Job seekers need to use initiative and take responsibility – Cpl

20 Jun 2011

In today’s climate, job seekers who are persistent, use their initiative and attend seminars will be most likely to find the next job, according to Peter Cosgrove, director of Cpl, which recently ran job seekers roadshows.

“While it can be incredibly challenging to be out of work, many job seekers need to take responsibility for what is in their control – poorly constructed CVs, lack of interview preparation and lack of enthusiasm are all still common complaints from the employers we work with and this is unforgivable in today’s marketplace,” he said.

CPL highlighted through its roadshows the important steps job seekers need to take to find a job in the current marketplace:

1.       The CV: The critical point to remember is that an employer will scan it for less than a minute, so focus on what you did well not just what you did, so an employer can positively discriminate in your favour. If employers are not coming back to you it is because they cannot see a reason to interview you over someone else – you need to change this.

2.       Understand the job market: It is easy for job seekers to get depressed about the lack of response from employers but they need to focus on what they control. Employers may receive hundreds of CVs for each application and all they want is one person.

You often need to try another way in – for example, have someone recommend you. A CV can never highlight your character, your persistence and your commitment but a colleague who refers you can and suddenly you are of much more of an interest to an employer. 

3.       Network: More than 60pc of jobs are not advertised. Find out where your employers go (conferences, events, seminars) and meet them there. They will be impressed that someone not working is spending their time learning, upskilling and networking. A recent case in point – an employee who sent five CVs and did not hear one response went to a conference and got four job interviews and a job offer by the end of the day.

4.       Be commercial: Regardless of what role you play in today’s environment, employers want people who think commercially. If you are in marketing, they want to understand how marketing creates sales, if you are in HR, they want to discuss how recruiting great talent can improve shareholder value – so know how your role creates value for an organisation.

5.       Reskill: For many, there may need to be a reskilling process. Try to understand what transferable skills you have and understand you may have to take a couple of steps back to move forward. You may need to look at an internship to gain the experience but it will give you that foot in the door you need.

7.       Stay positive: So many people are giving up and then even when an opportunity does present itself they are not in the frame of mind to make an impact. Whether it is an interview, a meeting or a chance catch up with a colleague, you need to be ready to impress, so you need to be able to stay positive.

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