4 Tips for Efficient Job Hunting Online …..and a little bit more

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I have just read with interest the post by Irina Shamaeva on The Talent Buzz and the comments others have made. Whilst I would have liked to post my comments on there it felt mine might be a bit too long winded and thus thought it better to put them here. To view the post 4 Tips for Efficient Job Hunting Online

I agree with most of what has been said insofar as a mix of the advice proposed gives a better but still incomplete picture. There are so many more tips to give. Here are some and I am sure others would gladly share their experiences too.

As an in house recruiter (and a sometimes candidate) with over 25 years of experience on all sides of the recruiting process I can say that if you are an experienced person with what you think are skills and experiences that will be or are likely to be targeted in the market, the first thing you need to do is research.

Research which companies will be or could be interested in your skills, dig deep to find out as much as you can about them a how they would employ the skills you have. Once you have your list do more research to discover those that you feel you would enjoy working for. Once you have your shortlist apply to them directly, with a CV and covering letter specifically created and detailed to address the requirements of their advertised position. Whilst customized CVs are a good idea remember that they do need to be an accurate reflection of your attributes.

However this may still not be enough. Many candidates complain that when they apply for jobs their application just disappears into a black hole. Sadly this can happen. In house recruiters from the larger companies may have 100’s of applications for their roles each day, with probably 90 % as unsuitable as a snowman applying for a fire fighters job. There is no harm sending a CV directly to a recruiter if you can get their email address, the better ones will read it and appreciate your initiative.

If you find a job advertised by two or three agencies as well as the employer don’t go to any old agency, apply directly to the employer. In my experience you stand a better chance to being recognized and responded to, and your skills are more likely to be recognized for what they are, hopefully increasing your chances. If you do need to or chose to use and agency DO NOT permit them to send your CV to a potential employer without you knowing who it is going to. An agency is obliged to ask your permission before they send it and even if they aren’t in your country, I wouldn’t trust them if they don’t trust you! The last thing you want is to make an application for a job directly only to find an agency has sent your CV to the same company previously without you knowing. You will reduce your chances of proper consideration.

Also never allow an agency to say that they will punt your CV to a prospective employer on a speculative whim. If the agency cannot give you a full and detailed job spec in writing then they are unlikely to be acting on the employer’s behalf and thus could again complicate and reduce your chances.

    • Kelvin Wright
    • March 25th, 2010

    Hi Gary,
    A very interesting article. I am a British HR professional who has been working in Spain since 2005. The idea of employer branding has not reached here yet, and your comment about the application disappearing into a black hole is sadly too true for all but the selected candidate. In Spain, if a company interviews between 4 and 6 candidates, it will normally only contact the chosen one. The rest are left twiddling their thumbs, wondering if the process is ongoing, has been closed, if the recruiter is taking a siesta or another candidate has been chosen. I am looking to come back to the UK and am already seeing a major difference in approach and professionalism. I believe that interviewed candidates should always be contacted, if only to inform them that they have not been successfull. It will help with creating a positive professional image of the recruiting company and at the same time help the recruiter maintain a talent pool for future use.

    You are right though – 90% of candidates are plainly not suitable and in my opinion would help their own chances of success in an incredibly competitive marketplace if they revised the candidate profile before applying and asked themselves: “Would I honestly select me for this position if my job depended on it?”

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