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By Lilian Wamaitha
Sometimes job search can feel overwhelming especially if you really need a job right now.
Maybe you have just been laid off, have quit, looking for your first job or secretly job hunting in your current role because you want a change.
However with so much competition in the job market, it is not guaranteed that you will get a job every time you apply.
As such your job search had dragged on for months and can’t seem to pinpoint just what you are doing wrong.
Why are other people getting the jobs and not you?
The jobs might be few, yes, or at least the good ones you are looking to find are, but what is keeping you from getting a job over and over?
Missing out on a job a few times is alright, but going on months or even years should not be acceptable.
Here is my ultimate guide to getting hired in 30 days or less;
1. Ensure that your cover letter and CV are perfect
How many applications have you sent yet no employer ever gets back to you?
There are several reasons why your job search efforts haven’t yielded any results up to now and the biggest is your CV and cover letter.
Employers receive hundreds to thousands of applications for a single post depending on the position and as such have only about 30 seconds to scan through your CV to determine if you are the perfect fit for the job.
Talk to a professional, it could be a HR person in a particular organization or recruitment firm, a professional CV writer or interview coach or a professional in your area of expertise.
Try and find out what your current CV or Cover Letter is communicating to these professionals. Would they hire you if they had an opening? What position would they recommend you for?
2. Master the art of humble bragging
The whole point of a CV is to actually sell you to an employer. This means talking about your skills and achievements in a way that doesn’t sound like bragging.
If you are having a problem talking about what you have accomplished and what you will be taking to the job if given a chance, it means that you are underselling yourself.
A career summary on your CV exists for this reason. It is where you talk about your past experiences that are related to the role you are applying for, your aspirations for the future and why you are looking for that particular job.
When writing your career summary, assume that you are explaining to your friend what you do for a living.
3. Always ensure all your applications fit the job you are applying for
Not all jobs will suit your qualifications perfectly. It is not just about matching the years of experience or meeting the degree or diploma the job is looking for, consider the skills.
Do you possess them or not? Analyzing your skills and those of the job will let you know if you are the best fit or it’s time to find another.
4. Perfect your interview skills
Let’s say you get your CV and cover letter in order and get shortlisted for a job.
That doesn’t mean that you already have it. You still have an interview to prepare for which is where a majority of job seekers go wrong.
Whenever you are called for an interview, you never take the time to prepare for even the basic questions or research what the company does.
An interview is an avenue the employer uses to eliminate the weak candidates. So think about it this way; you have come all the way, so why would you want to fail at that point when you are so close to getting the job?
If you are looking to change the narrative and finally get a job, this is one area you really need to work on.
5. Take advantage of LinkedIn
It’s a sad reality that a majority of people don’t know how to use LinkedIn. This is why you will see almost the same similar thing on each profile. People are either unemployed, professional gurus or working at so and so.
As it turns out writing that you are skilled, creative, passionate or motivated may not be creating a very good impression on those looking to hire you.
The job market has become so competitive that employers no longer rely on direct applications. They are on LinkedIn looking for the most suitable candidates to fill the positions even as you continue sending numerous applications.
Believe it or not, LinkedIn is the next big thing and if you are not there, you are really missing out on golden opportunities.
A lot of the times, when your job search has dragged on for so long, it is because you are taking some things for granted. Sending generic cover letters and CVs is outdated. Now more than ever, employers are looking for that unique candidate. They have seen it all in every application they get and what will make a difference is if you are unique and make a point of standing out.
Lilian is a Communication Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a HR and Recruitment firm offering trainings, coaching and job placements.