By Mark McDonald, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers (Dublin North)
A lot of the clients I meet during the course of my work will speak about the frustration they feel while searching for
a job. This is a topic I have touched on here before and I now wish to elaborate on it, due to some queries from readers. Unsuccessful applications or, worse again, hearing nothing back will impact on people’s confidence and make them doubt their own ability, writes Mark McDonald, Career Coach.
There are a number of steps you can take which may increase your chance of success. In simple terms, I recommend that people take control of their job searching and break their activity down into manageable bite-sized chunks.
Start with a blank sheet of paper and begin to list the sector you would like to work in and, from there, draw up another list of employers within that sector where you feel you would be a good fit. This is now your job-searching target list.
Research each of those employers to see which of them might be recruiting at present. Check their websites, ring or email their HR departments, see if they are recruiting on LinkedIn and look on the various online job boards such as Jobs.ie, Irishjobs.ie, CPL, Monster, Indeed and so on for opportunities.
Once you identify an opportunity which interests you, check how your CV matches the job specification. Study the key words within the job advert. Look at the relevant skills and experience they require for the role. Make sure your CV and your cover letter are tweaked in order to reflect those specific requirements.
If the job advertisement gives details for a contact person, perhaps ring or email them prior to submitting your application. This will help you get more information about the job and will help them to put a face, metaphorically speaking, to your application.
Try to increase your own personal brand while job searching. Have an active and current LinkedIn profile and look to interact with groups or individuals on LinkedIn who have similar career interests to you. Many employers also have Facebook and Twitter profiles which you can follow and interact with. This can all help to get you on the radar of relevant employers.
Don’t forget about the potential contained within your own network. Friends, colleagues and family members may very well be in a position to offer you advice or, indeed, to refer you to a potential employer. You won’t know until you ask.
Recruiters and online job boards will sometime offer you the opportunity to create a profile and receive emails or text messages about job opportunities that match your profile. Avail of this option wherever possible.
Keep an eye on media announcements either online, broadcast or printed, which relate to employment opportunities. Again, if contact details are given, use this as an opportunity to touch base with the company and make yourself known.
The recruitment process is essentially a sales process where you sell your skills and talents to a potential employer. Never underestimate the power of human interaction within this process. If you can make a connection with an employer or recruiter early in the process, you have given yourself a strong base from which to build your sales pitch.
Take control and best of luck.
Mark McDonald is a Career Coach with Sli Nua Careers and works out of Dublin North. You can read more about him, and make a booking HERE for CV Preparation and Interview Training.