Job Search – What Type is Yours?

There are probably as many types of Job Search as there are Job Seekers.

But the global increase in unemployment has brought about a new surge in job applicants, many of whom have not have experienced the task of the Job Search in many years. The result is many dissatisfied job seekers, who feel that their Job Search efforts are not being appreciated by the employment profession, with a resultant increase in long term job seekers.

However, if they knew which type of job search they were undertaking, they would know what type of result they should expect.

Direct Offer: The Insider
The direct approach and offer from a company, is often a surprise to the person, who probably as not an active job seeker. This type of job seeker is already directly known by the organisation, normally through being an existing employee. You could also be presently working for a competitor, supplier or an existing customer of the organisation. If you are approached, you have a 90% chance of being employed using this method.

Networking from: The Virtual Insider
This type of direct approach offer again is a delight to a person who is probably not an active job seeker, but is presently not known to the employing organisation. The result of this approach is a testament to their clear personal elevator pitch and track record of delivery, and the advocation by others often within the employing organisation, or by people within a common mutual network. This is a fast expanding area of recruitment, with companies now paying existing employees for successful introductions of new hires. If approached, you have a 50% chance of being employed using this method

Headhunted: The Star!
Modern headhunting is about direct from client business orientated briefs, which are fulfilled quickly. While the client side of the business has changed little but niched more, the search and find side of the business has been transformed by the boom in social networking. Now, techniques like Boolean search allow headhunters to create larger lists of suitably qualified applicants, and hence offer better candidates who are more researched in a quicker timescale. The result is that these types of job seekers are again often not active job seekers, but can be concluded as stars within their chosen profession or market. You have a greater than 35% chance of being employed if approached using this method

Networking to: the Inside track
We now move from mainly passive job seekers to active job seekers, those who are either employed or presently between positions. This next two types of job search require the job seeker to:

  • Know themselves, and what they offer
  • Know what they want to do
  • Be able to communicate the combination in a personal elevator pitch
  • Be willing to research the desired/targeted organisations

This type of job search requires effort, and hence most job seekers avoid it not because they are more successful – often ten times as successful as other active types of job search; but because other options require less thought and effort.

The inside track approach requires that having decided to job search, that inside your target organisation/s you already have a previously developed contact/s. This inside contact may be as a result of you being a customer, supplier, competitor or business network contacts. Your initial approach is based on person to person conversations often over cups of coffee, making a subtle research based informational interview approach to asses who you should be talking to, and what they are seeking to achieve for the business. If you use this method, then you have a 20% chance of being employed from companies you target

Direct approach: The Navigator
The navigator approach is similar and statistically as successful to the inside track, but as you have no developed contacts inside the target organisations (start with a list of 50, whittle them down to 20 through simple research), you need to develop a contact base. With the development of business orientated social networking, and the increase in the number of companies offering existing employees bonuses for the successful introduction of new hires, this method is a lot easier than it ever was. It requires the same clarity of though on who you are/what you want out of your career as the inside tack, with similar levels of research effort on the target organisations, but development of suitable insider contacts. On average five times more successful than applying via job adverts in newspapers or job boards, with a 15% chance of being employed from companies you target on your researched list. This can easily be improved to virtual insider levels of success of 50% or greater with some more simple research and networking techniques, it just depends on how much you want a job with that company?

Recruiter: The Mountie
The next set of three job search options have differing rates of success, but have two things in common:

  • You will follow a defined HR process to be hired
  • As the positions are openly advertised for, you will have high levels of competition. Expect 5 people to make it to the interview stage for each single position being recruited for, multiplied by three fold back down each stage of the recruitment process (ie: application, CV sift, online testing, telephone interview, etc). This could presently result in 100 original job applications

If you undertake your job search via a recruiter advert, and having checked out the strength of the recruiters relationship and brief to make sure you are not being CV fished, and further have not broken the “three recruiters and out” rule; then your chances of employment via this route are 15% or greater. You can easily improve this to 35% or more if you know the right tactics and questions to ask. The recruiter often works in a competitive environment, against other recruiters and the organisations own HR people, to fulfil a position. If the recruiter successfully fulfils the position and gets their man, then they get paid; if not, then its on to the next opportunity. Good recruiters always get their man, and after introduction to the employer you follow the organisations defined recruitment process

Newspaper or company website job advert: The Jockey
Newspaper adverts and company websites are a good source of real job opportunity. Firstly, they require effort and or cost on behalf of the hiring organisation, which means that the jobs are real and not CV fishing exercises. Secondly, you are direct on to the organisation, although you have to accept that you probably won’t be talking to the hiring manager, but about to ride through a sanitised, wholly locally legal/ethical and HR managed/monitored recruitment process. Don’t expect to be treated like you or a human being, the process is designed to be selective in a non-judgemental way. You hence have little choice in the race you are about to take part in, expect that you chose to enter it, and hence have little ability to affect its outcome. Your chances of being recruited via this method once you hit the apply button or send your application through the post are between 3% and 5%, although this can easily be doubled with some simple effort

Job board: The Donkey
Of all the methods of job search, the job board is the most common and actively used by many present day job seekers. Yet, the statistics show that only 12% of all positions are fulfilled by job boards in any market. If so few jobs are fulfilled by job boards, why do most unsuccessful long term job seekers spend most of their days trawling job boards? Simply, it doesn’t require much effort to find or apply for jobs on a job board, but gives the job seeker the regular internal satisfaction of being able to say at the end of each day “yes honey, I spent the day job seeking!” As a recruiter, I know that some of those jobs “advertised” on job boards do not exist. The job board market is so competitive – with around 50,000 job boards in North America, and 50,000 around the rest of the world – that the cost of advertising a job on a job board can be as little as free. If the cost of doing something was free, and add in that you can repeat the same job advert for ever simply by ticking a repeat button, how often would you do that task? In a recent test, of 126 jobs advertised as available in a large city, an employment organisation found that the actual number of jobs fulfilling the search criteria was 10! When there are so many “false” or repeat job adverts, and when it is so easy to CV fish, is it any wonder that you chances of success via a job board can drop as low as 2%?

Job Search Conclusion
So, what type of job search are you undertaking? Statistics from various parts of the world show that a majority of job seekers focus most of their efforts in responding to job adverts from recruiters, newspapers or spending their time on job boards, where at best their average chance of success if 15% or less. Yet, over three quarter of jobs fulfilled in the past year have never been advertised, of which at least half of them are open for application from job seekers who just have to put in a little effort and know a few simply learnt tactics.

For instance, one job search tactic takes: 1second to understand; 1minute to learn; and within 5minutes applied to take your job search success in responding to job adverts from 15% or less to 35% or greater. Yet most would just prefer to go on proving the well known and proven job search results that they and others have always achieved.

The job search: what type is yours? Good Luck!

Job Application – Why Yours Was Rejected

It is only once their job application has been rejected, that most job seekers get an insight in why their job application failed.

Unfortunately this tells them that with some fore thought, they could have figured this out for themselves. Let me help you avoid these common mistakes, and give you some insider advice on how to maximise your job application success

Job Application: it’s a personnel thing

All job applications do not start with the job seeker, but with the employer. A job is approved inside an organisation through the combination of two forces:

  • Business need
  • The manager of the team in which the job will be fulfilled

This is an important insight, as it should tell you that the final decision on who is employed is made by that manager, and that the successful job applicant will be considered the most able to deliver the defined business requirements.

The result of these two forces is the creation of a job description, from which the job advert is derived. Only after the job is approved to this stage, does job application become a personnel process. But not recognising the human beings wholly in the personal exchange – the manager and the successful jobholder – is a key mistake of many job applicants

You and Your Job Search

A job application starts long before you start reading newspapers, crawling job boards, trudging to the Job Centre or chatting to friends. Your job search starts with you, and a clear definition of:

  • Who and what you are
  • What you hence offer
  • What you want to do/see yourself doing long term

If you don’t know what you want to do, then any job will do, and hence multiple job application rejection will follow

Job Market testing

Although you now know what you want to do, the jobs market may at that point in time not want those exact skills, in that search geography, for the pay level which makes economic sense to you. You need to test that the job market is offering that job at the right pay level, and this is where the real advantage of the jobs board driven job search becomes apparent.

Go to your favourite jobs board, keeping the title/skills consistent and setting the pay level to zero. Then open the geographic search criteria until the result shows at least 20 jobs. If you can’t find at least 20 suitable jobs, then your ideal job presently doesn’t exist in the jobs market. Either: go back to stage1 and think of another interim step to your ideal long term job; wait three months; or accept constant job application upset.

The second problem at this stage is having too many jobs to apply for. Again, go to your favourite jobs board, and if after filling in your desired criteria there are more than 100 job results returned, then go back and more closely define what you offer an employer/seek next and long term. Falling into any job will do syndrome means that you are not focusing sufficiently in the eyes of the employer on what you can do well/offer, and hence will be rejected.

Professional CV

Although it disappoints me to say it, as a Professional CV Writer if you approach your job search in a particular manner, you don’t actually need a Professional CV. But, for 95% of job applications, you will at some point in the legal and hence defined HR process need a CV. In the modern world, a one-size fits all CV just won’t get you the required telephone interview: the only output action required when an employer takes when presented with a good CV.

If like many today you heard a friend or someone in a pub used a free template successfully to get employed, make sure you don’t follow the herd: templates mean you don’t stand out from the crowd. Good Professional CV Writers create engaging 2page documents that make employers pick up the telephone, because they communicate that the job applicant has the desired skills to fit the job description, and show social fit with the organisation/manager. If your template doesn’t, how ever pretty it is or however long your list of hobbies and interests, expect to be rejected

Job Application Form

The one thing that job seekers fail continually to understand, and yet employment professional do, is that you can’t beat the odds of where you find and how you apply for jobs.

For instance, as an internal employee offered a promotion, your chances are 90%. For a known person interacting directly with a recruiting organisation, your chances are around 50%. Your best chance of getting employed via a public job advert, be that on a company website or via newspaper, are around 12% on average. Where as a “follow the process” application via a job sourced on a jobs board could easily be as low as 2%

So why do so many job seekers think that they will be successful spending more than 10% o the time on jobs boards? Rejection is bound into and dictated by the where your find jobs and how you apply

Job application confidence

This is the last point of job application rejection, and it is a general issue throughout the current job-seeking world: personal confidence. Job seeking in itself is a job, and it is a tough one. There is research, marketing, paperwork, cold calling, direct costs and worst of the lot: a high level rejection. Even the successful job seekers will be rejected at least once, which means that their success ratio is 50%. I haven’t yet met an unsuccessful job seeker who was in some way lacking in self-confidence. It is one of the reasons that I decided to in part cross the divide and become a CV Writer, because universally in most job searches the CV is a common point. If you read through this article, and are still wondering why you are rejected, then after looking in the mirror get out with friends and family and remember what’s important. After taking a break for a day or two, then go back to applying for jobs with renewed vigour, and seek some help in your job search.

In Part2, we will cover the actual job application process.

A job application is as easy as you make it for yourself, but the one big piece of inside advice you should take to avoid job application disappointment: if you don’t know you, what you offer, and what you want to do, then you will be: REJECTED!

Good Luck!

Top 25 Tips For Finding a Better Job

Is a job change in order? Peruse the 25 most effective ways to job hunt. If it’s time for new beginnings, and if you’re searching for a job, it’s a good time to make sure your priorities are in check. Begin with some basic soul-searching, move to creative networking, and conclude with the foremost ways to investigate prospective companies. These are all sure strategies for getting a competitive edge in the job market. But finding a job means more than being competitive. In the bewildering new world of technology-online boards, career centers, and growing numbers of complex web sites-it also means knowing your way around. Here are 25 tips to learn how to maximize your time, your effectiveness, and your chances of success in your next career search!

  1. First and foremost-take a personal inventory. Job hunting gives you the opportunity to go back to “square one” and inventory all over again what you are all about, what skills and knowledge you have acquired, and what you want to do. Who are you? What do you want out of life? A job? A career? Where are you going? Do you know how to get there? Have you been happy in your work/career/profession? What would you like to change? An inventory such as this is the best job hunting method ever devised because it focuses your view of your skills and talents as well as your inner desires. You begin your job hunt by first identifying your transferable, functional, skills. In fact, you are identifying the basic building blocks of your work.
  2. Apply directly to an employer. Pick out the employers that interest you the most from any source available (web listings, yellow pages, newspaper ads, etc.), and obtain their address. Appear on their doorstep at your first opportunity with resume in hand. Even if you don’t know anyone there, this job hunting method works almost half the time, if you are diligent and continue your pursuit over several weeks or months.
  3. Ask relatives and friends about jobs where they work. Ask every relative and friend you have now or have ever had about vacancies they may know about where they work, or where anyone else works. It may take a village to raise a child, but it takes an entire network to find a new job! If you tell everyone you know or meet that you are job hunting and that you would appreciate their help, you more than quadruple your chances of success.
  4. Search hidden job markets. Networking is the “Hidden Job Market.” Because every time you make contact with a person who is in direct line with your career interest, you set up the possibility that he or she will lead you to more people, or to the job you are seeking. People are connected to one another by an infinite number of pathways. Many of these pathways are available to you, but you must activate them to make them work to your advantage. Most of the available jobs are in the hidden job market. They aren’t listed in the classifieds or placed with a headhunter. Find them through your network of contacts. This is your most valuable resource!
  5. Ask a professor or old teacher for job-leads. No one knows your capabilities, dedication, and discipline better than a teacher or professor who had the opportunity to work with you in school. Since more people find their work through direct referral by other people than by any other way, this is a target audience you don’t want to miss
  6. Spend more hours each week on your job hunt. Finding a job is a job! Treat your job hunting just as you would a normal job and work a normal number of hours per week, at least 35, preferably 40 in the process. This will cut down dramatically on the length of time it takes you to find work. Did you know that the average person in the job market only spends 5 hours or less per week looking for work? With that statistic, it isn’t surprising that it can be a long, tedious process. Improve your chances and demonstrate your discipline and determination. Devote Sundays to answering ads and planning your strategy for the next week. Don’t spend precious weekday hours behind a computer. You need to be out there researching leads, networking, and interviewing. Work smarter for yourself!
  7. Concentrate your job hunt on smaller companies. Most new jobs will come from smaller, growing companies, typically with fewer than 500 employees, not large, restructuring companies. Although larger employers are more visible, well known and aggressive in their search for employees, it is with the smaller companies that you may have the best chance of success in finding work. Pay particular attention to those companies that are expanding and on their way to prosperous growth…they are easier to approach, easier to contact important personnel, and less likely to screen you out.
  8. See more employers each week. If you only visit six or seven employers a month in your job search (which is the average, by the way), you will prolong your search and delay your successful outcome. This is one reason why job hunting takes so long. If you need to see 45 employers to find a job, it only makes sense to see as many employers a week as possible. Determine to see no fewer than two employers per week at a minimum! Do this for as many months as your job-hunt lasts. Keep going until you find the kind of employer who wants to hire you! Looking for a job is a numbers game. The more contacts you make, the more interviews you’ll get. The more interviews you have, the more offers you’ll get.
  9. Be prepared for phone interviews. Would you believe that over 50% of prospective candidates are disqualified after the first phone contact is made with them by an employer? In today’s world, employers don’t have time anymore to interview every possible applicant and are using phone calls as a less expensive, less time consuming way to weed out potentially unqualified candidates. The phone interview catches many people off guard. You might receive more than just one phone interview, and you have to pass them all. The interviewer usually makes up his or her mind within the first five minutes. The remainder of the time is spent just confirming first impressions.
  10. Create a support group. It is easy to get discouraged, depressed and despondent (the three D’s) in the job-hunt process. This can be one of the toughest and loneliest experiences in the world and the rejection you may have to face can be brutal, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is in understanding that you are not alone. There are literally hundreds of thousands of people looking for work, and you can team up with one if you choose. Many job-hunting groups already exist, such as the local Chambers of Commerce and online support groups through the Internet. Find a partner, or a larger group, and support and encourage each other. The path to success is literally a phone call away.
  11. Contact potential employers directly through professional associations. Professional associations provide excellent networks for your benefit. Almost all committed professionals are members of at least one or two professional networks. Usually membership includes a directory, which provides you with a direct networking resource for verbal contact and mail campaigns. Additionally, most professional associations hold regularly scheduled meetings, which provide further opportunities to mingle with your professional peers on an informal basis. Finally, professional associations all have newsletters that are a valuable resource for other trade publications, associations, and help wanted sections.
  12. Post your resume online. In today’s world there are numerous resume databases on the web. Job hunters can now tap into giant online databases when launching a search prior to interviewing. There are three primary ways to job search electronically or online: Joblines, Bulletin Board Systems (BBS), and the Internet. Many employers today have their employment opportunities accessible through a simple phone call. You can also use the advanced Resume Caster feature in ResumeMaker to post your resume to all of the top career centers on the web for thousands of hiring employers to review. You can also use the Job Finder feature to search from among more than 1 million online-listed job openings for a specific job title in the state you specify. The data is all there, waiting for you.
  13. Promote yourself in unique ways. Promotion is creating an audience of potential employers and making them aware of your qualifications. There are many nontraditional ways to accomplish this task. For example, use electronic resume services to broadcast your resume. List yourself in appropriate trade association newsletters. Prepare 3 x 5 Rolodex cards that contain your name, address, and phone number on the front and your objective and skills from your resume on the back. Leave them behind wherever you go and give them to anyone who has reason to contact you later about a job.
  14. Accept a temporary position or volunteer work. Be your own working advertisement by accepting a temporary position. This provides you with valuable experience, contacts, and references. Volunteer for organizations and activities with business sponsors and relationships that increases your visibility and personal contacts. Explore your possibilities and leave all options open. You never know which method may ultimately land you your ideal job.
  15. Make cold-calls. Next to face-to-face meetings, the telephone is the most effective method available to find a job. Every call you make is an opportunity to sell yourself to a prospective employer, to pursue a new job opening, or to obtain a referral. Your technique in the initial telephone call can have a categorical impact on your chances to obtain what you want from the call. Complete at least 15 calls per day. You will be astonished at the results. Always be agreeable, gentle, and positive. Smile when you speak; the listener will hear it. Prepare a brief outline for each call and rehearse it. Create brief statements that outline how you can help your prospective employer accomplish their goals. Always, always, always ask for referrals.
  16. Re-define your job hunt in terms of alternative possibilities. Successful job hunters always have alternative plans ready in the background and implement them at the first sign of difficulty. Prepare alternative ways of describing what you do, alternative avenues of job hunting, alternative leads and contact lists, alternative target organizations and employers to contact, alternative ways to approach prospective companies, and alternative plans to continue your job hunt through its successful completion. The jobs are out there-you just need to be sure you are using the right methods to look for them.
  17. Seek career counseling or job hunting help online. Many service providers, through the Internet, are offering career counseling services, job hunting advice, and reference tools that you can turn to in your job hunt. Some of the best of these services are free, and the number is growing astronomically each year. Your first approach would be to visit the online career centers integrated with ResumeMaker and visit each site to determine what services they have to offer. There is a virtual community just waiting to hear from you.
  18. Consider federal and local government sources. The federal government is a huge resource of potential job search information, available to you at little or no cost. Several Department of Labor publications, for example, can take you through your job search from beginning to end, and help with career counseling and industry research. Call your local employment office and take advantage of the services they offer.
  19. Make sure you can survive financially between jobs. Budget for the time you will be looking for a job. It is always helpful if you can get an overall view of how your money will carry you through any work search or training you may need to take on. You will have enough worries and issues to deal with and do not want to have to be concerned about your finances.
  20. Set and prioritize goals while job-hunting. You need to know what you want, or else you can’t ask for it. There are literally thousands of jobs open around you. Determine what it is that you want, set your goals for achieving this, and prioritize the steps that you will ultimately need to take. The more specific you are about your goal, the better your chances of getting the job you want.
  21. Zero in on a career position and research the market. Before you start meeting people, you need to know something about the industry or field you want to work in. The more you know, the better your conversations with prospective employers will be-and the more impressed they will be with you.
  22. Interview others for information. Interview people whose occupations interest you. You can always find someone who has done something that at least approximates what you want to do. Find the names of such persons, and go see, phone, or write them. You will learn a great deal that is relevant to your dream.
  23. Organize a job search campaign. Organize your job search campaign. Failing to do so is a common flaw in many people’s job search strategy. Make a plan for your job search. This entails: planning and organizing your job strategy, setting up a base or operations center for your job hunt, preparing materials, and carrying out job search tactics.
  24. Update your resume and be prepared. Update that resume! A resume is what nearly everyone you approach in your job search is going to ask for. Get your resume in top shape. Use a professional service or ResumeMaker to prepare a show-stopping resume!
  25. Keep yourself dedicated, strong, positioned, and consistent. Job-hunting can certainly be one of life’s most stressful experiences. You have more power to keep the pressures of job hunting under control, however, than you may think. The key is to focus your job search and stay strong, dedicated and consistent. One of the curious things about the human brain is that it focuses on only one thing at a time. So keep it focused on you-and finding a job!