Wondering what’s wrong with your job-search?

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Forget the economy, if you have been unsuccessful at securing a job, you may be doing something wrong?

Yes, the economy is really bad, but…

Whereas the economy may affect the rate at which one gets a job today, you always need to remember that organizations will hire when there is a genuine need; and that the employer makes the decision to hire not the economy.  Of course, you have more competition now; because there are more people out of work, both qualified and unqualified.   As a job candidate, it is your duty to beat the competition and nail that job.  Below are a few tips that will help you achieve this.

Polish your resume:

As simple as it may sound, keep your resume up-to-date, make sure it reads well and include all relevant experience and qualifications.  Resumes are still the primary screening tool for most jobs, so don’t discard yours yet.  Yes, employers are finding you on social media websites and also using these websites to qualify you when they receive applications; but the resume is still viewed (by most work-places) as your application. Not only does it give a picture of your experience, qualifications, educations, skills, companies you have worked for, your job-staying power and interests are reflected here.  It is the document that is shared with senior management and all other relevant hiring decision makers.  It is the document that determines whether the employer is interested enough to go on social media sites to further evaluate you.  Believe me if your resume does not cut it, you will never hear from a potential employer.

Today’s employers are looking for disqualifiers rather than qualifiers:

You have to be aware of this.  Think about it this way, you wake up one morning and decide that you must have an apple, so you go to a grocery store to buy one.  Unfortunately, you find only four apples.  Three of the apples you find are badly bruised; the fourth one is slightly bruised.  You will almost certainly settle for the slightly bruised apple and perhaps leave the store happy, believing you were lucky to find a good apple in the first place.  Now instead, the store had been full of apples, you will doubtlessly find yourself selecting the best apples; and if you found even the tiniest scrape on any of the apples you selected, you most likely will attempt to replace it with a better looking one.

This is the scenario most of today’s employers are facing.   With a lot of qualified candidates to choose from, organizations are looking for anything that could be wrong with the candidates they have, not the other way around.

Your appearance and attitude matters more than ever:

You’ve heard this a million times, “first impressions are lasting impressions”.  Many individuals never seem to understand that an employer’s decision to hire is not just based upon qualifications, but upon their total perception of you. Look at it this way, the employer has to like you. Your qualifications, professionalism, and personality all help the employer to make that decision. Areas to pay attention to include the way you dress of course, your poise, the way you communicate, timeliness, unwritten cues that seem to mean that you will fit into the organization, and that you’ll perform as expected.  Your appearance these days includes information that the employer can find about you on the internet – so, clean up!

Come prepared:

As stated earlier, your job on every interview is to get a job offer. It is often said that the best self-seller gets the job, not the most qualified candidate. Do your homework; come to any interview ready to answer behavioral type questions.  Use books from your local bookstore or library to prepare for the interview.   Anticipate questions you may be asked, and make sure you have an answer for every question.   Practice, practice, practice and then, come prepared to deliver your answers naturally.

Use a good recruiter

Some job-seekers avoid using recruiters because they believe that it may reduce their chances of being hired, since it may cost more for the employer to hire through a recruiter.  Actually, for most positions, this is just a flawed perception.   In reality, while employers have to pay a fee, to recruiters, it is much more costly for them to hire the wrong person.  Costs due to hiring the wrong individual range from performance and motivation to retention and other miscellaneous costs; and often runs multiple times over the amount spent on a recruiter. Employment recruiters help employers divert these costs as well as offer other advantages such as sourcing and pre-qualifying the candidates.  Employers are therefore more likely to use them for certain positions.  It may benefit your job-search to sign up with one.

One response to “Wondering what’s wrong with your job-search?

  1. Julie Oli June 24, 2010 at 10:38 AM

    Hi Christine, I found most of the articles & online resources on your website very insightful indeed. It’s helped me pull my act together, I feel more empowered & I have gained soo much more confidence knowing now what I need to do & what not to do if I want to stand out from the competition. Thanks for sharing.

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