Where there used to be one or two front runners in any recruitment campaign, employers are now faced with so many quality applicants that they can afford to be highly selective.
So, if you find yourself unemployed, how do you cope with this and how on earth can you remain positive?
Searching for a job is a full-time job in itself. Here's how to go about it:
- Maintain regular hours and structure your day
- Shower and dress every morning - just as you would if you were in work.
- Eat well, exercise (walking is free and provides valuable thinking time as well as obvious health benefits), and get plenty of sleep.
- Be prepared to start work (on your job search) at 9am - just as you would if you were in paid employment.
Make an employment plan which includes
- Registering with online job sites and visiting them daily
- Looking for vacancies on potential employer websites. If you'd like to work for a specific company, check out whether they have any vacancies
- Uploading CVs to job sites (be careful with personal information here... keep it to the minimum)
- Scouring newspaper job ads and approaching agencies
- Schedule times for these activities and stick with it
- Save all the links for jobs that you have applied for or are interested in
Broaden your mind and learn new skills
- Learn new skills - there are many online courses that are free or cheap, eg IT, Literacy, Numeracy, First Aid
- If you are on benefits, many courses are free or subsidised - enquire at your local library
- Read quality publications, listen to current affairs and educational programmes on the radio, TV or online
- Learn how to use new software - many have trial or free versions (eg Twitter)
- Take up an interesting hobby
- Avoid watching daytime reality shows or playing computer games. They will not help your mental attitude
- Volunteer for a worthwhile cause or do temporary work - this will not only enhance your skills but proactive people are always more employable. And volunteer or temporary work often leads to permanent opportunities that you otherwise would not have known about
Stay focussed and positive
- Ask your friends not to disturb you while you're working on your job search
- Try to mix with positive people. Negative people will hold you back and erode your ambitions
- Visualise yourself in your dream job, create a plan to acquire the necessary experience and skills, and then go for it. You may need to achieve several milestones on the way, but if you stay focussed you will get there eventually
Write a decent CV
- CVs need to be targeted to the vacancy so, once you have a decent CV, you will need to create new versions of it for each job you apply for - so that you "match" the requirements of the job. See our separate blog on Applicant Tracking Systems
- If you can't write a decent CV yourself, then get professional help. This is very important to your job search. If you repeatedly submit a poor or genetic CV, you're unlikely to meet with success
Consider using LinkedIn
- Although it's not suitable for everyone, LinkedIn is a massive FREE resource and should not be overlooked
- The majority of recruiters now use LinkedIn to identify suitable candidates
- If you join LinkedIn, ensure that your profile is professional and complete, including a head shot photo
- Remember, this is a professional site - it's not Facebook and it's not for mucking about with your mates... keep it professional
Employment plans work!
One of our clients was made redundant earlier this year. She approached her job search as a job in itself (as outlined above). Her aim was to achieve 2 interviews per week. She stayed on track and was highly focussed, securing a job in just a few short weeks. Employment plans work.