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  • Martin Garrity


Step 3 of 6 in Getting to the Job You Want.

If you've read through Step 1 and Step 2, you've reflected on:

  • Who you really are: your skills, preferences and values.

  • What type of job would suit your personality, motivation and personal circumstances.

Now it's time to set about finding the right openings and opportunities, which may not be in the places you might expect.....

A wide ranging jobsearch campaign will seek out opportunities through a range of channels:

making direct applications to advertised vacancies

  • working with Recruitment Agencies

  • targeting specific companies for whom you'd like to work

  • networking - growing your list of meaningful contacts

Ideally, your jobsearch will consist of activity across all these channels. But some tend to be more fruitful than others.

Now, it's quite tempting to scroll through Job Boards when you see jobs that are attractive and interesting. You could apply for these thinking that your skills and background fit closely to the role requirements.

But hang on a second....consider this:

To stand any chance of getting an interview when making direct applications, you'll need to tailor your application and maybe a covering letter. Even if you use all the tricks and shortcuts that I'll describe in this blog series, it will take at least an hour to produce a bespoke CV and letter.

Your application may not be read by a person at all. In many organisations, recruiters use software to scan CVs for keywords. If your application doesn't contain the right words, it will be rejected – without a real person ever reading it.

Because of the access to the internet that many of us enjoy, thousands upon thousands of other people are also reading the same job advertisement that you are. Consequently, recruiters receive hundreds and sometimes thousands of applications. It's very difficult to stand out in such a crowd – no matter how strong your credentials are.

In many cases, recruiters receive so many applications that they reply only to those whom they invite for interview. So you may not hear anything at all from some organisations to whom you've applied.

Imagine the impact on your confidence of putting in many direct applications and hearing nothing back at all from most of them. Some of my clients have described it as soul destroying.

According to one source you have a 1% chance or less of succeeding in getting a job offer through direct application.

Even Recruitment Agencies and Headhunters only handle around 20% of vacancies which still leaves a lot of job opportunities that you're missing.

So you need to choose carefully how much time you spend on each of the channels – devoting your time to the areas most likely to lead to success. That means finding the vacancies that are not advertised in the traditional sense or are publicised only on the company website or in obscure places such as trade or industry websites.

It helps if you are robust about making direct applications – limit yourself to only making applications that have a very high likelihood of success.

The recruiting organisation might be known to you. You might have a close contact that works there. You may have worked for the organisation before. All these are reasons I'd be tempted to devote precious time to a direct application.

Spread the rest of your effort across agencies (carefully selected), researching companies that you'd like to work for and to active networking.

You can find out more about how to organise your jobsearch day by calling +44 (0)7977 531124 or contacting us

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