John Lees, leading Career Transition Coach and Working Lives Expert, offers guidance to help people get back into work.
With reports of a poor job market putting more pressure on graduates than ever, it would be easy to get discouraged. Luckily John Lees is here with good advice for graduates looking to get an edge in recruitment. Lees, the best selling author of How To Get A Job You’ll Love and several other careers titles, gives helpful strategies to make sure you don’t get lost in the struggle.
Don’t Play the Ideal/Real Game: You don’t need a perfect job, just one you enjoy 3.5 days out of five – hunt for a 70 percent overlap between your work satisfaction and the true needs of an organisation.
Time Things Sensibly: Panic thrusts people into an over-eager and unfocused job search. Don’t follow the herd. Only applying for advertised positions is a safe way of prolonging the agony, as is chasing jobs in declining industries. Look for organisations that are swimming against the tide, or niche sectors that are doing well.
Don’t Refresh Your CV – Rethink It: There are too many undifferentiated CVs out there, so look again at the first 20 words. If you find you’re being offered the same tired old jobs you’re trying to escape, it’s probably your doing. If you want to change career path, your CV needs to be very clear about why you want a change of direction. The opening section should communicate the explanations you would give when handing the document over to someone in person.
Get Out There: A job search conducted sitting at a screen in your bedroom will always be low-energy. Jobsites will occupy your time, but unless you have a technical specialism, you are unlikely to get results more than 5% of the time. Better to boost your confidence by wearing good business clothes and meeting people at least once a week. Success in the hidden job market comes when someone remembers you when you’re not in the room so make an impression by meeting people in person.
Finally, think your job search backwards: As recruitment advertising continues to shrink it becomes even more likely that you’ll only find interesting roles through connections and chance encounters. Push the law of averages in your direction and you start to create your own luck – make direct approaches to target organisations, and keep talking to people in real jobs rather than conducting your job search on the Internet.