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By Lilian Wamaitha
Working for a recruiting company has meant that a lot of job seekers come to me for advice on how to land a job and there are things I have found myself repeating over and over again.
While most of the advice may sound obvious, it’s all stuff that most of us tend to forget when caught up in the hustle of trying to land a new job as fast as possible.
Whether you are just starting your job search, looking for a new job or to change your career all together, I guarantee this advice will change the way you go about your job search.
1. Never send a CV that is not tailored to the job
The job market has changed over the last few decades and now more than ever, employers want more than an application when deciding who to hire.
Gone are the days when you only used to submit a CV for any job opening and the HR manager will spend a better part of their day going through all the applications.
Nowadays an employer will literally spend 30 seconds scanning through your application and decide whether you are worth proceeding with or not.
In an age where a single job post will attract over 200 applications, there is a need to stand out. And how do you do that?
You do things different. You tailor your CV to fit what the employer wants. Let the employer in those 30 second find the kind of skills and experience they are looking for.
And when you do that, you will never again say that you keep applying for so many jobs but never hear back from employers.
2. Always follow the employer’s instructions
There is a tendency for job seekers to want to go above the employer’s expectations in the hope that they will impress the person receiving the application.
In reality, this only works against you most of the time.
There is a reason an employer will strictly tell you to send a CV only or a CV and cover letter.
Just do that. If they want a CV stop attaching your cover letter, certificates and recommendation letters.
It won’t make much of a difference because at the end of day, they won’t even open those extra attachments.
3. While you know you can do the job, the employer doesn’t
When you are looking for a job, this is the best time to really think about your career and the direction you want it to take.
Maybe you have been a salesperson but love communication and you believe you would do really well in that field. So you see a position and apply.
You know you can do the job if given the chance but the employer does not know you and they are probably interviewing a lot of candidates who have communication experience.
It’s up to you to prove yourself and you can do this by drafting a killer cover letter explaining your passion for communication or having a separate CV specific for communication jobs.
The bottom line is; you will have to do more than just send your application with the same CV and cover letter you use for all jobs.
4. Stop telling employers “I’ll take anything”
It’s okay to feel desperate especially if your job hunt has gone on for so long.
At the end of the day all you want is a paycheck. I understand. But stop telling employers this. It makes you look desperate and unsure of what you want.
You want to get a job you will be happy with because believe me, you don’t want to be looking for a job again in six months’ time because the one you have is so terrible.
5. It’s never about how many jobs you apply for, it’s about the quality of those applications
Why do you need to apply for over 20 positions every single day? Most people believe this will increase their chances of getting an interview. Sadly this is a misconception.
While you are applying for all these jobs, you are probably sending the same CV and cover letter. This as discussed earlier will not add any value. Instead pick a few jobs you truly are interested in and fit your qualifications and spend all your energy and time on them.
Zeroing in on a specific target offers you a better chance as opposed to applying for every job you see. Not to mention this can even lead to demoralization especially if you do not get any interview.
6. Stop relying on advertised jobs alone
Most people assume that because an organization has not advertised a position then there is no opening available.
Do not limit yourself by believing that the only jobs out there are the ones advertised. Sometimes companies may not know they need someone with your skills and your application may show them that you will be a great addition.
7. Always be prepared for an interview
Well, getting invited for an interview does not mean you got the job. It only means you are a little closer to getting the job and what stands between you and the job is an interview.
It’s very important to prepare for the interview as it increases your chances of getting the job.
Carry out background research on the company, research more on the role, also go a step further and find out what different companies are offering for the position so that you are able to negotiate for the salary.
The importance of interview preparation is that it reduces nervousness during the interview because when you are well prepared you feel more confident.
At the end of the day, landing a job might be as simple as you changing your ways. All the best in your job search.
The writer is a Communication Officer at Corporate Staffing Services, a leading HR firm that offers CV Writing, Coaching, Training and Free Job Placement.