Optimise Your Job Search



There is a slow but steady improvement being witnessed in the employment landscape, however competition for jobs remain intense and candidates need to have solid strategies in place in order to optimise their prospects.



With the year in full swing and a more positive economic outlook forecast for 2013, it's time for job seekers to really step up their search, says Niteske Marshall, MD of Network Recruitment.

But whilst the employment landscape should improve, she said competition for jobs remained intense and candidates would need to have solid strategies in place in order to optimise their prospects.  

"Many candidates mistakenly focus too much on the job itself and not on the recruitment process and consequently lose out on opportunities. Thorough preparation is critical.

"A candidate's strategy should start with their CV,' she continued. "It's the vital first impression.  "With an average of 50 CVs submitted for every advertised job, many candidates are ruled out early on the basis of poorly presented resumes
despite having the appropriate qualifications, experience and skills.  If need be, get professional help from your recruitment agent when preparing a CV.'

A candidate's preparation may also involve changing an email address for all job-related communication to create a more professional image.  Hotmail, MSN and Yahoo can have issues with throughput and buffer size, whilst nicknames and pseudonyms don't present well.

A respectable and respectful digital footprint is also essential, Marshall said, and candidates should clean up their social networking platforms before starting a job search. "The web should be your friend, not your enemy - and use it to research prospective employers and for networking purposes.' In fact, doing research gives candidates a distinctive advantage, she said.  "If someone demonstrates genuine interest to a prospective employer or a recruitment agent and is able to tailor their responses to match an organisation's specific needs, they'll be one-up.'  

However, she cautioned candidates against using the web in isolation when looking for a job. "There's no substitute for the traditional recruitment process which is all about the critical element of human engagement.  Job seekers should work at establishing personal relationships with agents in order to benefit from their training, experience and intuition in matching candidates, culture and employers.' Recruitment agents can also help with the preparation of CVs and give guidance on effective and positive presentations.

Preparing an impactful "sound byte? for use as both a verbal introduction and as an objective statement on a resume should be another vital element of a candidate's strategy.  "A well-rehearsed and relevant response to the question "What job are you looking for? and an abbreviated, impactful paragraph detailing what you're good at, what you've done and your work experience will help create that vital first

First impressions are also created visually - and dressing appropriately for an interview is essential.  Whilst individual workwear guidelines may apply to various organisations and industries, Network Recruitment's advice is "conservative over creative.  

They also advise job seekers to be cautious when it comes to money. Discussions about package should be left for the interviewer to initiate, but the subject is best left alone unless the candidate is certain they want the position.

Marshall also sounded a word of caution on the attitude of job seekers to their employers during the resignation process or during their job search. "Don't burn your bridges,' she said.  "Remember, it's a small world'. Whilst Marshall was confident that the job market would pick up, she urged people to get going early and jumpstart their careers with effective job-hunting strategies.  




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