Monday, August 23, 2010

Job Hunting Tips

Are you a fresh graduate and planning to look for a job? Did you just recently quit your job and are looking for greener pastures? Are you unemployed and have little experience regarding ways to secure a job? Whatever your situation may be, it would be to your advantage to study the following tips:

Check your resume for mistakes

Before submitting your resume to a prospective employer, check your resume for corrections at least three times before handing it over. After researching about the job position, it is critical that you format your resume to match the needs of the company. For example, if you are applying for an accounting job, you should put in detail your accounting experience on your resume. Typographical and grammatical errors are serious no-no's. It is also ideal to keep the length of the resume' to at least a page and a half long.  

Taking the interview challenge

A survey conducted by a staffing and consulting firm based in California which corresponded with 1,400 chief financial officers concluded that candidates for employment made most of their mistakes on their interviews. Some of the mistakes they made include: arriving late, having little knowledge about the company and the position applied for, and having a superiority complex and behaving arrogantly. The body language of the applicant must also denote that he is confident yet not overpowering. He must maintain eye contact, have a strong handshake, and avoid looking defensive by the act of crossing the arms. Wearing the right clothes is crucial for projecting a confident stance. As they say, it is better to go to an interview over-dressed than being under-dressed.

Answer questions smartly

A common mistake of interviewees is that they tend to get tense and forget the questions that are given to them, which has the effect that they are not prepared for the interview. It is important to research about the company and the position applied for to prevent being side-tracked during the interview. If you do not know the answer to the questions being asked, it is better to admit you don't know the answer to the question and add that you can research about it. Look for the skills or expertise that the company is looking for so that when interview day comes and the interviewer asks about your strengths and core competencies, you will be able to match it to what they need.      

Getting the necessary referrals

Having a referral from one of the company employees can go a long way toward landing an interview.  A typical company may receive job applications in the hundreds and usually 35% to 60% of all job vacancies are filled by referrals. The odds of getting hired when you have a referral are very high if you have another 200 to 500 applicants vying for the same position. If you do not know anyone from the company that may give you a referral, it is a good idea to the alumni network of your college, trade groups, social networks, and professional associations. Remember, having a referral greatly increases your chances of getting the position.

On online application

With the current trend of technology and its merging with business processes, more and more companies are now requiring prospective applicants to submit their application online.  Thus, first impressions are relayed not by your first appearance but by the quality and content of your e-mail. E-mails regarding job application should be polished and well-articulated. When applying on-line, use the following tips:

Complete your sentences and do not abbreviate.

Employers do not like when you send them application letters that seem to be too casual. It is important to make a letter that is both formal and well written. This gives a good impression regarding your capabilities and skills.

Get directly to the point

When writing an application letter, you must be concise and straightforward. Do not put a story on the letter just to get the attention of the employer, chances are he or she will just get irritated with you and this only reduces your chances of getting hired.

Consider potential issues that may hinder you from getting the job

Although there are instances wherein there is a lot of need for a job but the requirements for the position may entail training programs that may bar you from getting the position due to its highly competitive nature. Some require a lot of experian even at least 3 years of work experience. Some may have no barriers to entry but the job itself may entail a very routine work flow.

Getting the job you want may be a challenge but never lose hope. It is better to wait a while and get the job that you will enjoy rather than get a job as soon as possible but ending up dissatisfied and unhappy. Make the right decision then act on it.  

Jobs and over aged applicants

Though some employers would prefer a younger workforce, the older applicants still have a wide variety of career choices to choose from.

Employers are starting to see the potential of older and much-experienced applicants as can be seen by the statistics below:

q In Australia, Bureau of Statistics showed that between the period of August of 1989 to that of August of 2003, the workforce aged 15-24 lost more than 380,000 jobs to older workers.

Aside from the fact that most of Australia's younger generation became full-time students, employers favored the older applicants.

q In Netherlands on the other hand (by December of 2000), over 500,000 thousand of their employees are 55 years old and above.  This figure had been increasing steadily since 1995.

To have a head start from the younger applicants, one has to take into consideration the following:

1. In writing one's resume, put more weight in highlighting the accomplishments without necessarily bragging about it.

One could have these lists of accomplishments and previous posts held work for one's advantage over younger applicants who may not even have any experience on the same field.

An individual's employment history receives as much scrutiny as the applicant itself.  While employers tend to look for gaps or lapses of time when the applicant has been unemployed, they also tend to focus on the length of service one had rendered for their previous employers.

Frequent change of work (usually within very short time frames) can be alarming for prospective employers.

2. Read and enroll in programs that will refresh your knowledge on certain fields especially if engaged in professional sectors.  This will keep you individual abreast of the latest trend in such fields.

3. Search the Internet for vacancies.  A lot of agencies place ads on the net that advertises help for senior citizens in looking for jobs.  Various search engines made easier and specific (can choose the following categories: career, location and field of interest) are also available.

Jobs that do not usually look into the age of the applicant are the following:

1. Professional work that are into specialization.  For applicants in the medical field (i.e. Doctors) experience is the basic determinant of being hired.

2. Lectures or speaking engagements.  Speakers that are invited to discuss certain topics do not really have an age requirement.  Rather, qualification focuses more on first hand knowledge and experience.

3. Writers.  Writing novels, plays or children's books are one of those professions whose only requirement is good writing skills.  Also, one can do the job at the comfort of their own homes, a plus factor for those in their advanced years.