Some more tips for job seekers…

You may remember this post from back in April: 

It was timely to capture some of my thoughts whilst I was recruiting for a newly created role at work.

So I have a couple of additions to the basics…

1. Your contact number. Make sure a potential employer can make contact with you at your contact number! In the latest round of recruiting I have embarked upon, I actually had trouble getting in touch with a couple of candidates.

One had a dodgy message bank service which would not seem to take my message. You had to enter the number of the phone to be able to leave a message – which I did, but it still did not want to record my message!

The other had one of those “Leave a short 10 second message and we will convert it to text and send”. That might be OK for your friends or family who you can kinda derive some kind of meaning from the garbled SMS. I have not yet seen any speech to text software work yet… So how is it going to handle “Hi This is Damian from XXXX, calling in reference to your application for role XXXX. Please call me back on XXXXX.” The ten seconds runs out before you get too far in! Switch this off whilst you are actively pursuing roles. Stick with safe voice mail.

2. If you are actively pursuing roles, it would probably be a positive move to answer your mobile wherever possible. In this age of caller ID, it is tempting to not answer any calls from a number that you do not recognise. I am pretty sure this is happening because I often leave a message and receive a return call within 2 minutes. By then, I am usually on a call to another candidate – and start the phone tag games! It saves the recruiter time if you just answer your phone!

3. If you can’t remember which role I am calling about that you applied for, you are probably using the shotgun approach a little too liberally! Target roles, and make sure you spend time researching the role, matching your skills, and preparing the first part of your story in case you get a call!

Finally, I am still surprised at how many people do not provide a cover letter outlining why they are a great match for the role. Just a couple of key points highlighting specifically why you are a great candidate that match up with what is in the job ad will get you past the first post everytime! Not a generic “I am enthusiastic, hard working etc” but a short targeted pitch demonstrating that you know a little about our business, and that you have the skills and experience we are looking for.

So, hopefully we will have a new consumer contact co-ordinator on board soon! Next recruit – Senior Brand Manager. Call me if you are interested!

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6 Responses to Some more tips for job seekers…

  1. Scott says:

    Interesting topic Damo. I found the cover letter the hardest part and mine possibly wasn’t targeted as well as I could have hoped. The phone one is interesting. I would always try to answer the phone (always gave my mobile as the contact number). But you can’t always answer, even if you are expecting. Call back: ie you are involved in doing something else and you never knew when u were going to get a call back. Your third pint is valid, but sort of unrealistic as well: at least from my perspective of having been unemployed for a long time (well not now at least). The main problem with that statement is that even if you had not taken the shotgun approach, you often don’t here back (if at all) for quite some time for positions you have applied for. If I don’t hear back witching a few days then I might not remember exactly which job I had applied for because I have lots of other positions to hear back.

    mmmmm….that was maybe a bit rally, sorry about that.

    • Damian Young says:

      great to hear it from the other side of the fence! I hear what you are saying about advertisers not getting back to you – I make a point of letting all unsuccessful candidates know as soon as I can – everyone, no exceptions…

      • Scott says:

        I suppose my main point with not remembering the particulars of a job is that if there is a lag between when you advertise and thus have people submitting applications and when you process them and get back to them (this could be a couple of weeks minimum for a lot of places…nto sure about yours)…then people will have applied for other positions and thus not quite memorising specific details for this one position. It was some I was aware of and thus I tried to get around by putting a copy of the add and my cover letter in my dropbox account, so I could access if I wasn’t at home.

        Btw- I do remember you saying in that first post about this topic, that you always contacted all the candidates.

        Just be thankful that you aren’t havign to do this for teachign jobs at state schools. The expectation their is cover letter, CV (mine is 3 pages) and response to key selection criteria – if they have 5 KSC’s then it is somewhat expected that this part will be abotu 5 pages long!! let’s just say I was a little surprised when I first heard abou that!

  2. Brent says:

    I’m not sure about cover letters, the last couple of times I’ve recruited I’ve had to sift through 20+ CVs and the last thing I needed was to double the amount of documents I needed to read through. My main piece of advice would be to have a really punchy and succinct CV that sells your achievements (in a non “FIGJAM” way) in 3 pages – 4 absolute max. Anything more than 4 pages when the word doc opens and my cursor is making a beeline for the red X in the top right corner.

    And check spelling and grammar, always surprises me how many people have issues with this in their resume.

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