BTCDEC15 – Get That Job 6 tips for getting hired
Getting the right job for you is a job in itself so you had better be ready to work before you work because employability starts here!
Tip 1: Personal Laundry
Imagine its wash day and consider yourself to be an item of clothing. You would not wash your white with your darks nor would you wash silk in the same way you would wash denim. You would need to prepare the laundry separate colours and fabrics, turn out pockets to remove keys, coins, hairpins, wrappers and those sneaky tissues which make a finished wash cycle look like a completely pointless task in a dark wash.
Likewise for job hunting you need to recognise the colourful you. But you also need to turn yourself inside out, separate your whites from darks and fast colours, to get into the nooks and crannies of what you are really about. What your prospective employer needs to know and what is best kept quiet. You need to know and raise your own awareness of what you are good at in order to communicate it effectively so that the pursuit of a role is not a pointless task because you did not prepare and deliver the effectively laundered you.
Tip 2: The Critical Friend
A critical friend is an amazing ally. They will see what you don’t. A critical friend can be identified by the following traits in their method of critique; directly honest and kind, not condescending, structured, suggestive not imposing, full of outside-the-box thinking in a way that suits you and very agenda free.
Once you have gone over those things you are good at (your positive traits) your critical friend can help you dig deep and find more or identify those you had never even recognised. They genuinely want to help you to draw out your strengths and be the best person you can be. A critical friend will not be intimidated by your sharp retorts because be aware that with the identification of positive traits come negative ones which you may feel hurt by.
If you identify a critical friend and get emotionally delicate when it comes to your friend’s critique, either get over it or terminate their involvement. This will save you from running out of friends very quickly!
The critical friend is only invited to critique and should never be made to feel guilty for doing so.
Tip 3: The WIP not the Nae Nae – Curriculum Vitae
The almighty CV!! The CV is never a finished article, it is always a work in progress (WIP). Yes there will be points at which it looks finished but by the time you discover various roles, identify your skills and consult your critical friend, you will find you are tinkering again.
Starting a CV is the hardest bit. What format, skill based or chronological? Which roles to include, some or all the work I have ever done since I was 16? What role is it for, use the same CV for a retail job as I would for and IT one? Organising your information can take time.
What type of industry, role or business funtion are you targeting? Is this clear from your CV?
The CV is like an appetizer or canape. It is created to to entice the recruiter into taking an interest in what’s on offer and it needs to be clear. So you need to make sure your friend is critical and your laundry has been personal.
The CV has to highlight your best bits. Call it a bio for dating or clinching your ideal partner. You would only highlight your positives in the ad wouldn’t you?. The limit should be no more than two pages. The CV should include your relevant skills, qualifications, knowledge and experience for the role you are applying for. Without these you are paper for recycling.
Tip 4: Joy and Pain – Applying for Jobs
Applying for jobs can either be a joyous process, Hurrah!! – or a depressing one, Boo!!
Sending your CV out can sometimes feel like safely bubble wrapping your heart only to find it battered at the other end and cast aside with casual disregard for any pain it may be suffering. Don’t take it personal.
This is where you need to have made sure your CV clearly targets the role you are applying for i.e. your CV looks like one that is suitable for a retail jobs because it contains retail skills, qualifications, knowledge or experience.
There are database building recruitment ads and there are live job ads. Sifting while you’re on the hunt can be a tedious, time consuming and sometimes soul destroying process. Never fear. I did say at the beginning “Getting the right job for you is a job in itself so you had better be ready to work”. This is work.
There are popular job portals and sites that work well and are good at what they claim to do (Reed, TotalJobs, JobsGoPublic, CharityJobs, Guardian, Indeed) and there are the employer sites if you have a definite idea of who you want to apply to. With some jobs a CV application process is sufficient and easy, with others, you delve into the world of the online application form. This we’ll cover another time.
Tip 5: Dealing with Rejection
Once you send your CV off there is always the exciting anticipation that someone will get back to you because your CV is tight. Er, wrong!! There’s there off-chance that you may get an automated reply other times it will feel like you dropped your CV into a bottomless black hole.
In these instances, don’t descend into a prepaid moan to your critical friend or weep into your skinny latte. Call or email the recruiter for feedback. Tell them you are still on the hunt and ask for their professional advice on making your next application better or, if they have other roles more suited to your CV.
Tip: 6: Got an Interview
Jump for joy and take your critical friend out for afternoon tea. You need to assemble your interview preparation team because you now need to strategise, plan and practice your interview. Re-read all the recruitment documentation, visit the employer’s website, talk to family and friends, check the press to find out if there is a topic that affects them or their industry.
Plan your hair, make up, outfit and best route using friends, booking taxis (if necessary) and the internet. It may be useful to time the journey by doing a practice run beforehand (if the location is not too far and costly) to get an idea of not only what the journey feels like but also so that you know exactly where you are going.
Nothing can be left to chance. Make sure you have at least three questions you wish to ask and you have at least three things to reply to the killer question “tell me about yourself?”
Cover these bases and the employer will be flattered at the interest you have shown!