Recently I was chatting with a job hunter who was keen and enthusiastic with great experience but struggling to get booked for an interview. She told me how frustrating it was that she hadn’t heard back from a job she really wanted and had applied to 4 weeks ago. My first question was “Have you phoned them for feedback?”. The answer was no and when asked why, her response was “I don’t want to put them off, or seem too pushy”.
This is typical of job-seekers, caught in no-mans-land, wanting to appear keen and pro-active but frightened of scaring off potential employers. I pointed out that after 4 weeks, she wasn’t likely to hear from the employer anyway, so there would be little risk in calling for feedback.
She called the employer, and politely asked why she hadn’t been selected for interview. After a minute or two of investigating, her records could not be found. She hadn’t been rejected, they simply didn’t have her application. The employer was impressed with her approach and as they hadn’t filled the job, she was offered an interview on the spot!
To be fair, the result is not always so positive, but it is always useful to know why an application was unsuccessful. Perhaps your CV was not well presented, maybe grammatical errors held you back, you might not have followed the application instructions or you simply might not have been right for the job.
Whatever the feedback, you can use it to your advantage to help do better next time. Here at Sunshine Recruitment Solutions we’ve put together some key points to help you get constructive advice on your job applications.
You won’t always like what you hear but, if you know what is going wrong you can fix it, otherwise you risk feeling confused and frustrated 4 weeks later when no-one has booked you for interview.
Go on, get the feedback, it could open the door to your next role!
In Nov 2018, we heard the sad news that Michelin was closing its tyre factory in Dundee leaving 845 workers jobless. A story which also hit a nerve in my home town on the Isle of Wight where we’ve been victim to major mass redundancies over the years. Redundancy is a brutal life event up there with bereavement and divorce in terms of stress and emotional pressure.
With redundancy everything takes a hit, self-esteem, finances, family and mental health, nothing escapes the cloud that descends when you are ‘let go’ from your job. It can be difficult to see a way forward but there is light at the end of the tunnel. If like those workers in Dundee you are currently facing the loss of your job, there are steps you can take to lessen the impact.
Know your rights. There are strict guidelines around staff redundancies. Employers must follow the rules and if they don’t, you may be entitled to an appeal or even a legal case against your employer. You can get free advice on your rights via your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Job Centre Plus.
If you’ve been employed with a company for 2 years or more, you should be entitled to statutory redundancy pay (calculated for each year in service). This provides a substantial buffer in some cases, but if not, how can you financially prepare with redundancy on the horizon?
Martin Lewis from www.moneysavingexpert.com suggests the following precautions
If the worst has happened and you’ve already been made redundant money expert Martin Lewis has sound advice for you too.
When speaking with people who have faced redundancy in the past, the majority will tell you that it was one of the worst experiences of their life, and one of the best things that ever happened to them. Quite the oxymoron, but it is true. Losing your job can be a catalyst for large scale change, new job, new home, new life, and although not everyone feels ready, those changes CAN be incredibly positive.
Remember, you are not alone, there is a lot of guidance for people going through redundancy. If you accept support, the process will be gentler and you can move through to a better brighter future.
Don’t forget to update your CV now, and if you would like a free careers consultation to discuss your next step, we will be very happy to help, just call us on 01983 215777
For more advice on redundancy visit https://www.gov.uk/redundant-your-rights
We live in a society that doesn't always 'approve' of those who blow their own trumpets. Self confidence can be confused with arrogance, conceit and a lack of humility. But, there are times when you should dig deep, stand tall and shout from the rooftops about everything you do well.
All too often I meet individuals who can't answer the simplest questions about their skills and experience. "What do you do best?" is a question I ask those I work with (not just work seekers, but employers too) and frequently when I ask, I'm met with stony silence, often followed by what the individual thinks I want to hear. "Umm, I'm really a jack of all trades, I'm a multi-tasker, I love every aspect of what I do" or "Well, we are fantastic employers who make sure our staff are looked after"
It's good to be positive, but this doesn't really help to identify the things that will make my clients / candidates happy in the long run, which is of course the ultimate goal .
What I'm looking for here are specifics, what do you actually excel in? Everyone has strengths, yes everyone! So, what are yours? If you don't know, you should, and when you have figured it out you should tell the right people, so they can use those amazing skills that you have developed!
Ask yourself, your colleagues, your family, your friends "What do I do best?" . Encourage everyone to always identify and focus on the bright, the brilliant and the positive! Share and celebrate that information and then when the time comes and someone else asks the question, the answer will be right there on the tip of your tongue.
Recent answers I've had include:
Once someone starts talking about their strengths, it opens up a positive dialogue on how to use those strengths, how to match them to a role, how to demonstrate those skills effectively (especially the chocolate cake!) and takes the conversation in a constructive and engaging direction.
I'd like to see a society where skill is celebrated rather than played down, where we focus on the positive instead of the negative and where individuals are encouraged to shine brightly in everything they do.
So give it some thought, what do you do best?
I'd love to know so feel free to shout about your talents in the comments below.
If you would like advice on finding work, demonstrating your strengths, preparing for interviews, writing a CV or cover letter, you can contact me for free support , just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Founder of Sunshine Recruitment Solutions, Fellow of the Institute of Recruitment Professionals