Competing in a Tighter Job Market

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Made redundant recently, or current project come to an end? If so, you may be finding it a bit of a challenge to get work at the moment, or at least to get work as quickly as before, particularly in industries such as mining or oil and gas. How do you address that? Perhaps it’s time to re-assess your approach. Here are some things you can do.

  • Remember, over 70% of all jobs are filled worth of mouth, so who are you talking to?
  • Registering on Linkedin, the professional networking site at https://www.linkedin.com may help. Take a peak, play with it, look out for names you know, make the connection. There are job listings as well and you can follow companies. If you do decide to register, it will take commitment to set up your profile and check in regularly to monitor areas of interest.
  • Now for your resume, fold the first page in half and look at what is listed in the top half. Will it make a recruiter want to read more? No? You may need to make changes as we know a resume gets between 10 and 20 seconds attention, sometimes less.
  • Is your resume e-recruitment tool compatible? In the 21st century it needs to be.
  • Check resume details, start at the top. Your personal details – has your address or phone number changed? If you have included your date of birth, delete, it might be working against you, even if you are young.
  • Your email address, is it a professional one or something like whackojacko@thrive.com? If a recruiter cherry picks your email address onto a spreadsheet or similar, which email address do you think will keep your name up front and centre, whackojacko@thrive.com or yourname@thrive.com? It’s best to use your name in a job search email address, and again, don’t use your birth year if you need to use a number.
  • Set up signatures in your email account. Include your name, your job title, email address and phone number, and Linkedin address too if you want. Use every opportunity like this to brand yourself.
  • Make sure you have your name, phone number and email address on each page of your resume.
  • Qualifications and training – are the details up to date? Add any recent training you have completed. Check the expiry dates of listed training and licences to ensure currency (and check your licence cards, e.g. your Licence to Perform High Risk Work to make sure renewal hasn’t escaped notice).
  • How long is it since you have undertaken any training to improve skills? Many of the large employers favour people who are continually value adding to skills, and yes, I know it costs, but it may be worthwhile.
  • Your most recent job, has it been added to your resume? You would be surprised how many people forget to do that.
  • How long is it since you spoke to your referees? With so many people working on short term contracts and projects, details can change quickly. Check-in with your referees, make sure they are still willing to be your referee and that all contact details are up to date. Tell them what your intentions are, who you are applying to. It’s an important conversation to have as referees can make or break a job application. They may also have the inside scoop on upcoming jobs. It has become important to include referee email addresses as many recruiters and employers are electing to send out questionnaires rather than phoning.
  • And finally, make sure your social media is squeaky clean, over 90% of employers and recruiters will google your name to see what comes up.

While not an exhaustive list, it will help to make changes knowing that just one small change might give you the competitive edge in getting over the line. Attention to detail, presentation and professionalism are important, particularly in a tight market.

What Value an Email Signature?

On the hunt for a new job and wanting to use all means available to achieve success?  Just think for a moment about how many job vacancies are now advertised online.  Now think about how many job ads request you to forward your resume via email.  In this, the 21st century, email is one of our primary communication tools which, when used skilfully, can be part of an effective self-marketing strategy.

Firstly, it can be a good idea to have an email address that you use only for your job search or business transactions.  When setting up a new address, use your name but do avoid using your year of birth if you need to include a number.  When it comes to setting up your email signature, it is a fairly simple task but err on the side of keeping the actual signature details simple.  A short sharp signature is far preferable to a novel.  So what to include … well there is your name; your job title, contact phone number, your email address and if you have one, your LinkedIn address.

If you are known in your industry by a nickname, include it in brackets (often when we use a person’s proper name with industry contacts, people don’t know who we are talking about until we use the nickname).  Use the same name format across all social media that you are using in your job search.  If what you do is known by several different role titles, think about a broad umbrella title, e.g. instead of Driller or Roustabout, you might use Drilling | Oil & Gas.  Match it to your LinkedIn profile if you have one.  It is better not to list numerous telephone numbers; choose the one you are most contactable on (but not your current work number, keep work contact details out of your job search unless unavoidable).

And that is pretty much it. So what is the value of an email signature?  It is a branding tool which keeps your name and details in front of the potential employer or recruiter’s eyes and it makes their job easier if they want to contact you.  It also demonstrates a high degree of professionalism on your part.