With the ‘freeze’ on employment currently happening in the Queensland government we are all anticipating hundreds of contractors to slowly trickle into the market until it is suddenly flooded with plenty of ‘hot to trot’ candidates. I started thinking about how competitive the market is going to become and it reminded me of a previous life when I was faced with this same situation. I won’t bore you too much with the details but I was working for a company who lost their government contract and 19 staff from my office alone (along with hundreds of others from other organisations and offices) found themselves competing for a handful of positions with the new contract providers. During this time we were all encourage to attend a motivational training session and this is the story we were told:
One day, there was a blind man sitting on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet and a sign that read: “I am blind, please help.” A creative publicist was walking by and stopped to observe. He saw that the blind man had only a few coins in his hat. He dropped in more coins and, without asking permission, took the sign and rewrote it. He returned the sign to the blind man and left. That afternoon the publicist returned to the blind man and noticed that his hat was full of bills and coins. The blind man recognised his footsteps and asked if it was he who had rewritten his sign and wanted to know what he had written on it. The publicist responded: “Nothing that was not true. I just wrote the message a little differently.” He smiled and went on his way. The new sign read: “Today is spring and I cannot see it.”
So when you think about a job search what comes to mind? Seek or the newspapers? Would it shock you to know that more than half of the positions vacant in Australia are filled through an informal network rather than formally advertised? This is why it is vitally important you use all the tools at your disposal to help you get the edge on your competition.
Here are a few other things to think about while you are job search:
Tailor your resume: we should all know the basics like avoid negatives, using effective job titles and limit the number of pages. But have you tried a strong executive profile in the top third of your resume. That way it doesn’t matter if your next boss is looking at your resume on his tablet, his Smartphone or his desktop PC you still get the opportunity to sell yourself.
Consider temping: if you are not in a position to wait for the right opportunity to come knocking. Temping is a great way to keep your skills current and your resume in date. The possibilities with temping are endless.
Use your networks: this goes without saying. We all know people who know people, and generally the people we know have jobs. That’s what makes social network sites like LinkedIn, Twitter and branched out (facebook) so popular. All it takes is to ask the questions, who do you know? It could be a recruiter, a manager or just a company advertising.
But maybe most importantly you should talk to an expert: recruitment consultants can give you so much information on the job market and growth industries as well as resumes and interview tips. We are a cost effective way of finding out where you going wrong or what you can use to your advantage.
So I will leave you with this. If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always gotten. So what have you got to lose by changing your strategy?
Kirsty Mihatov – Consultant