herald

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Temp Head

There are fewer openings and more competition in the job market. It's that simple. So, as a job-hunter, you need to give more. Some think that translates to more hours trawling job websites and scores more applications sent out. Not the case. It's quality, not quantity that counts. If you've been on the perpetual pursuit for a job, it's time to start revising your approach.

Breathe new life into your marketing material

Many CVs, cover letters and Linkedin profiles are bland and uninspiring. Take a fresh look at your marketing material. Work to create impactful documents that will inspire the reader. It is important to highlight achievements and successes and to tailor your CV and letter for each application. Thinking about how you can use these documents to stand out. PM

Avoid CV ClichEs

Have you described yourself as a 'self-starter'? That is tantamount to detailing the fact that you don't need an employer to monitor your every working minute to make sure that you're not on Facebook, ASOS or Nixers. In short, you are advertising something that is already expected of you. Do you have 'good communication skills'? It may come as a surprise, then, to discover that most employers aren't in the market for anti-social mutes. Are you a 'team-player'? Is that as opposed to a tyrannical overseer? Not only do these statements state the obvious, they turn up on the majority of CVs. Strike them out. KB

The 20-second interview

On average, an employer will spend just 20 seconds reading your CV. Or speed reading it, rather. Otherwise, they won't read it at all. If it is poorly formatted, too long or too short, or your grammar and spelling isn't up to scratch, you can rest assured that it will be swiftly sent to the bottom of the pile. Likewise, avoid lengthy, bullet-pointed sequences that start with: 'duties included'.

It's assumed that you worked in an environment similar to the job for which you are applying. Instead, focus on the impact you made in your last organisation. Did you cut costs, up profits or win awards? KB

Take a more proactive approach to your job search

It is a well-known fact that 70pc of jobs are not advertised. The majority of job seekers spend their time targeting the 30pc advertised. It is, therefore, important to spend more time networking and making speculative applications. PM

Record progress

Albert Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing and expecting different results. Many job seekers fall into this category. Start recording your job search activity. This will help you see what is working and what is not. It will help you redirect your efforts and land the job. PM

Shift your energy

If you've been repeatedly unsuccessful in your job search, your self-confidence can be ground down. To make matters worse, prospective employers can feel it. Job-hunting is a form of self-marketing so you need to believe in the product -- you. Bolster your confidence by writing a list of the achievements you're most proud of (and we're not talking about 'exceeded sales targets') or, even better, ask a close friend to do it on your behalf. Obviously, you really want the job, but don't allow yourself to decide that you simply have to get it. It will only increase the pressure, which more often than not affects your performance in an interview situation. KB

Get social

It is essential to network in the real world but social media can be harnessed too. Tools like Linkedin, Twitter and even Facebook have huge potential. Join these platforms and get active. You have the potential to access 500,000 Irish users on Linkedin, two million Irish users on Facebook and 400,000 Irish users on Twitter. Social media can help you use existing contacts to uncover hidden jobs. It can also help gain valuable connections in your target companies. PM

Avoid negativity

Job hunting in the current market is very challenging. Avoid negative people and negative news stories. Surround yourself with positive people. They will inspire you and pick you up again after a knock back. Read positive news stories about job creation and growing sectors. PM

Ask for feedback

You donate your time and energy to a job interview so if you're unsuccessful you deserve feedback on how you performed. Make it clear at the end of the interview that you welcome feedback and follow it up with an email. It shows a determination to improve that will separate you from the competition. KB

Paul Mullan is the founder of Measurability, which provides career coaching and interview coaching. Call 087 122 3308, www.measurability.ie, www.paulmullan.ie

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