Arm yourself with optimism
Don’t get sucked into the pervading air of doom and gloom, says Simon Broomer, a career coach with Career Balance. He insists there are jobs out there, but you just have to be “cheeky” about getting them.
He suggests starting by pinpointing companies you’d like to work for: “Watch their website and their social media closely, look at what they’re doing like you’re investing in them.”
You can also narrow the parameters of your online job searching by calling these companies’ recruitment managers to ask where they advertise their vacancies. Be bolder still by telling them you’d like to work for them, Broomer says. “Ask if you can meet with them to discuss how you and the company might work. The worst they can say is no.”
Get plucked from the pack
CVs are a crucial element of the job hunt, yet opinions vary on how they should be presented.
Broomer insists you keep it at two pages, with no photo, and focus on the past 10 years of your education and working life. Include a succinct profile, but avoid trite phrases like ‘highly motivated’ and ‘team player’.
“Your profile needs to include something that defines you, not every other candidate applying,” he says.
“Mention three things you have to offer your employer that would set you apart from other candidates. A degree, or a language skill, for example.”
Employers’ get emailed CVs every day, so Broomer suggests sending yours as a hard copy through the post – they’ll be sure to remember it.
Social media is the smartest way to find work, and LinkedIn, in particular, with 35 million members in more than
140 industries, is invaluable for reaching decision-makers.
Join your industry network on the site and post in your status update, and
in forums, that you
“Find the profiles
of individual people you admire in your industry and see what they’ve done in their careers. If you like what they’ve done, drop them an email and ask to have a coffee with them,” Broomer says.
Light up a room
Interviews are a golden opportunity to seal a job, yet, in this era of phone chats, email conversation and texts, Broomer fears we’ve lost the art of face-to-face communication. “So few people know nowadays how to make an impact when they’re in a room. This is one chance you have to impress someone with your presence,” he says.
“Light up a room with your smile – you’re not at a funeral – and make eye contact. If you don’t, they’ll think something’s wrong with you, or you’re hiding something. Also, don’t put up any barriers, like folding up your arms.
“Before you answer any questions, think, ‘why are they asking me this question? What do they want to know? Is it my persona, my skills set, my values, or my knowledge?’ – and always give your best.”
Broomer also urges you go armed with plenty of your own work-related anecdotes,
Finally, ask plenty
“I once said in an interview, ‘I think your business model is fatally flawed. Why do you think the company hasn’t been doing so well?’ and I got the job. It shows you’ve done your research.”
You can always do more
If you don’t want to leave your job, but feel you can get more out of it, put yourself in good stead for a promotion by being more pro-active than usual.
“Don’t look for gratitude, just do it for your own professional achievements and personal development. Try to use
a skill you’re not currently using. At the least you’ll have something to put on your CV, at the most, you’ll earn a reward. It’s a win-win,” Broomer says.