Employment expert and author Oni Bhattacharya gives us his top tips to help you stand out to potential employers. According to Oni, it's all about marketing yourself.
One of the biggest issues facing those looking for work is getting that first break, especially if you are young or are a graduate.
All too often, hundreds of jobs are applied for and nobody ever replies or even acknowledges the application.
Sometimes even a sparkling CV gets missed, and with so many applications it’s easy to feel stuck with thousands of other hopeful applicants who are overlooked.
So what can you do to be noticed by employers? Are there steps you can take to be more noticeable? What can you do to get in front of employers? Here are a few ideas.
If you can, always send an outstanding covering letter with your job applications. It is one of the most important marketing documents and has to pre-sell yourself to prospective employers.
Try to find the name of the person to send it to. It makes it more personal. It should introduce yourself, tell them why you’re writing and why you are the right candidate for the job. Make sure to thank them for considering you and what are the next steps to take.
If you’re applying for jobs online, your CV or application has to standout from the crowd. It has to literally scream to the employer to get you in to see them.
Remove cliché’s and irrelevant things like 'honest', 'reliable' and 'hardworking' from it.
If you’re in the creative sector get ‘creative’. Think about the market you want to get into and do something that will appeal to employers.
If it’s a design company think what would appeal to them. If it’s a media company, make a show reel, get a website or post it on YouTube. When you write or contact the company, alert them to your work.
Get in front of the right people. Instead of just applying for advertised jobs, write speculative letters or contact companies and find out the name of bosses or those who make key decisions.
If you know anyone working there, ask if they will put your CV in front of their boss. When you get the opportunity to meet them your aim is to sell yourself to them.
A direct approach might be to go into organisations. There is a great method on http://www.businessballs.com/jobhunting-method.htm. Essentially you put together a leaflet offering to work for free to show them what you can do for them.
Another way in becomming proactive is to go to those who might have work. A major factor you must realise is that only a small proportion of jobs, around a fifth, are ever advertised.
Known as the ‘hidden’ jobs market, most positions are filled by recommendations by staff or those known to the boss of a company.
While you could send out speculative letters, a better way would be to get in front of them in person. Take the case of Omar Bashir, a 23 year old graduate who was trying to get his career moving. Despite sending out 100 CVs he was having no luck.
Having worked on a market stall selling with his father, he took his advice and went out and sold himself to employers. Armed with his CV he gave them out to morning commuters at a London station and got in front of an employer and sold himself to them and got a job in finance in two days.
There are literally thousands of ways you can get yourself noticed by potential employers. This can be done through writing clever and witty letters, having a video to sell your skills and putting yourself up for auction. The list is endless and you can come up with your own ideas to be seen by those with jobs to offer.
If you are serious about getting a job you have to literally market yourself better. Understand what the market you want to go into wants and give it to them. Make those who make decisions sit up and take notice of you. Once you get a chance to meet with them in person sell yourself to that person.
The better you are at doing that the more chance you have of getting a job.
Oni Bhattacharya is a leading UK Employability Trainer and the author of the new book ‘The Jobhunting Toolkit’ How to Find The Perfect Job in Tough Times, which is now available on amazon. http://amzn.to/1ENyl64