Get Hired Via Email!

Email

I remember when I graduated and I have blogged about this multiple times before, but it is totally normal to find the process of job hunting online boring, frustrating, time-consuming and somewhat depressing! Our parents tended to job hunt in person yet, increasingly, new jobs are being advertised and processed online via online job applications. You may have to uploaded your CV and cover letter etc. and wonder why you hear nothing back…

Beat the Applicant Tracking System

Well it’s probably because no one sees it! That’s right, a computer sifts through all those hundreds, if not thousands of CV’s searching for specific keywords within your CV; and if you pass the ‘Applicant Tracking System’ process only then will a human – aka the HR department, actually read your CV!!

The thought process understandably is that one person cannot deal with the overwhelming surge in applications and so the computer system takes over, saving time. However, in my opinion, great, talented candidates are put off by such lengthy and inhuman processes, so will look and apply elsewhere.

Potentially, there are ways to beat the system so to speak. By inputting keywords into your CV in white (so they are picked up but not shown up) or even formatting your CV better, the list goes on. But is it worth it?

You may be the perfect candidate and incredibly talented but if you don’t specify specific keywords outlined in the job description, (& it’s pot luck to receive one) your CV won’t be selected!

Dream job is an Email away!

As the title of this blog post suggests, it is possible to bypass those pointless job applications that disappear into the abyss. Just use email! Believe it or not there are jobs out there that don’t require you to fill out pointless applications!

Even if there are no vacancies advertised at your dream company, it is always worth sending prospective emails with your CV attached. Start by introducing yourself, outlining your past and current situation, experience, why you should work at the company and what you can bring to the table, also know as ‘pain letters’. The worst thing they can do is ignore you, but you have a much better chance of being noticed with your CV being read and also are more likely to be considered for future roles too! Also, make sure to include contact details and a link to your LinkedIn profile in your signature!

I hope this helps!

Good luck!

Love Career Girl

xoxo

Personal Branding

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You know what the greatest brand in the world is?! That’s right… YOU!!

Graduate, job seeker, or industry expert going through a career change, although there may be a multitude of jobs out there, it’s not always easy to land that dream job. As some of you know, I graduated class of 2015, yet since then, I have been trying to forge a career. I find the whole process of job hunting possibly the most frustrating! Specifically, applying for roles online and having to almost write your whole life story, how much of a superstar you are and how amazing you’d be at the role; to then receive an automated thank you email super disheartening. Not cool.

Reject Online Job Hunting

I am not a fan of time consuming job applications and screening processes that are often used today. I think there is a massive over reliance on technology. Okay I digress. Back to personal branding!

Job hunting is hard but if you attack at all angles, you will have a much better success rate. Apply for jobs. Send emails. Network. Optimise your Linkedin & Google yourself. Competition is fierce and especially with social media and word of mouth, why not market yourself?!

Invest in Yourself

You may have the best qualifications, experience and be super likeable, but so are many other people. Which is why it’s so important to play to your strengths and use whatever skill or asset you have to your advantage. Good at Art or Photography? Create a portfolio. Great at Graphics? Build your own website. Love writing? Start a blog. You get the picture. Think of yourself as any other brand and project yourself in the best light possible. Now more than ever your online presence matters. Employers can and often will Google you and your social media profiles. If you want to keep social media private, double check all of your privacy settings to ensure there are no incriminating or embarrassing photos etc. Otherwise, link all your social media profiles together and cross promote.

Your next job might be a tweet away!

Take the plunge and go to networking events and collect business cards. Better yet, create your own personalised business cards, as it’s so much more professional to hand out a card. It can demonstrate to others that you take initiative, are organised and self-motivated. Stand out and you’ll be remembered.

It’s important to be authentic and passionate – do you! You’re great and no one can be you. We are all different with various skills and life experiences and that is why building your personal brand is essential.

So, what are you waiting for…. Go out and create your brand!

Disclaimer. I am by no means a career coach or guru, but want to inspire myself and others to take charge in their job hunting. To not be complacent and to actively go after what you want. I have been inspired by many successful woman who have created a brand around themselves! We got this! #GirlBoss

If you are job hunting I hope this is helpful, and if you have any tips, tricks or advice I would love to hear! Do you think you will start your personal brand?!

Good luck,

Love Career Girl

xo

So You’ve Graduated! Now What…

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Graduate or soon to be graduate?! Congratulations! Now the hard graft really starts!

If you are lucky enough to have already bagged yourself an internship or job – well done! But if you haven’t don’t worry. From my experience, I don’t know anyone who really achieved their dream job straight out of university.

Many graduates will post the perks of their new job on social media, portraying a perfect working life, but behind every beautiful promotion is a struggle which isn’t splashed all over Facebook or Twitter.

Finishing university with an amazing degree is life changing. University is a roller-coaster with many ups and downs with  friends for life made. Being a Graduate, you feel euphoric, you can conquer the world right?! Yet what many of my friends and I didn’t bargain for is the reality of life after Graduation and entering the big wide world of working 9-5.

Life After University

After all the Champagne Celebrations & Graduation Gown selfies, life after university is very different!

Being at university is definitely a surreal experience whether you enjoyed it or loathed it. However, the readjusting to living back at home with your parents (so lame right?) combined with societies pressure to ‘get a proper job’ mounting and university debt and lack of funds is a daunting prospect and a tad depressing.

The change of living independently on your own terms to living under the parents roof; with a dramatic change in social life (I live in a village and it’s hell!) and facing rejections from jobs you’d kill to have is challenging to say the least!

It’s not unreasonable to assume given you’ve spent 3 years studying your craft; gaining experience, knowledge and skills, that you’d receive a job matched to your skillset…. No?

Unfortunately, the reality for so many of my friends and I is that, unless you’re really, really lucky, for quite a while after leaving university, the jobs you accept might be far from desirable! Even if your first job after graduation is working in a bar, restaurant or even retail, at the end of the day, a job’s a job and it’s all vital experience!

I worked in one job that I hated but managed to pay off my (horrendous) overdraft in 2 months. There’s a silver lining to every shitty situation! Just kept hustling!

Love Career Girl

Xo

Learn To Decline Job Offers

declineSometimes, like me, you end up learning the hard way but I can’t stress enough how important it is to feel comfortable in your choice regarding your career.

Whether you are a graduate or just desperately in need of a new job, you should always think twice about jumping straight into that job that seems too good to be true….

If a job sounds to good to be true…

Don’t be swayed by the pressures of friends and family pushing you into a role, if you feel even a slight bit of unease at the prospect. For a period of time I was working in such a toxic environment that was so horrible, I begin losing sight of what my dream job was, and in my desperation ended up applying to every job that I was alerted to. Learn to take a step back. I didn’t. I applied and interviewed for various roles which were nothing like I imagined or even wanted. When I removed those rose tinted glasses I saw things for what they actually were!

Trust your gut

I once took a shot and applied for a role which I thought was a little out of reach. I didn’t have the experience required. So you can imagine my excitement when I was picked to attend their interview?! It was for a leading Luxe Sportswear brand which I have always adored. I was incredibly naive and was quickly seduced by the immense perks, free clothes, free gym classes, invites to cool events etc, etc. I mean, who wouldn’t turn that down! I was even given the choice in the interview to be promoted to a managerial position, bearing in mind I was a 22 year old graduate! Sadly, the pay was A LOT less than was initially quoted, the free gym classes and events never materialised and those free clothes? I wish! Some were free, however I ended up having to spend almost £200 before I’d even started working… I painted a pretty amazing picture of how unreal this opportunity was to friends and family, some didn’t agree and I wish I had listened. I had a gut feeling from the interview something wasn’t right but convinced my friends, and more so to myself, that this was the best job ever!

Take your time to job hunt!

In another instance I ended up applying for a role which deep down I never wanted. My parents pressured me, knowing how sad and frustrated I was in my current job and only trying to help! I aced the interview and began working there. My initial reservations regarding the establishment turned out to be the tip of the iceberg! Staff morale was rock bottom, poor customer service, rock bottom pay (lowest I have EVER been paid!) combined with a bitchy atmosphere; made me want out. Pronto. Luckily, months later I was free!! The only thing I regret was applying in the first place!

Moral of the story? Trust your gut instinct!

If a job doesn’t feel right, doesn’t sit well and fills you with unease, decline. Even if you can’t pinpoint why you feel that way. Maybe you feel bad vibes from the environment, team or even the interviewer, I urge you to step back, analyse the situation, sleep on it or have a change of scenery to think hard about it. You’ll thank yourself in the long run. Don’t let anyone pressure you into a role you feel uncomfortable about or let a hiring manager intimidate you into making a decision. It is perfectly reasonable to ask for more time, a contract, more answers etc. before accepting anything!

 

Good Luck!

Love Career Girl

Xo

Staying Motivated & Positive Throughout the Job Search

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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

Overqualified & Inexperienced… What I’ve Learnt

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So I graduated class of 2015 and it was great. What wasn’t so great were the months and months after graduation when I was job hunting. I really do think our generation has it the worst. I naively thought graduating with a BSc Psychology 2:1 would ensure I would achieve the job of my dreams almost instantly, given my past job hunt and interview success rate.

Oh how wrong was I!

In fact, what most people don’t know or realise is just how depressing the job hunt can be! Honestly, I felt so unbelievably low, spending ages and ages writing pages and pages of ‘Why I should be Hired’ blurbs and cover letters, for what? Only them to be sent through the black-hole of the internet. To receive an automated, undesirable ‘Thank You’, don’t call us we’ll call you. Oh, and you’re lucky to get that!

Over Qualified & Inexperienced

It is so disheartening job hunting online. I did as every other graduate seems to do, I applied directly to companies and signed up to the likes of Milkround and Reed. Word of advice? Don’t bother, save your time and energy as it’s so saturated! I wish someone had told me that!

After a while I did have a few job interviews, all really good experience from group interviews, panel interviews and psychometric testing but unfortunately was pipped to the post due to being ‘over qualified or for lack of experience’ – If I had a pound for every-time I heard that….

Rejection, Rejection & More Rejection!

Anyway, being constantly rejected based on something you really can’t help is possibly the most frustrating thing ever. Nearly reaching the end of my tether and working in a dead end job I decided I drastically needed to do something… anything. Eventually, I decided to sort out my Linkedin as other people were getting into it and I thought hey, what the hell.

Surprisingly, I have had quite a few job offers through Linkedin and I would definitely recommend it!

Let me know in the comments your experiences tips and tricks to securing the job of your dreams!

Good luck job hunting!

 

Love Career Girl xo