Brief advice to job seekers

I thought I’d write a few ideas on some general ideas/principles for those on the job market.

Now, a lot of people are going through a really tough time during this pandemic and if you’re someone who has job insecurity worries on top of everything else, you really do have my thoughts and prayers.

A few very basic points will help someone find that job they’re looking for…

CVs/LinkedIn profiles

This is the easiest thing to get right but probably the number one thing people get wrong. You need to keep it…

  • Concise/Relevant
  • Well laid out
  • Easy to spot the key information that sells you

I could write about CVs all day long but stick to these 3 things and I guarantee you, your CV will make it in front of more hiring managers.

Read every single sentence and ask yourself, “how could I make it shorter?” I fully appreciate you want to get every achievement and every detail on you CV to sell yourself as best as possible. But please, save that for the interview. No one, I repeat, no one is going to read a 5-page CV. There are exceptions to the rule, but 95% of people shouldn’t need more than 2/3 pages. The 5% know exactly who they are as well.

Another question to ask yourself, “is this information relevant to the job I’m applying for?” I think it’s fantastic you started working part-time whilst still at school, but – I do not need to know the responsibilities you had on your paper-round 15 years later.

Treat your CV as prime real-estate and ensure you’re maximising the value of every square centimetre.

Quick rule-of-thumb to keep your CV well laid out…

  • NAME
  • BRIEF INTRO
  • REVERSE CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER WORK HISTORY
  • EDUCATION/QUALIFICATIONS
  • INTERESTS AND OTHER RELEVANT INFO.

If you’re a student, put your education before work-history.

There are many ways to lay out a CV, and I’m not saying this is even the best way. But if you’re struggling with your CV, you can’t go too wrong with this lay-out.

The general principle here is linked closely to the 3rd point above. You want your relevant information, the things that make you perfect for the role, to jump off the page and be obvious to the person reviewing your CV. Heck, if you have to bold parts of sentences so it really jumps off the page then go for it.

Be Proactive

I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve spoken to people about their job search and when asked what they’re doing to find a job the response is “I’ve applied to some jobs on job boards.”

Sigh.

I get it, looking for a job is not fun and at a time like this it’s made a whole lot harder. There’s a lot more people looking for jobs and a lot less jobs available. It really does suck right now.

But this means you need to stand out more. When you see a job you like; find the hiring manager/recruiter, send them a LinkedIn message, see if you have any mutual connections that can recommend you. Go that step further. Stand out. Make them remember you.

Don’t stop there, who are the recruitment agencies that are the best in your field? Call them, intro yourself. If you work in their field they’ll want to speak to you. Build a relationship with them. The best recruiters, and even some not-so-good ones, will have access to jobs that aren’t even posted yet. That could be your job.

Prepare

You know the famous quote, right? Good, I don’t need to repeat it. But please, when you come to an interview, or even that first initial conversation with a recruiter, prepare for it.

This doesn’t mean you have to know what year the company was founded, and where the original offices were and the locations of all their global offices (I did all of these things when I first entered the job market).

Have a look at the recruiters/hiring managers’ LinkedIn profile. Again; do you have any mutual connections, did you go to the same university. Find a gem that will help you build rapport with that person.

And please, please, please, find out what the company does and how they make money. If you’re interviewing for Coca-Cola or Apple I’d imagine your research will be fairly short. But, if you’re about to speak to someone from a Tech Start-up this element is key and if you can save the hiring manager 5-10 minutes of them having to explain it in full detail then you’re onto a winner.

I’ll leave that there for now, if I keep going this will be a very long blog post! Please forgive any typos, this was done super quickly (and it’s not a CV!). There’s plenty more to discuss on this topic and I’m super passionate about it.

If you have any feedback, thoughts or questions on any of this please feel free to reach out.

Peace, Ash

“Tell me more about how we were founded by two guys in their garage”

(Totally poking fun at myself here before anyone else in case my very bad humour doesn’t translate well!)

Check out the YouTube version of this blog

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