Employed in One Job Application?

I often get asked by job seekers, is it possible to get employed in just one job application? Of course the answer is yes, but it is difficult to make that positive and hence employed result consistent.

However, it is possible to become employed in far fewer job applications than 200 made over four months, the current statistics for the average job seeker. There are far better and more effective job application techniques which can easily get you employed in less than 30 days.

Job Interview = Dating

As an experienced recruiter or employer knows, the predictability of job search is impossible when it comes down to predicting the outcome of a job interview. Like many recruiters and HR professionals, I see this stage more like a dating exercise than a predictable or controllable set of outcomes. Much as though I may think that candidate A may be better, the employer hiring manager may like the equally good candidate B better – it’s just human chemistry!

So while interview technique and briefing each party may well allow good recruiters to achieve a 65% or slightly higher mix and prediction ratio, I have rarely seen many get consistently better results.

The interview stage is hence the biggest risk in trying to get employed in one job application, and it all comes down to human chemistry. That’s not controllable, but it is predictable.

Telephone Interview

Much like placing any job application, it is easily possible to pass a Telephone Interview, if you have read the job advert and have the required competencies – a Human Resources term for skills, qualifications and experiences (SQE).

The difference between a job application and telephone interview is quite simple: format of the communication. The information actually sought by the employer is not any different or often more extensive than that required in the job application. The only additional test is that what you claimed in the job application can actually be backed up with confidence in the telephone interview.

Job requirements?

I have always said, and wholly believe, that every essential requirement of the desired suitable job applicant can be found in the job advert. Yes, you can wholly improve your chances of gaining employment if you research and read around and about your potential employer – by as much as 200%, as you then read the wider interests of the organisation. But everything you need to known that the ideal job applicant should have is in the job advert.

Yet, time and time again, job applicants fail to read job adverts. I had considered that this was because job applicants couldn’t read, and it was but a poor reflection on our nations education system. But as it affects all categories of job application, I conclude in part this problem is derived from a candidates own drive, giving them what could be termed beer goggles!

Simply, the desire to be employed and get that dream job obviates and replaces an individuals ability to read a job advert. They read the title, look at the pay, and with jobs boards making it so simple, they just click to apply.

Communication and Rapport

One of the areas that I have concentrated on in the last five years is the most effective process by which to get employed. But it was only recently in conversation with a professional coach friend of mine that the final piece of the explanation as to why this process worked in the jigsaw of communication, and hence successful job application, clicked into place.

I said to her that I was now convinced that I had tracked the most effective process for any job seeker to get employed, and told her about some of the key tactics and decision points. I said to her that I knew that this was creating a better communication and hence engagement with the potential employer and hiring manager, but wondered if there was another factor at play by which to explain what was happening?

As an engineer by training, I had concentrated on effectiveness of process. In summary the job seeking system gets the job seeker ahead of the competition and closer to the hiring manager, effectively what a good recruiter does to win recruitment business. But as an NLP trained coach, she immediately understood what the process was creating: both the right communication at the right time; but also as a result, the right rapport with the employer and hiring manager. Thus in communication terms, it’s not just about what you communicate, but when, resulting in a build up of the right rapport; and hence employment.

Employed in one job application

We were recently approached by a potential client who wanted us to write her a Cover Letter, a service which we no longer provide as a stand-alone option. After talking to her, the office staff asked if I could directly talk to her, where by as a long term job seeker she needed some considerable help.

This lady was, like many long term job seekers, looking at a poor set of statistics and long term unemployment over 90 days, when the average job seekers success ratio has fallen by two thirds. She had seen a job that she really wanted, was fully technically qualified for, and having written her CV, all she needed was the perfect Cover Letter. Could we help?

I talked the job through with her, and as she had the supporting evidence of both the job advert and the job description, I could have fully analysed the job with just this information. But after a bit of searching – OK, 5 minutes in total using some very easily learnt boolean search techniques around Google, LinkedIn and the employers website – I managed to find a biography profile for the hiring manager.

System of how to get employed

Using all three of these pieces of information – job advert, job description and hiring manager biography – I created an SQE priority sheet. Some of these were hard technical factors associated with the job description, while some were soft factors, mainly associated with the profile of the hiring manager. I then compiled the priority sheet, and checked it using a simple technique to assure myself that the match between employer requirements and job application was as perfect as it could be. I have used this later technique in some job markets where there are very few jobs or employers, and it works superbly in gaining better job application statistics.

From the checked sheet, I then compiled the required Cover Letter, and again checked the output using the check technique on both the Cover Letter and her draft CV. Both were then adjusted again. I then got the job applicant to check the priority list using a very simple technique which both follows the defined employers application process, as well as breaks it. This is in no way an immoral or risky technique, but it drives through the candidates advantage and confirms the priority sheet.

Hiring manager job application

Interestingly at this point, something happened which I didn’t expect and yet was not surprised by: the employer offered our job seeker customer an Informational Interview! At this point after such a long period of unemployment, I had to temper her enthusiasm: honest, it’s just an informational interview outside of the formal HR employment process, which you will still later have to go through. You can get as much information about the job at this stage, but also need to treat it as a formal interview.

I knew the Informational Interview had gone well, as she called me two hours after the designated time slot that she had been allocated. The first piece of news was that the formal interview process was to be held two days later, and the second piece of news was that they had asked to undertake a formal background check, and should she agree? I asked her to think for five minutes about key issues that she wanted addressed, and were there any open questions left on the Informational Interview table? We hence compiled a follow-up thank you letter, accepting the interview date and confirming the ability to start background checks. Seven days later she started her new job!

Employed in one job application: possible, but…

I don’t, as I said at the start of this piece, believe that there are a fixed set of outcomes which can be wholly controlled to get employed in one specific job. The job interview comes down to human chemistry, which means that the outcome is at best a 65% chance of success.

But I do believe that job application technique, when best learnt and applied against the most successful techniques, it is possible to get employed quickly and in a timely manner. The reason the average job seeker presently gets 1 telephone interview per 20 job applications, and spends four months job searching is poor technique. If any of them figured out that it’s costing them on average nearly £10,000 in both lost income and additional costs, they would quickly do something much better, much quicker.

Simply put, if you can find 50 suitable jobs for which you are skilled and qualified for, then there is no reason why you should be unemployed. It really is that simple if you know the right job application technique. Plus, if you know it well and have access to the right information, possible to get employed in one job application.

Good Luck!

Five Ways to Improve Your Job Search

Let’s face it, while sure it’s exciting, looking for a new job is hard work. The job market is flooded and resources when trying to find hidden job vacancies are few and far between. Refining and improving job search is vital when looking to land a great position.

We need to continuously improve on the way we search for jobs. By utlising online job websites to look for jobs you are extending your reach to all possibilities. By improving your job searches, you effectively find scarcer job vacancies and increase your chances of being placed in your dream job.

Here are five ways to improve your job searches.

1. KNOW YOUR RECRUITMENT RESOURCES:

There are vast recruitment resources available to job seekers. Consider the number of recruitment agencies as well as online job portals available for job seekers to make use of. The numbers are astounding. Before blasting your CV all over the Net, first research the job that you are interested in to make sure that it is what you are looking for. Both online recruitment websites and recruitment agencies need to be carefully selected in order to run better job searches. Remember that these are the companies you are selecting to represent you in your job search. Commission your skill to only those agents who promise measurable results.

2. REFINE YOUR JOB SEARCHES:

After registering with a reputable job portal, and have run your first job search, learn how to refine your job search. Job seekers new to online job searching should use a refined job search to improve their search results. Quick job searches are great when looking for broad search results. When looking for refined results uniquely filtered, advanced job searches will closely pinpoint less common vacancies.

3. MAKE USE OF JOB ALERTS:

A job alert (also known as an automated job search agent) is a terrific way to use job portal resources to their greatest potential. Job notification alerts are scheduled notices received in various formats such as email or RSS feeds to inform Job Seekers of related jobs that have been posted to a job portal. By pre-defining job criteria, a job alert (search agent) will monitor activity on the job website. Based on the job criteria and keywords detailed in your job alert, the system will automatically update and notify you accordingly of matching jobs. By receiving job alerts, job seekers are savvy to positions specifically relevant to them, as they are loaded to the job site. The early bird catches the worms and that’s why you want to be a prompt as possible when applying to important employment opportunities. Improve your job searches by making use of relevant job alerts.

4. DON’T NEGLECT ANY MEANS OF JOB SEARCH:

As discussed, there are various resources that a job seeker can utilise when hunting for a job. Be sure to make use of the job search resources that are most relevant to the success of your job search. Manage a healthy balance of utilising each available resource until you can identify with those that specifically assist your career. By making use of all the resources available to you, your job searches are bound to improve.

5. MAKE YOURSELF SEARCHABLE:

Job searching isn’t all just about you searching for employment opportunities. Recruiters and employers are also searching for job seekers. By registering with reputable online job portals you are allowing yourself to be found. Head hunters run searches on online job portals and recruitment databases, hunting for candidates. If you don’t play you can’t win, so be sure to advertise your CV where people know to look. While this is not a direct way to search for a job this will enhance the results of your job hunt significantly.

There are always new and innovative ways of improving any job search. All that job seekers need do, is tap into these advanced methods of job search and brace themselves for an influx of job interview requests.

Copyright (c) 2008 Camilla Patten

Job Search – What Type is Yours?

There are probably as many types of Job Search as there are Job Seekers.

But the global increase in unemployment has brought about a new surge in job applicants, many of whom have not have experienced the task of the Job Search in many years. The result is many dissatisfied job seekers, who feel that their Job Search efforts are not being appreciated by the employment profession, with a resultant increase in long term job seekers.

However, if they knew which type of job search they were undertaking, they would know what type of result they should expect.

Direct Offer: The Insider
The direct approach and offer from a company, is often a surprise to the person, who probably as not an active job seeker. This type of job seeker is already directly known by the organisation, normally through being an existing employee. You could also be presently working for a competitor, supplier or an existing customer of the organisation. If you are approached, you have a 90% chance of being employed using this method.

Networking from: The Virtual Insider
This type of direct approach offer again is a delight to a person who is probably not an active job seeker, but is presently not known to the employing organisation. The result of this approach is a testament to their clear personal elevator pitch and track record of delivery, and the advocation by others often within the employing organisation, or by people within a common mutual network. This is a fast expanding area of recruitment, with companies now paying existing employees for successful introductions of new hires. If approached, you have a 50% chance of being employed using this method

Headhunted: The Star!
Modern headhunting is about direct from client business orientated briefs, which are fulfilled quickly. While the client side of the business has changed little but niched more, the search and find side of the business has been transformed by the boom in social networking. Now, techniques like Boolean search allow headhunters to create larger lists of suitably qualified applicants, and hence offer better candidates who are more researched in a quicker timescale. The result is that these types of job seekers are again often not active job seekers, but can be concluded as stars within their chosen profession or market. You have a greater than 35% chance of being employed if approached using this method

Networking to: the Inside track
We now move from mainly passive job seekers to active job seekers, those who are either employed or presently between positions. This next two types of job search require the job seeker to:

  • Know themselves, and what they offer
  • Know what they want to do
  • Be able to communicate the combination in a personal elevator pitch
  • Be willing to research the desired/targeted organisations

This type of job search requires effort, and hence most job seekers avoid it not because they are more successful – often ten times as successful as other active types of job search; but because other options require less thought and effort.

The inside track approach requires that having decided to job search, that inside your target organisation/s you already have a previously developed contact/s. This inside contact may be as a result of you being a customer, supplier, competitor or business network contacts. Your initial approach is based on person to person conversations often over cups of coffee, making a subtle research based informational interview approach to asses who you should be talking to, and what they are seeking to achieve for the business. If you use this method, then you have a 20% chance of being employed from companies you target

Direct approach: The Navigator
The navigator approach is similar and statistically as successful to the inside track, but as you have no developed contacts inside the target organisations (start with a list of 50, whittle them down to 20 through simple research), you need to develop a contact base. With the development of business orientated social networking, and the increase in the number of companies offering existing employees bonuses for the successful introduction of new hires, this method is a lot easier than it ever was. It requires the same clarity of though on who you are/what you want out of your career as the inside tack, with similar levels of research effort on the target organisations, but development of suitable insider contacts. On average five times more successful than applying via job adverts in newspapers or job boards, with a 15% chance of being employed from companies you target on your researched list. This can easily be improved to virtual insider levels of success of 50% or greater with some more simple research and networking techniques, it just depends on how much you want a job with that company?

Recruiter: The Mountie
The next set of three job search options have differing rates of success, but have two things in common:

  • You will follow a defined HR process to be hired
  • As the positions are openly advertised for, you will have high levels of competition. Expect 5 people to make it to the interview stage for each single position being recruited for, multiplied by three fold back down each stage of the recruitment process (ie: application, CV sift, online testing, telephone interview, etc). This could presently result in 100 original job applications

If you undertake your job search via a recruiter advert, and having checked out the strength of the recruiters relationship and brief to make sure you are not being CV fished, and further have not broken the “three recruiters and out” rule; then your chances of employment via this route are 15% or greater. You can easily improve this to 35% or more if you know the right tactics and questions to ask. The recruiter often works in a competitive environment, against other recruiters and the organisations own HR people, to fulfil a position. If the recruiter successfully fulfils the position and gets their man, then they get paid; if not, then its on to the next opportunity. Good recruiters always get their man, and after introduction to the employer you follow the organisations defined recruitment process

Newspaper or company website job advert: The Jockey
Newspaper adverts and company websites are a good source of real job opportunity. Firstly, they require effort and or cost on behalf of the hiring organisation, which means that the jobs are real and not CV fishing exercises. Secondly, you are direct on to the organisation, although you have to accept that you probably won’t be talking to the hiring manager, but about to ride through a sanitised, wholly locally legal/ethical and HR managed/monitored recruitment process. Don’t expect to be treated like you or a human being, the process is designed to be selective in a non-judgemental way. You hence have little choice in the race you are about to take part in, expect that you chose to enter it, and hence have little ability to affect its outcome. Your chances of being recruited via this method once you hit the apply button or send your application through the post are between 3% and 5%, although this can easily be doubled with some simple effort

Job board: The Donkey
Of all the methods of job search, the job board is the most common and actively used by many present day job seekers. Yet, the statistics show that only 12% of all positions are fulfilled by job boards in any market. If so few jobs are fulfilled by job boards, why do most unsuccessful long term job seekers spend most of their days trawling job boards? Simply, it doesn’t require much effort to find or apply for jobs on a job board, but gives the job seeker the regular internal satisfaction of being able to say at the end of each day “yes honey, I spent the day job seeking!” As a recruiter, I know that some of those jobs “advertised” on job boards do not exist. The job board market is so competitive – with around 50,000 job boards in North America, and 50,000 around the rest of the world – that the cost of advertising a job on a job board can be as little as free. If the cost of doing something was free, and add in that you can repeat the same job advert for ever simply by ticking a repeat button, how often would you do that task? In a recent test, of 126 jobs advertised as available in a large city, an employment organisation found that the actual number of jobs fulfilling the search criteria was 10! When there are so many “false” or repeat job adverts, and when it is so easy to CV fish, is it any wonder that you chances of success via a job board can drop as low as 2%?

Job Search Conclusion
So, what type of job search are you undertaking? Statistics from various parts of the world show that a majority of job seekers focus most of their efforts in responding to job adverts from recruiters, newspapers or spending their time on job boards, where at best their average chance of success if 15% or less. Yet, over three quarter of jobs fulfilled in the past year have never been advertised, of which at least half of them are open for application from job seekers who just have to put in a little effort and know a few simply learnt tactics.

For instance, one job search tactic takes: 1second to understand; 1minute to learn; and within 5minutes applied to take your job search success in responding to job adverts from 15% or less to 35% or greater. Yet most would just prefer to go on proving the well known and proven job search results that they and others have always achieved.

The job search: what type is yours? Good Luck!