Applications

Job Hunting Skills That Give You An Edge

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Applying for jobs is a tedious, mostly fruitless task at the best of times, and knowing how to get your application to stand out can feel bewildering, luckily, however, there are now a variety of tips and tricks that candidates can search for and use to make their job hunt more effective.

From tailoring your CV to using Linkedin groups to reach out to people of interest, here are six tips which will help give your job hunt an edge.

Tailor your CV
You might be applying to a variety of roles, or you might be applying to almost identical roles, either way that nifty job description that you are provided with will tell you what skills a company are looking for, and what skills you should subsequently highlight throughout your CV.
Some desired skills will be easy to showcase e.g. “We are looking for someone who has demonstrable skills in Windows, particularly 2019 and 2016.”, knock these ones off first by including them in your Skills/IT Skills section and in your job descriptions where you can. Other desired skills however, might be harder to spot. Some companies can be fairly ambiguous when describing a job role, so this is usually where they want to hear what you think the role is. If you are unsure do a bit of research around the role and highlight any of your skills that you think are relevant. It is worth noting here that if you are unsure, try to avoid the temptation to write every single skill you have on your CV. It’s good that you did your bronze DofE, and if it is relevant it is relevant, but if not, it’s not a distinguishing factor, save space for more unique skills that will help you to stand out.

Find yourself a recruiter
Many jobs, especially the more senior and/or unique jobs, usually aren’t posted online, instead a company will reach out to a recruiter/headhunter to fill the spot.
Recruiters can have a broad focus or a narrow focus. If you are looking for a general job a broader recruiter could be useful, however, if you are looking for a more specific job it is worth investigating some of the more niche recruiters. You can find these by scanning through recruiter directories, Linkedin or even by asking people in your own network to start with.
It is worth noting that companies pay the recruiters and or headhunters for their time as such they will put the companies interests first.

Use Linkedin Groups
Do you know who you want to work for? Do you also know what interest’s they have on Linkedin? Usually you can’t Linkedin Message just anyone on Linkedin, however, a small loophole does exist in some cases. If you know what Linkedin groups the person you are trying to contact belongs in, join the group, if you are accepted into the group you can now Linkedin Message any other members. Go forth and slide into Richard Bransons Linkedin messages.

Get Yourself Out There
Maybe you have tried your network and nobody has any job or company ideas to offer you, and your online search is proving fruitless, or maybe you just want to add some extra oomph to your search, either way getting yourself out there and networking can be incredibly useful. Maybe you won’t find the job of your dreams straight away but you might find your next client who you can bring to your new job, you never know!
See below for some useful links.

Follow Up
If you haven’t heard back from a job application that doesn’t mean it’s a no. Sometimes a company has hundreds or even thousands of applications to go through so don’t be disheartened, instead reach out to them. It might seem bold, but just sending a polite email following up with your application can draw attention to your application and potentially impress the company.

Look After Yourself
Job hunting is hard, especially if you are unsure of where you want to go and what you want to do, so look after yourself. Stay on top of the job hunt, but remember you are human, if you want to give up let yourself take a break. It is possible that by applying to too many jobs you burn yourself out and you don’t even remember which job was what, so make sure you have a balance.

A Few Useful Links
CV templates

Recruiters

Networking

To CV Photo or To Not CV Photo

I am frequently asked whether or not a person should include a photo on their CV, it seems like a simple question but in reality it provides a lot of anxiety for some people. We always stand by the opinion that you should simply ask yourself: “What do I think?” because after all it is your CV, however, we know that life isn’t that simple and even the most confident of people still question themselves a little, so we did a bit of research for you.

It is Illegal To Discriminate But We Do Live In A Multi-Media Age

In the UK it is illegal to discriminate against a person because of their age, gender, marital status, whether they are pregnant or on maternity leave, disabled, their race, their religion, their sex, or their sexual orientation, as a result of this, many companies, for legal justification, prefer that you don’t include a photo on your CV. In some cases, usually financed based companies, a CV photo is a firm no. This is understandable, but in reality it is likely they will see a photo of you elsewhere.
In today’s multi-media age it can be important for companies to know what your social media accounts look like, especially if they are public, as such it is pretty likely that prior to hiring you, a company would have searched for you across various platforms as a means of assurance. Unless you are a private person and/or don’t use Social Media it is likely then that a photo of you will appear on a companies radar.

In Some Countries A CV Photo Is The Norm

According to MoveHub.com’s 2017 Global Moving Trend Report 60% of 18-35 year olds enquired about moving abroad, citing reasons such as better salaries and new cultures as the reason. With this is mind it’s worth mentioning that in some countries CV photo’s are expected. It seems to be both Mid to Eastern Asia and Eastern Europe where a CV photo is quite normal, especially for customer-facing service jobs. So if you are considering a move it might be worth investigating.

Who Are You Applying To

Not only do companies have different CV requirements, but you might also want to consider the following study: Two economists from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, found the following response results after sending out 5,312 CV’s in pairs to 2,656 jobs, including no CV photos and CV photos of what they deemed attractive & plain people:

Men

Women

Attractive females received fewer job responses than attractive males, why is this? The team did a subsequent follow-up study and found that 96% of people receiving the CV’s were female, the average age was 29 years old, and 67% of them were single. To the team at Ben-Gurion this suggested that women were being biased towards other women.
It’s worth baring in mind that this is one study, and based in Israel, but for some, perhaps if you are in a notoriously competitive industry, this bias might be something to consider.

Our Thoughts

Be smart. Unconscious bias will always be a factor, even the most aware fall prey to it unknowingly, but laws and specific company requirements do change, so know who you are applying to, where they are and what message you specifically want to send across. And if you need a headshot, you know who to call.

Good luck!

Sources:

https://www.uibk.ac.at/econometrics/lit/cv_goodlooking.pdf

https://www.movehub.com/blog/no-nation-generation/