With that in mind, maybe now is a good time to delete those pictures from 2009 that your friends took of you with your head in the toilet being sick after a heavy house party.
As well as stalking your Facebook, employers will try to find you on LinkedIn to check out your professional profile and how you interact with other professionals. A few of bullet points on this…
The purpose of LinkedIn, and any form of social media for business account, is to network and become more known. Start posting content that is actually useful, interesting, or insightful and relevant to your industry. Don’t just repost articles written by governing organisations. Connect with people you might want to work with and start engaging with their posts or having conversations. It could lead to landing you a role!
I wrote another rant on this. Here it is: CV Writing Tips to Help You Land That Interview.
The worst thing that can happen to you as a candidate is becoming a ‘job-jumper’. That is someone who spends no longer than a year in a job and then moves on to another. From an employer’s perspective, you look like someone who is disloyal and someone they won’t bother interviewing because they think you’ll just leave shortly after joining (they’re probably right).
You’re probably doing this because you’re bored, usually because you’re in the wrong job. People often get nervous or impatient when looking for a job and end up accepting something that isn’t really what they want to do, simply because they want a new job. This happens because they aren’t enjoying their current workplace, or aren’t earning enough money, or whatever, just not enjoying it.
The best advice I can give you here is just to stick it out until you find the right opportunity — something that excites you, something that has growth potential, something that you’re deeply interested in.
Though this doesn’t seem applicable to work, it actually accounts for a huge part of a hiring manager’s decision. Having hobbies outside of work allows you to come home after a stressful day and completely relax and take your mind off it. This will mean you’ll have a fresher head at work the next day and will enable you to think more clearly and creatively in your role.
Your hobbies also say a lot about your personality. For example:
Playing sports conveys competitiveness – you’re competing against an opponent to win. Often a sought-after trait in sales. If you’re competitive, you’ll probably compete against your colleagues to achieve the most sales or compete against yourself to exceed targets.
Playing an instrument, painting, theatre, etc. all convey creativity — a highly desirable train in marketing. If you do creative things outside of work, you’ll love getting creative at work and designing artwork or copywriting for clients.
I could go on, but you get the picture. What you do outside of work helps hiring managers to decipher what you’ll be good at in work.
Last, but certainly not least, be engaging and show your personality. Forget what you were taught in college about CV writing and cover letters, it’s all bland and the same as what everyone else does. People hire the people they like, so show that on your CV. Be different and stand out from the (humongous) crowd.
Want me to help you find an awesome new job? Get in touch here…
Jae Jackson-Loveridge | Director