How do I search for a Job in a tough market?

Don’t despair!! Everyone is in the same boat!! Every job you apply for, you are getting the same negative response and when you do get in front of an agency you never hear back from them?

Firstly let’s put the current market conditions into perspective. May 2012-August 2012 has been the toughest period for permanent secretarial recruitment in the last 10 years. There are four reasons for this; the wider European crisis, the banking crisis, the Jubilee and the Olympics. Employers have battened down the hatches, well at least those that haven’t taken an extended summer break!

The result of the above is a serious lack of fluidity in the market. No one wants to leave a good job in this period – the phrase “leaping from the frying pan and into the fire” springs to mind.

The good news is that all this will change from the second week of September, regardless of what happens in Europe. Everyone will be back from holiday and the Paralympics will have finished. People looking to leave jobs will be inclined to make the jump, having held out for some time and fluidity will return.

I am not saying that the market will bounce back to 2009 levels but in my view we are at the bottom and there is only one way to go from here, although it will be a bumpy journey.

So, don’t take it personally if you have had real problems with your job search over the last 6 months. Make sure your CV is fully up-to-date with no spelling or grammatical errors in it. Recruitment agencies are being inundated with CVs at the moment, so apply to roles that appeal to you, but don’t be despondent if you don’t get a response. Agencies can’t get back to everyone, even though they will do their best to.

When you visit the agency, be clear and concise about what you are looking for. The temptation is to say that you are interested to hear about everything, although you are actually better off being as specific as you can be. It means that when you are added to the agencies database, Consultants researching for a brief are more likely to be drawn into your profile if they are working on a job at a level and in an area that you have expressed an interest in.

If you are unsuccessful with the position you have applied for then keep an eye on the agencies website and apply for a vacancy if it appeals. Say that you are registered and would they consider your details for the role? If you don’t hear back from them, despite that fact that your skills and experience matches the role, don’t be concerned. The secretarial market, as we all know, is so personality based and in a tough market like this, Clients expect agencies to get this just right. It is not a negative if you are not considered for a role based on personality fit. It means the agency understands the type of company culture best suited to you and is trying to match you to that.

If searching for a job outside of an agency, look at the job boards once a day and apply for any direct adverts that look appealing. Speed is the name of the game. Companies advertising directly usually do so because they want to avoid agency fees. What they don’t bargain for is the size of response they are going to get! Therefore you are far more likely to be considered if your CV is one of the first they receive.

Finally, use linked in, facebook, google+ and twitter. Companies will advertise jobs through these mediums.

Here is a golden nugget, try and link in (on linked in) with as many recruitment consultants that you can. Clients trying to avoid agency fees are also doing this and searching through Consultant’s contacts when trying to fill roles. Consultants are in a difficult spot because they don’t want to decline an “invitation” from a Client, but at the same time don’t want to give them all their contacts for free. The former overrides the latter, so this is a great way for you to be “found” by employers.

Good luck with the job hunt and feel free to link in with me should you wish.

Categories: Job Seekers

Tags: Job Seekers

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