A friend of mine – Amanda – is job hunting.
Because I work in the world of online recruitment, she’s sought my sage-like advice on how best to find her next role.
To try and help her, I trawled through all of the relevant articles I could find on our Career Development area. I then offered her the best job seeking advice I could think of.
How to find a job
Seek out employers you would like to work for and contact them directly. Don’t be shy. Employers prefer to employ people with a bit of gumption and initiative.
Write a powerful CV
See this as a vital sales document selling ‘You Inc’.
Write the most effective CV that you can. Don’t simply knock out your standard CV for every job you apply for – that doesn’t work! If you’re no good at copy writing, then be prepared to pay for someone to write a cracking CV for you.
Always send a covering letter
Always, always, always send a covering letter. Always. It’s another opportunity to tell the employer how good you are and it supports your CV.
Practice your interview technique
If you’re lucky enough to be invited in for an interview then give it your best shot.
As the old saying goes, ‘practice makes perfect’. Practice everything.
Practice your broadest smile as you enter the interview room, practice answers to potential questions and practice how you finish the interview with wit, grace and aplomb.
Use jobs boards
I would suggest this of course. Notice, though, how I left this piece of advice to last. Not because I don’t think jobs boards have a lot to offer job seekers – I’d look rather silly if I did – but because you should use them as part of a wider job hunting strategy.
But it was this final piece of advice that my friend has thrown back at me. After a couple of weeks of using several jobs boards (not this one I hasten to add) she’s found them to be extremely frustrating and of little use.
I’ll let her explain…
“…I don’t think I’ve found my ideal job yet though and have fallen into the trap of checking out the job sites, which is mind numbing, takes an eternity and is frustrating!
You see the ideal job, based in the Midlands, then you apply (one click is all it takes these days!) or call and then find out it’s too far to travel or something silly.
Mostly they state either ‘Midlands’ or ‘West Midlands’ in the location field and that’s about all. Often there aren’t any contact details as the job site wants you to apply through them rather than contact the agency direct and so removes any phone numbers or email addresses!
Please accept my apologises
As someone who works in the jobs board world, all I can do is apologise on our collective behalf 🙁
However, if you have ever tried to find a job using a jobs board, then you’ll know exactly what Amanda means!
Now, I have to be careful and not be too critical of our competitors. After all, ‘people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones’. Or, in other words, I’m sure you or anyone else could find 50 problems with using jobs.ac.uk in 5 minutes (please let us know if you do).
In fact, our job seekers tell us on a regular basis what’s wrong with our site. We even encourage them to do so.
Take a look at almost all of our job adverts (apart from the enhanced, full-colour ones) and you’ll see an Advert Quality Feedback form at the bottom of every page (click on thumbnail image below):
Why jobs boards are dreadful (apart from ours)
I think I’ll throw caution to the wind and agree with my friend that a majority of jobs boards are rubbish!
Jobs boards tend to provide a pretty dreadful user experience for the job seeker. They often have dreadful user interfaces, poor search functionality and are stuffed full of repeat anonymous ‘Our client is looking for…’ type jobs from hundreds of recruitment agencies.
After spending what feels like hours searching through these poor excuses for job sites, the desperate job seeker is left exhausted, frustrated and totally fed-up. So much so, in fact, that they develop a jaundiced view of jobs boards and recruitment advertising.
This is one reason why they can end up applying to every job they find in a, ‘You don’t care so I don’t care’ mood. Of course, the jobs boards don’t mind because they want to demonstrate to the client that they’ve had value for money.
Unfortunately, quality of applicant is more important than quantity of applicants. A deluge of innapropriate applicants can leave the employer leaving as confused and disappointed as the job seeker!
What a shame.
I guess we, at jobs.ac.uk Towers, will just have to lead by example by offering the best customer experience we can – for both the job seeker and customer.
Of course, we never mess up…
Oh, and if you’ve got a marketing job that you could recommend to Amanda, then please let her know!