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Job Hunting - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly


Tough times mean a lot of job hunting horror stories. There’s this poor lady I know getting turned down daily – employers tell her she’s overqualified thus they’re afraid she’ll leave for a better job. Another mis-guided soul paid a firm to distribute his CV to 3,000 companies. He’s still wondering why there are no replies.

Many job-seekers unfortunately dance to the tune of the wrong piper. Let’s take a quick look at 3 common tactics.

The good – be your own recruiter

A top recruitment consultant is well paid for a good reason. They’re focussed on making a perfect match – nothing is left to luck. They research the company hard; they research candidates with equal rigour. Unlike most job hunters, recruitment consultants don't sit by the phone, waiting for someone to call back. They seek control, research extensively and do their best to influence. Note email communication takes 80% of your influencing ability away. Yes – that means pick up the phone and meet.

Set yourself a target. Every time you register on a job board – make the effort to call a recruitment consultant and arrange a time to meet them.

Secondly, copy the traits of a good recruiter. Apply direct and ensure you explain:

  • A clear picture of the business of the employer
  • Proof of your understanding of the problems and challenges the employer faces
  • A plan describing how you will do the work the employer needs delivered.
  • An estimate of the impact you will have
  • Whether for your cover letter, CV or interview, if you can’t answer and explain the above then you are relying too much on luck.

The bad – job ad gazing

When hundreds or even thousands of people apply for a job, the job is hardly "available." Even outstanding candidates slip through the cracks exposed by unsophisticated screening processes set up to deal with mass applications. Additionally, while HR filters CVs, a recruitment consultant has met with the line manager, submitted a shortlist of candidates and is preparing the candidates for interview.

That’s why low response rates become the norm. The norm is not what you want.

The ugly – CV fantasy-land

Worried about differentiating against the competition, you may feel the urge to start exaggerating or bending the truth on your CV. A greater crime is to start injecting key words left, right and centre since someone told you this is important for the job search engines. Sure, put a factual, well recognised job-title. State your responsibilities and achievements clearly. But keep it waffle free with less adjectives and more facts.

Before applying to any job, review your CV, cover letter or application form and test one point: What can you do to help this employer succeed and is this crystal clear?




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