Staying Motivated & Positive Throughout the Job Search

shewins

Don’t you just hate it when your parents & friends constantly enquire about the status of your job hunt?! “Have you had any interviews, how’s the job hunt going, got the job of your dreams yet?”

I’ve been there and it’s frustrating as hell. Gone are the days when you could just walk into a job and be set for life. Today, you’re battling with millions of other just as good, if not better graduates, combined with (pointless) online applications & selection criteria; in addition to horribly stressful interviews.

Psychometric tests & situational tests… for what?

I remember in my quest last year to get a job, I applied to work at a well know supermarket chain (so glad I didn’t progress!) Cue personality tests & situation tests, passing this a phone then a group interview. All to work for a little bit above minimum wage, essentially stacking shelves. Crazy in my opinion. There is no way you can gauge whether someone is fit for the role, intelligent or even passionate for the job if this is what you have to endure to get to the final face-to-face interview. I also read somewhere that CV’s are gone through a screening process (applicant tracking system) & often discarded way before a human has even seen them! Certain tag lines within your CV are scanned to filter them out. So take it with a pinch of salt if you apply online & never hear back.

Months and months of searching, applying & being constantly rejected can seriously take its toll. I have shed many a tear of frustration. I found it incredibly depressing, stressful and hard to stay upbeat & motivated!

So this is what I did…

Get a job, even if it isn’t your dream job.

Hey, it’s all experience and you never know, network and you could achieve the job of your dreams. It is much easier and less stressful to look for a job if you already have a job. Having an income is great and it gives you a hell of a lot more to talk about in your interview.

Network like there is no tomorrow

You never know who might be hiring so it’s always worth striking up a conversion, even with a stranger. Many companies and hiring managers do advertise; but a staggering 95% of jobs* are never advertised!!!

Dream Job Lists

Write down a list of company’s you want to work for or roles that you see yourself doing. Write some job goals, things you want to get out of that job, whether it is to save money or career progression. I desire a job where I’m always learning & constantly being challenged. Focusing on what you want will help drive you in the right direction. Trust your instinct and do a job that feels right for YOU!

Also, Linkedin is a great way to learn about jobs. It also has a great feature where you can instantly apply for a job, complete with your CV & Linkedin profile. Once you get Linkedin and know how to use it to your advantage, you’ll be fine.

Attend Interviews

It sounds insane & a waste of time… but hear me out! If you are offered an interview for a role – even if it’s a job you’re not interested in, GO FOR IT. If you can afford it, I highly recommend attending as many interviews as possible because gaining experience in a variety of interview settings will prepare you for so much!

Job hunting is stressful & tiring so don’t forget to treat yourself! Go out with friends & have fun. If you have a job, jam pack your days off with things you want to do.

*This stat is based on my own knowledge & experience!

Good Luck!

CareerGirl Xo

Wondering Why You Never Got The Job? There Never Was One…

Career Girl Site QuotesAnd if your dream job is advertised, be cautious!

Summer of 2015 I religiously applied to jobs online. I spent hours perfecting my CV and Cover letter and successfully completed numerous online applications. So, you can imagine my shock & annoyance when I received many automated responses saying the vacancy was filled weeks ago. This isn’t the first time it’s happened to me and sadly won’t be the last… Since then I have spoken to many hiring managers and HR personnel and this is surprisingly common. In another case I applied online for a role and went to the interview, only to be told that they changed the job specification!

The point I’m trying to make is that, from my experience, you should take rejection from roles you’ve applied for with a pinch of salt! Due to this, I highly recommend networking or, at the very least, really researching the job role in depth, who the interviewer is and exactly why there is a vacancy in the first place.

I naively didn’t realise when I first started job hunting just how devious some hiring managers can be…

Jobs are posted then never taken down

This happens a lot. I’ve been sucked into applying for many jobs, only to find out they were filled months ago but no one bothered to take the advert down!  This especially occurs on places like Gumtree but also on big brands own website, whilst their current jobs take forever to be posted, if at all.

‘Fake’ Jobs are posted

Often, it tends to be recruiters who do this, but supposed job postings are advertised in the hope of attracting lots of candidates. These candidates CV’s will then be kept on file for recruiters generating a huge pool for future use, should there ever actually be a job later. And sometimes, individuals will copy your CV – so been careful

Internal Hiring / transfers

Although a vacancy is advertised, what goes on behind the scenes may be very different. Many employers and hiring managers will post a job advert, go through the motions of selecting and interviewing candidates; knowing full well they won’t hire you. Effectively, they are wasting your valuable time and energy. They may have already organised hiring internally, or nepotism might be at play…

Hiring Freeze 

Some companies will advertise and interview candidates knowing that a hiring freeze is imminent, but want to gauge the talent that’s out there. The interviewer might actually love to hire you but hands are tied and money in the company is tight so can’t afford to take you on, so don’t feel disheartened.

It’s a shame many employers don’t offer feedback or say who they finally hired and why.

Let me know if you have ever experienced this! As always, good luck in the job hunt! Let me know if there is a topic you want me to discuss 🙂

Career Girl xo

Ace The Interview!

Dress To Impess

Although I’m only 22, I have luckily had so many jobs & even more interviews! I’ve also chatted with hiring managers and graduates. I have compiled a (long) list based on these discussions and my own knowledge and experience. From what to wear, to how to act – this blog post will cover almost everything you need to ace that interview. Ranging from casual conversations and phone interviews, to super-duper stressful 3 hour group & panel interviews, I’ve experienced it all. I know exactly what it’s like to be in the hot seat for an interview, with nerves sky high! So here’s my advice….

 

Knowledge is Power!

Before any interview I highly recommend researching the company or brand. Try to find out everything, from how they started, to where they are now and their goals for the future. Look at their website, LinkedIn, all other social media sites and Google them. Read any relevant articles. If the job is Retail for example, try to explore anything that has changed buying habits e.g. e-commerce! Find and remember some statistics or offer an opinion on current trends. If you are lucky enough to know who the interviewer will be – research them too! Find something in common to use to your advantage.

SWOT was that?

That’s right. Do a SWOT analysis. Examine the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats of the business or company. This knowledge can also come in handy right at the end of the interview. Any questions? You can wow them with your insight, and ask a question in relation to your SWOT analysis. This will impress them.

Relax & Make Them Laugh!

No matter how impressive your answers are, if they like YOU they will hire you! Easier said than done. I know, I’ve been there, but relax. Have fun and be yourself. Smile. Look on the bright side of every situation. So what if you don’t get the job, you’ll get another. My mantra is Trust the Universe – you may not realise now but there is a reason things happen!

Fake It Till You Make It! 

You may be a nervous wreck but don’t let on. Practise walking confidently, head up, smiling and thinking positive thoughts. Believe in yourself! Have a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact.

Location Location Location! 

Where’s the interview? Make sure you allow more than enough time to get to the interview. Arrive early and go to a nearby coffee shop or wherever to calm down and compose yourself. Go over your notes relating to the company and industry in general. Nothing is worse than feeling frazzled, or worse, late for an interview!

Dress to Impress!

These hiring managers are like most humans. Many will judge you the minute, the second you walk in. Sounds cliché but first impressions really do count, especially in this competitive workforce. So dress to impress and dress well. Regardless of your bank balance, wear clothes that fit you and make you feel fabulous! For me, this a tailored classic blazer – I feel I can conquer the world. Also, hands and feet are important. Beautifully manicured hands and good shoes are paramount IMO. Scruffy shoes & chipped nail varnish? It matters.

Sell Me This Pen!

No matter how prepared you are, some hiring managers want to test you under pressure. Once, I had 10 minutes to prepare a 5 minute presentation, then present it right there and then to everyone in the group interview. Don’t panic though. They want you to think on the spot and see how you cope with stress. Think in advance about your favourite subject or something you feel passionate about. Often in Sales or Retail jobs you’ll be asked to sell them something – so practise!

Feel free to ask any more questions or advice in the comments section!

 

Good Luck!

 

Career Girl Xo