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Job Hunting | Do you feel like a Hamster?

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Step 1 – Start search for available jobs using Job Boards, Recruiters & Newspapers
Step 2 – Find a suitable job – Feeling Excited!!
Step 3 – Submit the same old CV & Cover Letter – Feeling Hopeful!!
Step 4 – Chase feedback to find there are 500 applicants – Feeling Deflated!!
Step 5 – Get called for an interview – Feeling Excited!!
Step 6 – Prepare as usual and attend interview – Feeling Hopeful!!
Step 7 – Feedback of a great interview but pipped at the post – Feeling Deflated!!
Step 8 – Pick yourself off the floor and repeat the cycle.

Does this cycle sound familiar?

I have often felt like the hamster when marketing my business and trying to land new work projects. Caught in a cycle of activity that was not delivering the results I required. I come in contact with many jobseekers who feel like hamsters spending week after week spinning around the same wheel of job hunting activity wasting energy and void of desired results. Many stay on the wheel because they don’t know how to get off, others are afraid to get off and others are too stubborn to get off. It is never too late to change your cycle and your results.

Start running around the wheel in the opposite direction

You can change your approach to tasks during the current cycle – (a) how you apply for advertised jobs and (b) how you interview for advertised jobs. Below I have focused on (a) how you apply for advertised jobs because many jobseekers don’t even get to the interview even those who tick all the boxes. For interview advice read – Interview Techniques.

(a) How you apply for advertised jobs

I assume that readers have a strong CV tailored for each role. If not then read CV Writing Advice. What about a different approach to job applications? It can be difficult to stand out by conventional means and I hear it every day “I ticked all the boxes but didn’t even get an interview”. Start thinking outside the box and injecting creativity. Some under utilisied approaches include:

Hide the CV – Try calling the client. This can be daunting and difficult to get to talk to anyone BUT worth a try. Remember to target decision-makers and to have your sales pitch prepared. Verbal communications adds another dimension to your CV.

Present “YOU” in a different format – Send a link to your LinkedIn Profile instead of a CV. I believe employers would spend more time reviewing your LI Profile than the 20 second they give a CV. If you think this is too much perhaps put the LI Profile URL on top of your CV.

Put your personality in a letter – Personality is important but it is difficult to inject personality onto a CV. It is easier on your cover letter. Use a cover letter to get “you” across to the reader. Forget solicitor style cover letters and write from the heart.

Get yourself a new toy (But don’t throw away the wheel)

Start exploring and investing time in new job search strategies. I am not telling you to throw away the hamster wheel because recruitment agencies, job boards and newspapers can still very much prove to be the source of your next job. Try to integrate all available strategies into your job hunting. Problem is that many jobseekers will tell you they are utilising all strategies but investigation proves otherwise. I think the 80-20 rule applies to job hunting in a tough job market with 80% of time should be spent proactive strategies and 20% of time spent on reactive strategies. If you are not applying these percentages you are probably doing things like calling agencies too often frustrating yourself and annoying the recruiter or logging in and out of job boards multiple times during they day when twice daily is more than enough. Try some new approaches

(a) Get LinkedIn today – Two articles to help you get started. LinkedIn 1 & LinkedIn 2

(b) It is good to talk – real world networking with friends and work colleagues or attending formal networking events.

(c) Speculate to accumulate – Approach companies proactively.

(d) Volunteer your services – Here are the reasons why!!

Good Luck