Are Job Adverts the Best Way to Find a Job?
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This article looks at applying for advertised job vacancies:
1) We'll look at the mechanics of looking for a job through advertised job vacancies.
2) The advantages and disadvantages of job adverts and how you can really improve your chances.
3) Plus, you'll learn how you can get a lot more interviews and find a job far more quickly with our job search tips and tricks!
4) There's a lot more to searching for a job than simply applying to job adverts.
Advertised Job Vacancies
- Society today dictates that everything we do is quick and convenient.
- Finding a vacancy and applying for it is an irksome process in most cases so we naturally look for a quick and convenient way of doing it.
But should it be quick and convenient?
- Is approaching the task with this in mind the best option and will it yield a quality result - probably not!
- After all there are simple and automated search functions that will deliver on-target roles to your email inbox, all you have to do is spend 30 seconds clicking on a link to apply.
- Given the minuscule amount of time you have invested is it surprising that the outcome is often not what you expected?
Think about the implications of this new job for a minute
- It might offer more salary.
- It could be a step up the career ladder.
- You could be unemployed so it means a wage being paid.
- It could offer excellent prospects for promotion.
- The training and development on offer is both useful and free.
- There could be a company car included.
- It might mean relocating to a beautiful place.
What specifically does this mean for you?
- The above list may of course include other things, based on your own individual needs and values.
- So there could be a lot at stake here.
- Why then, do most people rush the process and end up blowing a once in a lifetime opportunity by not planning for success in terms of the initial application and for that matter a subsequent interview if it is forthcoming.
Have you heard of the 6 P's?
- 'Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance' - okay that's only 5, we'll leave it to your imagination as to what the 6th word is and where it fits!
- So, having a plan to get you there helps significantly.
How does this affect my job search then?
Well, it's all about what methods of finding a job are available to you and understanding which one produces the best results and why.
For instance, you can look for a job through advertised vacancies on a big job board, or see a job advert in a local paper, or use a recruitment agency, or approach an employer directly, network through LinkedIn, etc.
So you could use just one method or a combination of methods.
You need to identify all the methods available to you, find out the best way to approach each method and their limitations.
This week we've focussing on advertised job vacancies, but make sure that you're using other methods of finding a job (we'll cover these in future articles over the next few weeks).
In general you shouldn't use just one method, unless of course it's already delivering lots of the right sort of interviews.
The advantages of applying to advertised job vacancies:
- Easy to find with minimal effort on your part.
- Very quick to apply - usually just a couple of clicks.
- You can set up automated emails for specific job titles / locations, if applying on an online job board.
The disadvantages of advertised job vacancies:
- Because they are easy to find and apply for - everyone will apply!
- A popular job that's advertised on several different job sites can attract 100s of applications.
- This means that there's a trade off, between convenience and more competition from your rivals.
- This significantly reduces your chances of being invited to an interview.
- Your CV has to be in the top 5 to 10 CVs that they receive if you are to win a job interview.
Who places job adverts?
- It will either be a recruitment agency or an employer. Let's look at these two groups in more detail.
- Will only be interested in themselves (and their client, the employer) and not you.
- As most work on a success fee only basis there is a large part of the recruitment process that they do not get paid for - therefore they try and avoid doing it.
- Finding the right applicant is the hard part - a recruiter's solution is to generate 1000s of CVs per week from a variety of job adverts, and then cherry-pick the low-hanging fruit which will be about 2% of the CVs they receive, 98% of CVs will go in the bin.
- They attract 1000's of CVs by carefully wording their job adverts to make it sound ultra-attractive - in other words they are selling the job to you!
- Most of the time recruiters won't even bother to tell you if you've been rejected.
- This is can be very demoralising, knocking your confidence, especially if you repeat this cycle of failure (if this is your only method of applying for a job).
- Depending on the size of the organisation they might have an HR department which means there is a chance everything is done properly.
- The job advert will still be a sales-orientated piece designed to encourage the maximum number of applications.
- They do not get paid on success of course so they will possibly look at every CV in more detail and have a job description and person specification that will make the selection process more accurate.
- They will usually have the courtesy to inform you of outcomes - even if it is only a one-line email.
- If there is no HR department or the job spec has not been defined properly, then the process can be problematic - in other words they don't know who they want or why!
- Without HR involvement the advert may possibly be written from a less sales orientated perspective, but of course might not be too accurate because they don't know who they want.
- Generally an application direct to an employer is likely to be a better quality process, but you will still face a lot of rival applicants unless you have seen the job on their website. If it is not on a job board fewer people will see it which means less applicants and less competition.
How can you get a lot more interviews and find a job far more quickly?
We've looked at both the advantages and disadvantages of advertised job vacancies. So how can you get more interviews and what else should you be doing if you want to land a job faster?
- Plan your job search campaign carefully, don't leave things to chance. Decide on which methods and strategies to use and then take action.
- Don't just focus all your efforts on applying for advertised job vacancies, because you'll face a lot of competition.
- Consider other methods of finding a job, such as recruitment agencies, speculative applications direct to employers, networking, etc - we'll cover these in future blog posts.
- If you do apply for advertised job vacancies, remember to send a cover letter (if they allow you to), as it will make you stand out more - a lot of applicants don't, which makes it far easier to reject them.
- Make sure that you send a great CV and cover letter, a weak CV / cover letter will stand little or no chance and is easy to reject.
- Spend extra time on your CV / cover letter - most applicants just send exactly the same CV for each job application, so you can increase your chances if you get your pitch right.
- Focus on your experience, skills, results and achievements that are relevant to the job you're applying for.
- Tailor your CV and cover letter to each specific job vacancy - done correctly this can make you stand out compared to all the other applicants.
- Make it sound like you really want the job, but don't sound desperate, as this can be very off-putting.
- Tell them how you can make a difference if they hire you, but be specific about what you can do, don't use generalities, platitudes or be patronising.
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