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How to create your next job opportunity

With the startling news that unemployment is now higher in Yorkshire than anywhere else in the country; the forecast looks gloomy. The recent statistics do not taking into account those people who have not registered as unemployed, for example those high earners ineligible for job seekers allowance and living on savings.  Does this make the statistics even scarier? The answer is no. If there is a whole group of people not registered as job seeking – there is no real way of knowing how many of these people in the hidden market have created opportunities and have secured positions. It is well publicised that between 75- 80% of the job market is hidden, which is not to say that there is a secret list of available opportunities, it just means they have not made it to the public domain. These may be filled by people known to the business, or someone within the business. It’s well known that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. This should not strike fear in to the hearts of those who feel “they don’t know anyone”, it simply means they need to meet more people. Networking should form a key element of your job search strategy. Networking is not walking into a room full of strangers and showering them with business cards. Networking is about having useful business conversations, getting on the radar of influential people and keeping at the forefront of decision makers minds. The Career Practice run regular free seminars to inform people about job search strategy and take the fear out of networking. These are a great place to understand what else you could be doing to progress your job search. The following questions have all been asked at recent seminars. Q) I have sent my CV to a number of recruiters and no one ever phones me back, Why? The easiest answer is that a recruiter works for their client, the company who will ultimately pay the fee. In a tough market like this Recruiters are likely to be spending 95% of their time trying to secure new business rather than being interested in talking to candidates. You need to work harder to present yourself as a desirable candidate to ensure that recruiters recognise your talent.  Only 1 in 10 jobs are filled by recruiters so they should only take up 10% of your time! Q) I spend lots of time looking at job boards but when I apply for a position I don’t hear back. How can I improve the return? The answer is to spend less time on the job boards and more time being reactive. The job boards should really be used to research who is recruiting rather than for making applications. If you apply for a role on a job board then you are relinquishing control of your search. You always want to be in control of your job search – the more time you are talking to people rather than sitting in front of your PC the better. Set up alerts on the job boards and be proactive. Q) I have been looking for work for 18 months and have got nowhere, what am I doing wrong? In any work situation if something was not working we would have no choice but to find another way of doing it – treat your job search like a full time position. If your strategy is not working then change it. If you don’t know how to change it then seek some guidance. If you keep repeating the same cycle it will not change and your job search will simply get more and more frustrating. Q) My CV does not seem to be opening doors for me anymore but it has always worked in the past. What has changed? The market has changed, there are fewer roles in the advertised market, papers and job boards and recruiters are filling less roles than they did previously. Take a look at your CV, ensure that it is selling you effectively – are you giving the right impression from your CV? Q) My CV is getting me interviews but I just don’t seem to get to the next stage. I have always been able to secure final interviews and job offers in the past so what is going wrong this time? The market is flooded with candidates, and looking to get worse with the public sector redundancies everyone is expecting to be announced soon. The choice companies have is greater and this might be part for the problem.  You will need to be better at talking about your skills.  This is a sales process and being able to sell your skills is not easy. My advice is to get some help looking at how you interview and how you come across to the interviewers. Q) I have exhausted my network. I’ve called all the people I have kept in contact with and none of them can help but are now not returning my calls.  The only thing is to continue with the internet jobs boards and recruiters. Effective networking is all about drilling into people’s circle of influence.  Asking the people you know if they know of any jobs is ineffective and unlikely to yield success.  I suggest you get some networking training and plan your job search so you spend your time getting to the people who can help you.

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