We have been writing resumes and job applications for 14 years and have seen some difficult and challenging times for job seekers and business. This period is one of the most challenging we have seen. Across business and Government employment is slow. Many businesses are reporting the worst trading conditions for a long time. Advertisers are also receiving a record number of applicants for available positions. Typically in this environment we are faced with clients who find it difficult to secure positions and are constantly faced with rejection. Securing a job in these difficult conditions is challenging and frustrating.
Top five strategies for winning jobs
Being successful in winning a position in a competitive job market requires persistence, resilience and a targeted strategy that shows you understand the position and organisation. Employers are spoilt for choice. Add to this highly desirable positions such as reputable companies, good working conditions or part-time (school hours) and you can expect additional competition. We have worked with many clients in preparing professional resumes and job applications many of whom are frustrated and quite a few in tears over constant rejection and difficulty in finding a job.
These are the strategies we suggest:
Opportunities come and go quickly within a competitive job market. Positions are filled often on short notice. It is not uncommon for private companies to close positions before the advertised date based on a large volume of suitable applicants. This is not possible or allowed for Government positions. In this environment it is essential you are prepared with an up-to-date and professional resume to allow quick applications. This also suits internal positions where you may be facing a possible redundancy with an opportunity for an additional or different role. A prepared and professional resume provides a significant advantage in this situation and ensures you are considered for vacancies.
Hidden Job Market
With more than 14,000 clients we have discussed a variety of ways in which people secure positions. There is still evidence that word-of-mouth or internal recommendations are an important employment strategy for many companies. How can you access and be aware of potential positions that are not advertised through normal media or processes. Here are some simple strategies:
– Ask friends, family and acquaintances of any potential positions available within companies
– Target specific organisations and provide general applications
– Build relationships with suppliers, competitors or other organisations in your industry
– Be willing to take on temporary and short term positions to gain experience and build relationships
– Remain positive and available for short-term work especially when being recommended
– The key to accessing the hidden job market is to research and understand organisations and potential opportunities. Be ready and have a professional resume available to ensure that your application can be made quickly and effectively.
Feedback on your application is not always available especially within the private sector. Where possible it is important to gather information, whether you are successful or unsuccessful. This information is used to continually refine and update your resume to increase chances of success. Maintaining a professional resume is a constant process that requires continual update and adjustment of your information. If you have the same resume year after year this reduces your chances of success. Show your resume to a professional writer or other knowledgeable people to assist in identifying areas of improvement.
Employers love it when job applicants research their company. Access websites, Facebook pages and read position descriptions to understand both the organisation and the expected responsibilities for the role. It is important to understand the industry for each company and reflect this in your resume or during an interview. Using this strategy shows a lot of initiative and interest in the organisation and position. Employers respond well to this strategy and appreciate an applicant that takes the time to research their company rather than supply a generic application.
Meet the criteria / requirements
In a competitive job market it is very important you meet all requirements put forward in an application or criteria. With a large number of applicants there will be people who meet each component. If you are unable to meet one or more components of an application your chances of success will be significantly reduced. Make sure you read the duty statement and selection criteria thoroughly and understand requirements and expectations. Use this information to adjust your resume or application and reflect the company or department’s expectations. If you identify a skill or quality you possess that is not shown in your resume and is reflected in the position description it is essential you adjust your resume to reflect this.
Applying for jobs in a competitive market is difficult and frustrating. We understand the frustration of clients and have worked to provide a number of strategies that will increase chances of success and reduce rejection. Overcoming challenges in this market requires persistence, professionalism and resilience. Stay focused and continue to apply for positions remembering any rejection is not personal but a reflection of our current market and economy.
Need help with your application:
Resume and cover letter
Resume and cover letter template package
Best of luck.