It was reported in the Business report, 15 September 2010, that permanent employment opportunities continued to decline within our South African market.  I know that many who are searching for new opportunities are finding it increasingly difficult – not only to secure a job, but even to be afforded an interview opportunity.  I truly hope the following article will be of assistance to you.

This article was posted by John Mullins in the Cape Argus (10 May 2010).  Adapted by L.CurtisCox

“It occurred to me though that I’ve always tended to look at these things from a recruiter or employer’s perspective, and although I have been in the job seeker’s market before, I hadn’t given complete consideration of what it must really feel like to look for a job in today’s economy.  I didn’t want to write about something that I had no recent experience of either. So, I did what I thought would be most real, and applied for a number of advertised jobs that I believed I was well qualified for.

My experience was varied to be kind. From people not getting back to me at all, to the standard robotic responses that were very impersonal, I realised this stuff can be quite disheartening. Just recently I received an email from someone who has been looking for a job for the past year, and despite his pretty decent credentials and work experience, he is getting nowhere. His biggest complaint is that he feels lost in a mass of other job seekers, and gets no personal attention from any recruiter. He is literally running out of energy and is just looking for a break. I’ve got to say I felt the same after only one round of applying for a few jobs advertised in the same week.

So what’s the problem then? Well, I know this for a fact. When conditions are the way they are in our economy, there will always be too many applicants for a job. The problem isn’t so much the numbers involved, it’s more a case of too many “inappropriate” applications. In other words, there are people desperate for work who use a “shotgun” approach to looking for a job. They send out their CV to just about any job that remotely falls within their focus. This results in major bottlenecks for recruiters and often “good” candidates are overlooked because they fall into a pile of CV’s that just don’t get attention.”

“While I could sit here and blame all recruiters for not getting back to the job candidates, I also have to remind everyone that you need to manage your own career and rather take the initiative if you don’t hear anything.  The one thing I learned more than anything from going through the job search process was that it requires resilience. Gone are the days when you could send out your CV and sit back waiting for the phone to ring. It is a tough and competitive world out there and you need to be very focused and determined in your job search.  Push hard to get in the door. It’s the only way. If not, you’ll simply get lost in the sea of CV’s out there. Make sure yours is the first catch.”

How to show resilience in your job search

Resilience means being tough, showing spirit and being flexible. These are essential ingredients in your job search.

Target jobs where you have a high degree of alignment. Prepare your CV for each job you apply for.  This is critical!  Look at what requirements the job spec lists and ensure that your CV mentions these requirements (if you have gained the experience)!

Even if you are unsuccessful in your search, remember it is only a matter of time. The more you learn from your job search the better you can prepare for the next one.   Never give up!

My recommended job portals: