10 Tips For Finding a Job – in a Hurry!

Does your resume stand out from the rest of the applicants and create a lasting impression? As unemployment creeps upward, finding a job becomes more difficult. Most employers simply do not have time to wade through a stack of hundreds of applications and will try to trim the list quickly.

Poorly filled out forms and lengthy resumes are just two of the reasons for an application falling at the first hurdle, so you need to make sure that you do not give them an excuse to include your resume in that number. A few simple measures will ensure that your resume at least makes it to the final shortlist.

  1. Concise and Targeted Applications: Spend time writing an excellent cover letter and filling out the application form correctly. You are much more likely to receive offers for interview if you send out half a dozen high quality applications, rather than twenty poorly written or incomplete ones. If you keep sending out ‘generic’ cover letters, you will be waiting a long time for the phone to ring.
  2. Be Selective: When you are unemployed and desperate, the temptation is to apply for any job that you can find. This is counterproductive because, if you are under qualified or unsuitable, you will soon be found out. Save your time and move onto a realistic vacancy, giving yourself every opportunity to push to the head of the queue.
  3. Be Thorough: Strive for perfection and do not give anybody the excuse to reject you for easily avoidable mistakes. A Human Resources manager does not have the time to read hundreds of applications and will look for a way to reduce the workload. Any application that is incomplete, or riddled with spelling mistakes, will be thrown straight into the filing cabinet known as the trashcan. Print out or copy a practice form and fill that out first, asking somebody else to proof-read if you are not confident about your writing skills.
  4. Be Organized: Try to organize the way in which you work and keep a diary or a box of index cards with the major details of all your applications. That ensures that if somebody phones, you can pick out their details quickly and sound composed on the phone, rather than frantically trying to remember which company they represent.
  5. Be Goal Orientated: Set yourself a target of between five and ten applications every day. If you do not find enough high-quality vacancies in the newspapers or online to fill your quota, send out speculative letters to companies. Many jobs are filled by outstanding candidates who just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
  6. Be Proactive: Don’t just rely upon computers, telephones and the mail carrier to find work. A surprising number of vacancies are filled by people turning up on the doorstep of a company just as they are thinking of hiring. Many managers and business owners are old-fashioned and appreciate the personal touch, so dress smartly and try your luck.
  7. Have a Great Resume: You must have a professional and customized resume if you are serious about finding work. A search online or in the bookstore will provide you with excellent information of how to write the perfect resume. You have about thirty seconds to impress, so your CV should fit on a single page and be straight to the point: If they want further information, they will invite you to interview.If you are having difficulty, hire a professional to write a resume for you – it could be the best investment you ever made. You should also make a few different variants, each tailored to specific jobs and niches. This is especially important if you keep receiving feedback that you are overqualified – you need to tone down your qualifications and promote your experience.
  8. Background Research: Research the company before filling out forms and sending letters. If you can show that you know a little about the company and can explain why you think that you are the best fit, you will move straight onto the shortlist. If you are invited for interview, you can reuse this knowledge to appear confident and thorough.
  9. Avoid Anonymity: Try to find out the name of the person that handles applications because it shows that you have made some effort and helps you with follow up calls. When HR departments say that they will keep you on file, what they mean is that your details will lie forgotten at the back of a filing cabinet. The chances of them calling you back are minimal.If you know the name of the person responsible, you can phone them a couple of months later and ask to speak to them directly, rather than being deflected by a secretary. By now, they may have a position available or they might have one coming up, and you have just pushed yourself to the front of the queue.
  10. Remain Positive: It is very easy to become disheartened when the inevitable rejections arrive and all too easy to start wondering why you bother. Times are tough and there are no guarantees, but taking things one day at a time can help prevent this. If you remain positive, this comes across in your introductory letters and in interviews, showing employers that you have a great personality to go with the experience and qualifications.

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