We may have left the old year behind but predictions of doom and gloom on the jobs front promises to be an enduring feature for the next twelve months.
When the new Fareham Tesco store advertised 187 jobs last November, they had 4,000 applicants to choose from, or 20 for each vacancy.
It’s a sobering thought, but local unemployment black spots Havant and Gosport, have more than 30 people chasing every advertised job.
Whether you’re already unemployed or about to confront the spectre of redundancy, you can improve your chances of getting an interview in an increasingly competitive labour market by using the following Streetwise job-hunting tips.
START WITH THE BASICS
First the fundamentals. What are you good at and enjoy doing? Once you’ve answered those two questions, you can move on to the next step.
PREPARE A SKILLS AUDIT
Whether it’s managing people, being creative, or delivering on time, how have you used these skills in the past, and how translatable are they to a future employer which will add value to their business?
CREATE AN EFFECTIVE CV
Your CV has one key fundamental purpose – to achieve an interview.
It is not a chronological list of previous jobs, or an autobiography. It has to be relevant to the application and adaptable to amplify your key skills for the job.
Focus it around your career history whilst highlighting your core skills, and illustrate how they can add value to your prospective employer.
Stick to the facts, never add anything that is untrue, and if possible include testimonials.
ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE
Stay focused on your abilities. What have been your major accomplishments, and what were the ultimate outcomes? How did you achieve your aims and, using your key skills, what obstacles did you have to overcome on the way?
If you’re into a high-octane job search, forget all you’ve been told about equal opportunities and conventional job-hunting. It may be unfair but it’s a fact of life that the majority of jobs are not advertised.
Finding the hidden jobs market isn’t about calling in favours or being a whizz kid at self-promotion – it’s about meeting people and making sure you project a positive image about yourself.
Up your network game. Use promotional websites like LinkedIn and social networking opportunities provided by Facebook and Twitter to leave a lasting positive impression about you.
Don’t leave any opportunity to chance. Tell people what you’re looking for and make sure people know you’re open to job tip-offs. Start with contacts made in your last job, and anyone with professional experience in your circle of family and friends.
Keep your CV to hand in case you’re asked for it, research employers in your likely jobs field thoroughly, and don’t be afraid to approach decision makers asking for anyone they can recommend for help. Most people are happy to help if asked.
Word of mouth is the way most candidates get recommended to employers. Plant the right ideas and impressions and your interview chances start to take off.
CREATE A GOOD IMPRESSION
All successful interview opportunities boil down to creating a good first impression. More and more employers are turning to the internet in their search for potential employees.
Make sure online information about you is always consistently positive. Don’t leave adverse comments about previous employers or colleagues up there for everyone to read.
Actively participate in relevant job search groups and online discussion bulletin boards making sure your contribution says something positive about you and your key skills. Set up job alerts for relevant job boards, and be up for attending online events and seminars where you can ask credible and positive questions.
PREPARE FOR THE INTERVIEW
Serious candidates don’t leave anything to chance. Interviews can be a very nerve-wracking experience, so it’s essential to prepare for the interview in advance.
Start by going back to basics about your core skills. How will they benefit an employer and how can your previous accomplishments demonstrate your worth?
Work out detailed answers but be sure you always answer any specific question you’re asked by the interviewer.
Research the employer and the role and be 100 per cent committed to going for the interview.
Prepare – work hard to be ready for job opportunities.
Pay attention to detail – your CV, interview, and online presence
Take action – put yourself about, be pro-active, make contacts, and take risks.
Getting your next job depends on it.