This week, we decided to ask some of our LinkedIn connections for suggestions as to what they wanted to hear, and what advice they felt they needed on the Job Seeking front. One of the questions we received asked:
“As Recruiters are now being inundated with candidates, maybe suggest other ways to seek employment? Typically job websites, company web sites, word of mouth will get a foot in the door. However, with sometimes over 70 applicants per position, are there any other ways to ensure employment in this type of market?”
To us it seems that the overall premise of this is: How can you ensure employment, or increase your chances of success for work in such a competitive market, without using your networks?
We have several ways we suggest you can do this.
1. READ the job ad carefully
When job hunting, often people get so desperate that they just apply for anything and everything open, without properly establishing whether they are right for it in the first place. This wastes your time, as a job seeker, and our time as Recruiters. If there is a list of requirements for the right candidate, and you don’t tick off all of those key requirements, you never had a chance at the job in the first place.
When clicking ‘apply’, first ask yourself, am I what they are looking for and what they are describing in this ad?
2. PROVE you are the right person
A cover letter is a great way to prove to the Recruiter that you meet all of the minimum criteria. A great way to do this, is by taking the key criteria that they are looking for or key requirements from the job ad and addressing how you meet each one, with an example to back up what you are saying. We recommend the best way to do this, is by using the STAR technique.
S- Situation: Describe it (E.g. A time when there was a problem or opportunity)
T- Task: What needed doing to combat/ deal with the situation?
A- Action: What you did?
R- Result: What was the outcome/ result of your action?
3. QUALITY over QUANTITY
If you have looked at the job ad and determined that you are probably not the right person for the job (because you don’t meet the basic requirements), then don’t put in an application. This will just end up wasting both your time, and the Recruiter’s time.
Instead, work on doing up a quality ‘Expression of Interest’ application to the company, with a cover letter outlining the sort of job you are looking for, what your qualifications are and why you would be an asset to their business. That way, if any roles become vacant in the future that you may be suited to, they can get in contact with you and find your details through that.
4. REVAMP your resume
Another great way to make your application stand out is by making sure your resume is neat, clearly set out, and provides all the information a Recruiter may need to assess your application. This includes:
- Your personal details: name, suburb/location, phone number, email address etc.
- Your objectives: what role are you looking for, what industry, what location?
- Your qualifications & education: degree, certifications, tickets & licences etc.
- Your skills: E.g. software used, capabilities etc.
- Your work history: name of employer, job title, periods worked there (month and year- month and year or present), some brief dot points on your duties/ responsibilities so they understand the actual work you did.
- Your referee details or the words “Referees available on request”.
5. CREATE or UPDATE your LinkedIn Profile
Take advantage of LinkedIn- fill in your profile in depth with:
- Where you are living/ working.
- What sort of companies you have worked for?
- What industries?
- What equipment or software you have used?
- How long you were at each company?
- What your responsibilities were at each job?
- Show that you are open to career opportunities (You can find this adjustment in your profile settings).
LinkedIn is the new resume, so fill in your details on your profile, much like you would on your actual resume. Recruiters often use LinkedIn to head hunt and find the ideal candidate they need. They will come to you if you show them that you could be what they are looking for.
You can never ensure yourself employment, but you can certainly prepare to put your best foot forward, which will drastically increase your chances.
Written by Rebecca Ford, Recruitment Resourcer at Talent Blueprint