Finding a new job: Follow the golden rules

As support from government comes towards its planned end, it is clear that there will be more job losses. You may find yourself in job search.  This article will give you help.

By Charles Wilson, The Consultancy

If you are entering job search, what should you be doing?  Adopt a firm business-like approach with yourself.  Getting a new position is a job in itself.  Get up in the morning.  Sit at your computer and work!  Examine how you are presenting yourself whether on electronic media or paper. The principles remain the same.  You need a good solid CV, which should be plain, simple and geared to the needs of your current application.  Emphasise the competences you have compared with the advertisement to which you are responding.  Yes! That means you may have to tweak your CV/presentation for each application. Make it short.  Begin with a brief profile of what you are in business terms, not what you want to be or how wonderful you are. Place your latest experiences first.  You will be most strongly viewed on your last job.  If your career has some length, get the early part down to one liners simply to show the chronology.  Don’t fudge the years.

There’s a story about a rising star who is clearly the best candidate being interviewed by some crusty older directors. They call him back in……………….

“Mr Smith we notice that there appears to be a year missing from your CV”

One of those knees together, hands clasped, awkward, short silences ensues as Smith summons his courage.  He then blurts out………………….

“I took a year out to run my travelling pop group ‘The Drum Kids’ “

The Chairman leans forward and grasps Smith’s hand  – “Welcome to the Company.  We just wanted an assurance that you hadn’t been in jail”

You will probably be badly interviewed.  Managers assume they are good it and generally they are not.  The history of what you have done and achieved is the relevant part.  You may still be asked  – “What would you like to be doing in five years’ time?” That is totally irrelevant but interviewers think that it shows ambition and a way ahead.  Tempting though it is to respond that you would like to be the reigning sovereign, firstly the job is spoken for and secondly a flippant answer will not do you much good.  Work out stuff around; well settled, working and progressing in the organisation.   Focused Interview is the aim.  The best framed question being…

Tell us about a time when you”…..worked in a team/led a team/ solved a difficult problem/ dealt with a difficult person…etc…etc

That is, questions focused on the competences the organisation is seeking.  Your interviewers are receiving information about you when you are talking.  Don’t talk too much but if you are not asked about your relevant skills turn the questioning around………….

Could I just elaborate my experience in………..”

Look at your skills and think how you acquired and practise them.  Leadership skills learned and used on a sports field are the same in nature as leadership skills in a professional environment.  Committee competences practised on a charity committee are readily transferable to the world of work.  Don’t undersell yourself.  A talent is a talent however learned and used.  Competences can be divided into generic core behaviours (e.g.) – communication or teamwork and core skills relevant to the job in question such as, customer focus or the ability to use Excel pivot tables.  You need to get across answers as to how you fit.  Get out your E device and practise, practise, practise.  Record yourself answering stock questions.  More simply just look at yourself in a mirror and see what your interviewer sees.  Play back your recordings to your most severe critics – your partner or friends who will be honest with you.  If you are interviewed electronically then your practising will stand you in good stead.  If you have not been interviewed for some time or feel that you lack the skills, get help and seek some training for which you may have to pay.  Your redundancy/severance payment is an investment in your future not an interim bridging loan.  Your aim is to get back quickly into employment.

Present yourself to the recruitment companies.  They sometimes have access to unadvertised vacancies.  Be realistic however and remember they make their bread from their client companies not from you as an individual.  If they offer job search/outplacement training have a look at what

Finally a warning, it is very easy to get into a job before you get the job.  Reading the advertisement you psych yourself into the job to which you have been attracted and begin to think what you will do when appointed.  That particular post, no matter how well you feel suited to it is only one of the many jobs for which you will apply.  Once you have applied get on with seeking another appointment.  Job search is disappointment.  Learn to live with rejection and move on.  There may be fifty applicants for a post, only a handful will be interviewed and one person appointed.  Your aim is to get yourself to be that person.  An organisation has a vacancy.  Some part of it is uncared for, so it has a problem.  You are the solution to that problem.

©Charles Wilson  – The Consultancy  – Cleveland House, Kensington Ave., Douglas IM1 3ET

Tel: 629589  –