Saturday 20 July 2019

The seven secrets of successful jobseekers

Employee benefits
Employee benefits

1 Target your search

Careers consultant Colm Cavey of says with numerous jobs on offer, it is crucial not to take a blunderbuss approach by copying and pasting the same details for dozens of applications.

Consider every role carefully and match yourself to the job specification to see if it tallies with your experience and skills.

The first 4, 5 or 6 items listed under 'Job Requirements' are usually the most important requirements, while the rest may be aspirational.

2 Cultivate your contacts

Finding the right job can still be about who you know as much as what you know. Colm Cavey says: "People tend not to pay enough attention to personal contacts, which are hugely important. And they could come through anyone you are talking to. Your best contact could be the brother of the man who fixes your car."

Cavey says the best way of sounding out a contact is often to ask for advice rather than asking for a job directly. "It's a nice gentle way of dropping information in their ear that you are on the move."

3 Anticipate the interview questions

Don't be caught cold by competency-based interviews, where you are asked how you would apply you skills in certain situations. It is easy enough to research the most common questions on the internet such as "Can you tell us of an occasion when you had a problem at work - what steps did you take to overcome it?" Careers consultant Colm Cavey says you should think of a number of situations that showed leadership, organisational skill and teamwork.

4 Don't be dazzled by flashy perks

A company may offer free breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as laundry facilities, but that can mean they expect you to be there morning, noon and night. You may be impressed by swanky games rooms and gym memberships, but could miss out on more valuable long-term perks.

Patrick Robertson of Performance Reward Consulting says: "Employees can lose sight of the benefits of a good pension and healthcare. You should look at the value of the whole package and not just the salary."

5 Never 'ghost an employer'

Some skills may be in heavy demand now, but job applicants should always treat employers with respect. Recruiters find it annoying that some applicants go through the entire application process, but then vanish without making contact if they get a better offer.

Recruitment consultant Peter Cosgrove says applicants should be aware that the market can quickly turn, and when jobs become much harder to find, you never know when you have to go back to an employer.

"I still know the names of the two or three people who shafted me - that is people who go through the recruitment stage but then don't turn up without letting anyone know," says Cosgrove.

6 Delete your seven drunken nights from Facebook

Careers consultant Colm Cavey says job applicants should be careful to clean up their image on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Your wild and tipsy spree in the fleshpots of Vegas chronicled on social media might be amusing for friends and family, but will deter potential bosses. On the other hand, for many jobs you should have a conspicuous online presence.

7 Look for honest feedback

If you are having difficulties getting another job, try to overcome your shortcomings by seeking feedback. You won't get it from companies that turn you down, for legal reasons, even when you ask. Peter Cosgrove says the best way of finding out the cold and honest truth about how you need to improve could be from friends and colleagues.

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