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10 Things Successful Job Seekers Do To Get Employed Quicker
When I first came into recruitment, one of the things that interested me was why successful job seekers were successful. On initial analysis they were no better qualified, skilled or capable than any other human beings that they were applying against, and yet they got employed quicker, and in doing so applied for fewer jobs.
My research also led me to asking the question why we - recruitment and human resources - as an industry rejected good job applicants? Were there better techniques and tactics that these people were not applying, that conversely the successful job seekers were?
The answer to both question was yes, and here are the top ten issues that successful job seekers apply to get employed quicker.
1. They have a specific target job in mind: Just like successful people in life have specific goals, successful job seekers have specific jobs or roles in mind. These fulfil three employer questions: that they have the required skills, qualifications and experiences; that this position is the next logical step in their planned career path; that they have a next step in their career
2. They can communicate who they are and what they offer: they know what they offer, what the market seeks, and can communicate this to a potential employer. Many call this a lift pitch
3. They research the market: lets say that you were the worlds best driver of horse drawn carriages. Everyone you talked to today would tell you that there were few paying jobs in that market. Yet every day, unsuccessful job seekers go looking for jobs in their geography that don't exist, or won't pay them enough on which to live their lifestyle. The successful know what is being recruited for, who is recruiting, and at what rates
4. They do some research on that employer: when they find what looks like a suitable job advert, they research that employer. The best often do this at multiple levels, through both reading the companies website and news reports, through to networking themselves into and around that organisation
5. They engage with employers BEFORE they apply: many professional employees get confused by the new world of recruitment. They think that the whole world is driven by job boards. Ah, wrong! People still employ people. While possibly utilising multiple techniques to find new potential positions, at the core of their search and application technique, successful job seekers always engage at the human level with a potential employer, often BEFORE they apply
6. They only apply for positions that they are suitable for: one of the statistics that most struck me, was that the most successful job seekers often applied for fewer than 10 positions, and yet the least successful often had statistics showing 100's or 1000's of applications. The successful only applied for the jobs where they knew they fitted the requirements. If you have applied for and been rejected from more than 20 positions, there is something wrong in your application technique
7. They get close to the hiring manager: as people employ people, then the most important person in any successful employment exercise - yes, beyond the successful applicant themselves - is the hiring manager. The hiring manager always has the final hire or reject decision. Successful employees get closer to the hiring manager early
8. They offer more than what is on their CV/resume: while many try to over write their CV's and resumes, trying to claim skills, experiences, or at worst qualifications that they neither have done or don't have, successful job seekers reveal more of the depth of their capability as their application progresses. This means that they don't over claim, they just have more communicated capability around the claimed skills
9. They know what they are worth: over 20% of successful job applicants fail to get the position because they didn't ask the first questions first: what could and should this job pay in this market, and what does this position actually pay? Before you apply, know what its worth in the current market, and hence what you could and can negotiate with that employer
10.They listen to feedback: this is a key issue for unsuccessful job seekers, that in my experience they never apply, and yet the successful are always aware of. The unsuccessful stop listening, and therefore stop learning, and hence become less successful in their now elongated job search. The wise and successful listen to both market experts, and learn to apply what works for them
Job search success is not a mere bagatelle in any market, and success has as much to do with approach and technique, as it has to do with what you offer and the type of position you seek.
So if any job will do, and just applying to adverts is your choice, then expect to go beyond the average current unemployment time scale of 37 weeks. But if you know what you want, and apply some easily learnt techniques that communicate your value clearly to a potential employer, then job search success can easily be yours. It really is just a matter of choice, application and resultant success.
Ian R McAllister is the founder of a UK group focused on recruitment and employment in skills-short professional employment sectors, presently covering IT, telecoms and project management. The group also provides professional candidate information and services via a series of online resources, including the Professional CV and Executive CV services
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