The world is changing at a rapid pace. I have heard many social and business commentators say that the change we’ve experienced in the last 2 years is greater than the change we’ve experienced in the 5-10 years before this. How we shop (online versus retail), how we book travel (Air BnB) and how we get from A to B (Uber) are examples of just a few of these changes. I know I can certainly feel the impact of these changes. In terms of what this means to those who are actively looking for a new job, there’s implications for you too!
The Job Seeking Market Has Changed
The job seeking market has changed. When some of my clients first meet with me, they think the process of finding a new job is as simple as updating your resume and sending it off to a few friends and colleagues or applying for a few jobs.
‘Isn’t it that easy?’ I hear you ask. I am afraid not. Not anymore.
It’s a really competitive market, with many people applying for roles. The key stakeholders, recruiters and employers, are also much more focussed these days on the placement of the role and simply do not have time to provide job applicants with feedback. Many job applications must be submitted via online portals and are processed by sophisticated software programs before they even reach the hands of the person making the selections for the interview. And when you are invited to the interview process I have heard of as many as seven stages before the successful applicant is offered the role.
An important point to remember is that it is not the recruiter’s role to guide you. They are paid by the employer and so their primary purpose is to find the best person for the role, which may or may not be you!
Nothing is more certain than change, and so if you can accept things do not remain the same for long, then I am hoping you can also consider my suggestions below that will help you get to a job interview faster.
Change Your Mindset
I really do encourage you to give some thought to your attitude towards the process of getting a job. The thing you need to know about me is, while I will always be gentle, kind, and thoughtful and, in most cases, help lead you to these conclusions, sometimes you need to just hear it. I am a realist, which means I am going to tell you the way it is.
So here it is. What you probably don’t want to hear. No sugar coating (apparently sugar is bad for you anyway ).
Finding a job will not be as easy as before and the methods you have used in the past to get a job may not be as effective as they used to be.
If you can be open to accepting this reality, then it will help you be more successful finding your next job.
It’s not all bad news and it is about accepting the reality you find yourself in a taking positive action. In my experience, if you are prepared to take the time it requires to consider which roles your skills, background and interests are suited to, and then prepare for each new role you apply for by adapting your cover letter and resume, then you will be putting yourself in a stronger position to be invited to the job interview. If you understand that it is tough market and you will get there eventually, but you will not necessarily get the first job you apply for.
Understand the Value of a Cover Letter
One of the key ways to increase your success with getting to a job interview is understanding the value of a cover letter in the job application process. Please imagine for a moment you are either the recruiter or HR manager in charge of the selection process for the role you have applied for. It is their job to screen the applicants and decide who is invited to be interviewed. They are working to a criteria, which has hopefully been included in the job advertisement of position description. If they have not used software to help them screen the applications, it is likely they will be reviewing 100+ applications.
What can you do to make this job easier for them? My estimate is that you have about 17 seconds while the recruiter or HR manager scans your cover letter and CV. This means how well you demonstrate that you meet the key selection criteria, will determine how likely you are to be invited to the job interview. It is really important to adapt your cover letter to each new role you apply for and use or adapt the types of words and phrases that have been used in the job advertisement.
If you put yourself in the shoes of the person reading your application as you write or revise your cover letter, you will increase your likelihood of being invited to interview.
Consider the Role of a Career Coach
Applying for jobs is an emotional roller coaster. There will be high points, and there will definitely be low points along the way. The good news is that the more emotionally prepared you are for this process, the better.
At the beginning of the career guidance the job seeking process I encourage you maximise your chances of staying ‘emotionally fit’ during this roller coaster ride by considering the services of a Career Coach.
The purpose of a Career Coach is to guide you through this process, including:
- conducting a skills and experience assessment
- showing you how to updateyour cover letter and resume
- helping you develop a job application strategy
Some Career Coaches will also help you with interview preparation and debrief with you after the interview. This is an invaluable service for managing the highs and the lows when you are actively looking for work!
I am a passionate Career Coach who works with individuals in the explore and search phase of their career journey, helping you realise your strengths through my career coaching and training programs. I enjoy showing people the path to greater career satisfaction and providing insight and tools to help you make your next career move.