The ‘Uncut Series’ is a set of audio out-takes that I recorded on the fly based around the 7 Job Search Pillars. The audio contains comment and valuable insight – on how to be happy at work – derived from personal and professional experiences that have helped me and many others discover a career path towards their dream job.
Just the other day I was speaking to a lady who was completely disenchanted with her situation at work. It wasn’t going well, so she wanted to move on. She was at a point in her life where she was I suppose, reflecting on previous jobs that she’d had. She’s entirely fed up of the situation she was in and wanted to find a job that really made her happy.
She said to me she’d started to put a CV together. In fact, she put a CV together. She’d sent out a number of applications online, she’d contacted various recruiters, she’d been for interviews, but she was just not getting the responses that she expected.
She reworked her CV and then she began to send out more applications online. She registered with some more recruitment consultants. The cycle continued again where she was putting all this effort in, or seemingly putting the effort in, to contact recruiters and connect with recruiters, visiting the recruiters and trying to understand what the recruiters wanted from her. Sending out the applications online, but not receiving the responses that she’d expected.
I see this so many times and I see the effect that it has on people because when you put in this amount of I suppose, effort you could say, and you feel as though you’re putting this amount of effort in in terms of getting that CV together, contacting recruiters, going out for interviews, doing the same thing again if it’s not working, then it surely ebbs away at your confidence because you think to yourself “What’s wrong with me? Why is that these recruiters are not getting back to me? Why is it that I’ve sent so many applications out online and nobody’s responding to me? Or if they do respond to me, it’s in negative?”
The situation that this woman described to me is not unique by any means and it’s a situation I’ve come across umpteen times in my career when speaking to people who are trying to find a role that makes them happy. It’s the very reason that I took a different approach myself and started to talk to people like this woman about taking a different approach to their job search. That approach starts with thinking about steps that you need to take in order to find a job that you really enjoy, and that you’re really happy.
I have to say that sending applications online and starting with your CV and focusing on recruitment consultants is not the way to find the job that is going to make you happy. In fact, on the other hand, you may will get lucky because if you send out enough applications, you may well get responses along the way. But in fact although it seems as though, or it seemed to this particular woman that she was being very proactive in her job search, she was very much the opposite. In fact she was limiting the scope and the range of jobs that she could have access to, and also not necessarily targeting people who could really help her to find a job. As well as not really taking it upon herself to directly target employers who could potentially help her to secure work or who are actually offering work that she could be really happy with.
If you take this limiting reactive approach that I’m eluding to, then the likelihood is that you’ll get what you deserve. The reason I say that is because first off, recruiters are there to serve their clients. They’re not there to serve you. They give you an impression, or some recruiters will give you an impression that they’re looking for a job on your behalf. When in reality, they have a list of clients who come to them with positions that need to be filled. That’s the first thing.
Secondly, recruitment consultants are there to, in some ways discriminate and use their own judgement as to what or who the best candidates are for that particular job. Although in your eyes you might feel as though you were the best candidate for that particular job, they might have another candidate who they feel is better and more often than not, some of the weaker recruiters out there will focus on looking at you skills first as opposed to are there elements of the job that might fit the client’s needs.
Thirdly, if they feel as though they’re not getting the jobs in that match your criteria, they’re not going to persist, they’re not going to continue to, as I said, look for work that suits you. They’re going to focus on the candidates who they can immediately fill, or they can immediately use to fill the roles to serve their clients.
One thing I must say is that not all recruitment consultants are like this. There are good recruitment consultants out there, but the message I’m trying to put across is that you mustn’t depend on the recruitment consultants. Again, back to the process that I teach, the job search road map, you must at the very beginning thing about the process that you’re going to take. Part of that process is actually identifying recruiters that can help in some way or another. Whether it be telling you about the job market, or introducing you to clients that really match your expectations based on your skills and your values and your experience.
The final point I just want to make is that again, back to the process that I teach, the job search road map, is that the emphasis on finding a job that makes you happy, the emphasis on you. At the end of the day, only you know what really and truly will make you happy. Rather than take the approach of jumping into writing your CV and then sending it out to umpteen employers and umpteen recruiters, take that time to think about things before you make any moves. Take time to actually understand your values. Take time to understand what you’re really passionate about and take time to understand or to identify the employers who you want to work for, get your CV together once you’ve done all of that identification, and of course you’re going to tailor your CV to each and every application that you make. What you’re then going to do is contact employers directly who you have a passion for and who you would really want to work for. And also of course, you’re going to be targeting roles that you want to work for as well.
Something to be aware of is that in your job search, 80% of the effort, or 80% of the actual contacting of employers at least, is going to be done by you and not recruiters.