Know Your Panel

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” — Arthur Ashe

Some time ago, I was interviewing for a role. It was a job I loved, and I was excited once I got invited for an interview.

While looking through the interview invitation, I noticed I was missing something. I realised I didn’t get the names of the panel. It took a while for me to figure out this information was not contained in the email.

I guess it’s a new habit I developed. I got used to seeing the interviewers’ names in the emails I received to attend an interview, so when I didn’t find any information in this invitation, I knew something was missing.

As you would expect, it didn’t take long for me to respond to the email requesting the panel’s names.

You might wonder why that is important.

Here’s why:

 


It Helps You Prepare Better For The Interview

“One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.”
—Arthur Ashe

No doubt, knowing those that will be interviewing me for a role is an added advantage. I can use this information to get insights into their background and interests. I could quickly get this information by looking at their LinkedIn Profiles.

Having access to this information can make a difference in your interviewing experience. Knowing whom you will meet is vital as you prepare for the interview.

 


It Helps You Guess The Type Of Questions To Expect

“Start by doing what is necessary, then what is possible, and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” — Francis of Assisi

Once I can understand your background, role, and interests, I can easily understand the questions to expect at the interview.

For example, if I was interviewing for a role and noticed one of the panels had a technical background, I could predict the technical questions would come from this fellow. I know I might get at least one technical question at the interview.

Similarly, if I had a finance guru as part of the panel, I would expect to be asked some questions relating to finance or accounting, especially if the role sits within the finance team.

Anyway, you get the point.

Knowing the interview panel can help you predict the questions to expect.


It Helps You Find Similarities

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers, you cannot be successful or happy.”
— Norman Vincent Peale

Interviewing is about selling yourself in any way that boosts your chances.

Ultimately, the panel will hire the candidates they like and are similar to them.

It’s that simple.

For example, I love soccer. I follow the Premier League and UEFA Champions League.

For example, let’s assume I noticed online that a panel member is also interested in soccer and follows a similar football club. This clue provides an excellent way to score easy “similarity points” during the interview.

Of course, you want to be careful not to make this your starting point. It’s okay to chip it in once you notice the panel is relaxed and discussing personal interests.

As humans, we like those who are like us. That’s who the panel will hire.

Therefore, show similarities to the panel when appropriate. It’s a simple yet effective strategy, so you must know your panel.

 


Final Summary

 

 

“Be bold enough to use your voice, brave enough to listen to your heart and strong enough to live the life you’ve always imagined.” — Anonymous

Interviewing is about how you present yourself to the panel and how they perceive you.

Therefore, knowing those interviewing you can make a difference in your job search journey.

You want this information to prepare to the best of your ability and impress the panel.

Remember, as humans, we like and get comfortable with individuals with similar interests.

Know your panel. It’s an added advantage. Don’t leave your interview to chance. Get as much information as possible to improve your chances of landing your dream role.


Video Of The Week

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Give It More Time

Good, better, best. Never let it rest. ‘Til your good is better and your better is best

— St. Jerome

 

I recently spoke to a job seeker looking for a career opportunity. Let’s call him Chris for simplicity.

Chris had been applying to jobs over a couple of months and had yet to land his dream role. According to him, it was perhaps one of the most daunting moments of his life.

Why?

Chris is a fresh graduate who just completed his degree in engineering. He hasn’t got a lot of experience under his belt and hopes to find work in the industry as an Engineer.

Like many job seekers, I can imagine Chris’ situation.

It’s hard not to have to work and earn an income. Chris needed to look after himself and his family. He understands he needs to find work.

After I spoke to Chris, I was slightly surprised at the handling of his job search process. He didn’t seem to be doing enough. Interestingly, his challenge is putting good time into finding work. Chris would occasionally apply for a job every couple of days.

During our conversation, I told him he wasn’t doing enough and needed to do more to boost his chances of securing a role.

My reasons are simple:

 


The More You Try, The Higher Your Chances

You can’t quench your thirst with a few drops of water.

Like everything else in life, the more you try, the higher your chances of success.

For example, if you tried to learn a new skill and only committed one hour per week, then your odds of mastering that skill are significantly lower than someone who does it daily for four hours.

It’s simple; more consistent and focused action leads to higher chances of results.

It’s similar to a job search too. You need to put in more effort to increase your odds of getting the desired results.

Chris only applies to a job every couple of days and expects to get a result. Unfortunately, he would need to put more time into his job search to get more results than just casually applying in hopes of landing a role.

 


Job Hunting Is A Job Itself.

Job hunting is a job in itself.

You need to treat your job search like you have a job.

What do I mean by that?

You must get up daily with a dedicated time to looking for work.

For example, if you are primarily available in the early hours, then prepare to spend a couple of hours every morning on your job search.

Of course, you don’t have to send your resumes online for the duration of the period—any step you take to advance your job search counts towards the entire process.

This activity could be growing your network online or researching a company. The key message is to dedicate a specific number of daily hours to looking for work.

You might ask, but how many hours is sufficient to commit to this process?

Well, it depends on your personal situation. Ideally, if you need a job like your life depends on air, then be prepared to dedicate several hours daily to your job search.

The more urgent you need to land the role, the more hours you should put in. As I said, looking for work is a job, so be prepared to dedicate quality time to it.

 


Closing Thoughts

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can. — Arthur Ashe

Looking for a job can be daunting for many job seekers. Not that there are no jobs but more because it can take time to find one.

Depending on how quickly you want to land this role, dedicating daily time to your job search can help significantly.

You need to treat your job search as a job. Wake up daily with a dedicated number of hours fed into your job search process.

Remember, the more time you strategically dedicate to your job search, the higher your chances of landing the role you want.

You can’t quench your thirst with a few drops of water.

Thank you for reading this week’s edition of your favourite newsletter. I wish you the best.

 


Video Of The Week

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The Tools I Use

Video Animation Software for my YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/3SMcXgs

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Grammarly – To help me write better: https://tinyurl.com/y3f5wp6v

Will They Change Their Minds If You Negotiate?

“Everything is a negotiation with you, Brekker. You probably bartered your way out of the womb.”

― Leigh Bardugo, Crooked Kingdom

When it comes to salary negotiation, most people fret.

Money, to some people, is considered sacred and should never be discussed.

I read their minds; give me what you have, and let me walk away.

Let’s take Austin, for example.

Austin has applied for roles in the industry and only recently found a role he loves. He’s far too interested in just taking the job and walking away.

To him, he has worked hard and waited this long to arrive at this point, so why should he waste any more time before signing the dotted lines?

Just give me a start date, please!


It’s A Common Situation

Successful negotiation is not about getting to ‘yes’; it’s about mastering ‘no’ and understanding what the path to an agreement is — Christopher Voss

Many of us fall into this category. I failed to speak about the salary I wanted over ten years ago when I landed my first job.

I was a fresh school leaver with little or no experience talking about money. I just never felt comfortable.

When I interviewed for my first job over a decade ago, I did not negotiate my pay. The first figure I suggested was so low that the hiring manager was surprised. He told me my offer was lower than expected. Thankfully, I got offered more.

But you might not be that lucky.

 


Do Your Research First

Preparation is everything. No knowing what you want can rob you of the income you deserve.

If you are job hunting, researching your salary and being prepared to talk about money is always a good idea. Unless the role has a specific budget, chances are there is some room to negotiate.


Employers Expect That You Come Into The Interview Room Prepared

“During a negotiation, it would be wise not to take anything personally. If you leave personalities out of it, you will be able to see opportunities more objectively.” – Brian Koslow

Even though there is always an allocation to the role, you are being interviewed for. Employers expect you to go into the room to negotiate your pay. Especially when they are the first ones to disclose a figure.

You are not being ungrateful by negotiating your pay. Employers expect you to do so. In fact, in some cases, they expect you to ask for more, as they might have started from a lower figure.

So, don’t be scared to ask for what you believe you deserve.


It Shows You Know Your Value

Confidently speaking about money and negotiating your pay, the final offer shows you know your value. Guess what? Employers love candidates who have done their research and understand their actual worth.

Don’t be scared.

Hardly will any employer turn you back and rescind their offer because you negotiated. There’s usually room for negotiation, and you might get more cake when you speak confidently about your value.

 


Closing Thoughts

“Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.” – John F. Kennedy

In most cases, negotiating your first offer is a good idea.

They expect you to negotiate too, and they won’t rescind their offer because you asked for more.

Unless your role is tied to a specific budget like some industries, you don’t always have to accept the ballpark figure allocated to a position.

Make it clear you want the job and negotiate your offer.

Show Off To Show Up

I recently saw a post where someone mentioned that another user was
“posting too much” about their work and accomplishments.

Immediately after I saw this post, I took some minutes off to reflect on this statement. I wanted to get a sense of what I thought about the observation.

After a couple of minutes, I concluded:


Show Your Work

“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” – Tim Notke

Showing your work is the new way of evidencing that you can do

Many years ago, the internet wasn’t as popular as today. People have to ask you for lots of evidence to vet what you can do and your skills.

Today, the story has changed. Employers or hiring managers can easily find out who you are.

How?

The Internet.

Google is your new resume. It crawls on your website and social media pages, including LinkedIn, to get information. So, the best way to technically show your knowledge of a topic is to let the internet speak for you.

You might have heard stories of professionals that got hired because they showed a skill online or wrote about something that impressed an employer. The truth is it happens a lot and will continue for many years.

 


Don’t Be Left Behind

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” -Henry Ford

Hiring is a risky business.

Employers want to be sure you have the necessary skills before putting you on their payroll.

They want to be sure they won’t spend tons of resources on you to teach you how to do your job. So, your portfolio will help you stand out here.

Remember to show your work, improve your personal brand, and make it easy for employers to know what you are made of and what you can do.

There’s no showing off here.

Portfolio > Resume

Show your work, build in public and position yourself for opportunities.

 


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Why You Should Knock Again

Many years ago, I was job hunting for my first job.

I was fresh out of college, and it was about time to start thinking about my next career move.

As a 20+ years old, I could no longer form daddy’s boy and had to start thinking about my career and take responsibility for my next move.

Knowing this, I applied to as many jobs as possible during my internship. Many of them didn’t turn out well, as I barely heard back from them.

Anyway, I kept going and was lucky to get a few emails back and a telephone call. This feedback got me excited and showed signs that something was working right.

But then, after a while, I heard nothing.

 


Expect Some Silence

Job applications are beyond your control.

Sometimes there’s little you can do to influence the speed of an outcome. Getting the employer to do what you want when you want them to do it is hard.

Getting results is one thing, but getting them when needed can be tricky.

You can expect silence when your paperwork hits an employer’s desk.

It could be between when you submit your resume and when you get a confirmation. It could be between when you received your phone screening and when you hear back for an interview. It could also be between when you complete an interview and when you hear a decision.

Either way, you can expect some moments of silence.


 

Use The Moment Of Silence As A Moment Of Reflection

Photo by Carl Heyerdahl on Unsplash

There is nothing much you can do while waiting, but there is one thing you can do to help you keep on track.

Most people wait and do nothing during this moment. You can use this moment to reflect on your goals and what you have just completed. Consider what’s working and what not working and is this to improve the process

More importantly, you can:

 


Focus On The Low-Hanging Fruits

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

While waiting to hear back from the job I wanted, I decided to get busy.

I focussed on the low-hanging fruits.

The firms that contacted me via email or telephone were the low-hanging fruits.

Even though they had all gone silent, it was a sign that they had some interest.

Rather than going back to the drawing board altogether, it was easy to subset and focus on this group. I wanted to progress the initial contact to land an offer.


Knock Again

Photo by Kaleidico on Unsplash

Once I gathered this subset of semi-interested companies, I decided to knock again.

I followed up via email to reiterate my interest and communicate why I was a good fit for their organisation.

Not long after, I received another telephone call. I would go on and attend an in-person interview and impress the employer. I ended up getting my first job offer.

Maybe I wouldn’t have gotten this job had I not contacted the organisation again precisely when I did.

Maybe the timing was just right, or it was just a coincidence. Either way, it’s safe to acknowledge that following up was a good idea.

 


Closing Thoughts

 

Sometimes a job you want is near but hasn’t yet arrived.

You might have received the initial email or a telephone screening interview. You might be tempted to go to sleep and forget about the entire process.

What you should do while trying to apply to more jobs is to focus on the subset that has contacted you and reiterate your interest.

That email might get you on their minds again and make a difference in your job search.

Don’t just wait. Get onto the low-hanging fruits.

Knock again.


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Why You Should Know Your Limitations

“Success is about handling the setbacks, problems and mess, over and over.”
― Sharon Pearson

A significant setback can limit your career success

A friend of mine landed in Australia for his postgraduate degree as an international student. He was a medical professional in his home country and was doing well.

He hoped to replicate the same success in his career in Australia as in his home country.

Upon landing, he started looking for work in his field. Because his role was in such high demand, he was lucky to land an interview.

He performed well at the interview. The panel was impressed with his in-depth knowledge and communications skills that they made him an offer immediately.

 


A Constraint Can Set You Back Significantly

 

Once he got the offer, he accepted it immediately. It was exactly what he had been waiting for.

He got asked to provide his residency or evidence of citizenship. My friend presented his student visa to the hiring manager.

Immediately, the hiring manager said they could not offer him the role due to his limited work rights. According to his student visa, he would on be able to work for twenty hours per week.

My friend’s heart melted. He felt like someone had stabbed him in his heart.

He had put in a significant amount of work to apply for the role and ace the interview, only to be denied the final offer.


Why All This Story?

In your pursuit of success, you need to identify and understand the constraints that can hold you back.

Ignoring the fact that there might be constraints in your journey can significantly limit your success. Not only that, you might have wasted time and energy chasing the wind. But you will have wasted resources too.

Of course, it might be a good learning curve for him, especially as he got to practice his interviewing skills; however, sometimes, you don’t have this many resources to play around with.

 


 

Know What They Are And Fix Them Up

When you start living the life of your dreams, there will always be obstacles, doubters, mistakes and setbacks along the way. But with hard work, perseverance and self-belief there is no limit to what you can achieve.”

― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

In your quest for career success, you need to identify and account for any challenge or roadblock that may come your way.

Some professionals solely focus on strengths. While this is good, the challenge is that one major constraint can outshine all your strengths, as we had in the case of my friend. And this can be unpleasant for you.

So rather than ignoring your constraints, I encourage you to consider them and manage them. You will have a better chance of success and save your energy and limited resources.

In my friend’s case, maybe he’d have saved himself the time wasted if he had better understood his visa type and work rights. He could have compared this information to the job requirements. Doing this might have saved him travel time, application time, and the ultimate disappointment.

But I bet it was an excellent interview practice for him.

 


Closing Thoughts

Life goes on and life is full of setbacks. You have to fight, that’s all

— Seve Ballesteros

Focus on your strengths is half-baked advice.

One major constraint that comes your way can outweigh all your strengths.

Consider your constraints as well as your strengths as you job hunt.

It will help you understand where the gaps are and how to manage them. It will also save you tons of time, energy and effort that could have been diverted to achieving other goals.

 


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Are You Visible On LinkedIn?

A job seeker recently contacted me for help to land her dream role. She had been job hunting for a while and wasn’t getting the desired results.

Despite her many years of experience, it seemed she was a fresh graduate with no experience. she had been looking for jobs by applying online and responding to job ads. She has also been using LinkedIn to apply for jobs. These were jobs that the algorithms sent her way and those she found via LinkedIn job search.

She told me she had heard recruiters routinely make contacts with professionals on LinkedIn and wondered why it wasn’t the case for her despite her expertise in her field.

All her colleagues seemed to have more luck on LinkedIn. Her friend and colleagues landed a job via Linked but not her yet.

It was a strange scenario, so I looked closely at her profile.


Why LinkedIn Might Be Against You

While going through her LinkedIn profile, I noticed she’s got lots of useful experience and has worked with top companies in her field. Yet, she was not searchable on LinkedIn.

I could not explain why this was the case.

I then looked at her keyword settings on LinkedIn and realised they did not reflect the roles she wanted. She had captured keywords with very low chances of finding her on LinkedIn. These keywords were generic and did not relate to her role, background and experience.

Little wonder why she wasn’t found on LinkedIn by recruiters.


 

Recruiters Use Keywords To Find You On LinkedIn

 

LinkedIn is a big platform with hundreds of millions of users from all around the world. One of the easiest ways for recruiters to find you is via keyword searches.

For example, if a recruiter wanted to find a Data Analyst on LinkedIn, they would search for Data Analyst or maybe Data Scientist and then look through the results.

Individuals who pop up at the top of the page have these keywords in their profile. In addition, they have set their profile as open to working with those specific keywords.

So, reviewing your keyword settings might be worthwhile if you are having trouble getting noticed or contacted on LinkedIn.

 


Why Having Keywords Is Good And Being Searchable Is Great

Having great keywords on LinkedIn helps recruiters find you. You might think it’s unnecessary since you apply for the jobs you want.

If you only focus on this strategy, you will leave many other opportunities you might have been invited for. So having keywords within your profile to make recruiters search for you easy is a great way to advance your job search.

You will be more in control and able to lead the discussions if you are approached for a role.


 

Recruiters Are Everywhere – But They Need To Find You

 

Recruiters spend hours every day looking for great candidates to fill open roles. Yes, traditional job ads are open, but companies also invest heavily in recruiters to hunt top talent.

They understand that finding talent is hard and prefer to spend time promoting the organisation and making money for the company.

So why would you leave your job search to chance by being hidden on LinkedIn because of your profile keywords and settings? You might be missing out on many potential opportunities.


Closing Thoughts

Getting the job you want when you want it is fantastic. LinkedIn is a platform where you can find potential opportunities if you are searchable.

Ensure you have the keywords in your LinkedIn profile so recruiters can find and contact you for opportunities.


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3 Reasons Why You Need A Mentor Now More Than Ever

A couple of months ago, I was speaking with someone. During this conversation, I mentioned how I needed to consult with my mentor about an upcoming decision I wanted to make. The decision was related to my career; I needed to speak with my mentor to determine what was right.

My friend looked shocked. He wondered why I still needed to consult with a career mentor despite my depth of knowledge in career development.

He thought I could go all by myself since I was a career coach and spent a lot of time reading and consuming blog posts, articles, podcasts, videos, thoughts from industry leaders and the like.

He wasn’t wrong. I could go all in myself and make the decision.

However, I have learnt to always consult with a mentor for critical decisions.

Here’s why.

 


You Can Buy Knowledge, Not Experience.

I might have consumed tons of carer development content, which might have given me the edge to where I am today.

I also recognise that I am still fairly young in my career and still have a lot ahead of me. Unlike me, my mentors have tens of years of work experience and have overcome certain challenges I have yet to encounter, so they know how to navigate them best.

Remember, you can buy knowledge but not experience.

 


Two Good Heads Are Always Better Than One

You have probably heard that two good heads are better than one. Yes, it’s true. When you give excellent mentors, you will most likely get excellent advice from them. A great mentor will ensure you do not make mistakes and provide objective advice based on his only experience.

You might have decided what you wanted before consulting with your mentor; however, having your mentor go the same route means that you probably took the right decision. If he did suggest something else, it doesn’t mean you have made a wrong decision. It probably means you didn’t consider certain issues critically. Think of it as critiquing what you think was right.

Either way, two great minds are better than one and having an experienced leader in your decision-making can make a difference and help you avoid potential pitfalls in your decisions.

 


Referencing

Finally, you need a reference for all the job applications you submitted when you are finally ready to change jobs. Most jobs require you to enlist one or two references of persons who can attest to your skills, abilities and competencies.

Mentors are usually the easiest to enlist to complete this requirement for you, especially for those who have previously worked as your manager.

Why?

They know you well and can attest to your skills in a convincing and positive manner, which employers want.

Checking with your mentor every now and then on important decisions helps you make important decisions and lets you stay in touch with important mentors in your career.

It’s a good idea to check it and socialise with your references every couple of months, not just when you need assistance. Yes, you might sway with not checking in at all, but you can solidify and enhance your relationships when you occasionally check in with your mentors.

It shows you consider them important in your life and career and appreciate their presence in your career.

 


 

Final Thoughts

No matter how far you go, you still need a guide.

You might be on top of your career and acing it. You might be a lone ranger and have been making good decisions since you began your career. No matter how good you think you are and how far you believe you have gone without help, you still need a mentor.

A great mentor will help you navigate important decisions and avoid pitfalls you might have encountered unaided. You will also get a great reference when you eventually change jobs.

Remember, you can buy knowledge but not experience.

Don’t go alone.

Find a mentor.

 


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Three Reasons Why You Should Pay Employers A Courtesy Visit

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” — Milton Berle

While looking for jobs after my graduate degree, I often encountered a stumbling block when applying online.

Everyone does the same thing.

The implication?

I don’t get the attention that I want.

One day, I decided to try something different.

I approached key persons in choice organisations on LinkedIn and asked for a referral.

I wanted to keep it focused, so I only spoke to three firms as a start.

After visiting and conversing with these firms, I realised they needed new employees. Yet it was never posted online.

During our chat, they would say things along the lines of:

We were thinking about adding more staff, as we are busy now.

We just launched a new project and plan to recruit soon.

This revelation got me thinking.

If they are looking for staff to fill positions, why haven’t they advertised these roles online yet?

I quickly concluded that there is a hidden job market.

Employers might not post some job ads online due to several reasons.

 


They Don’t Know They Need Someone

… Until the right person shows up

Sometimes, employers don’t know they need someone until the right person with the right skills shows up at their door.

It’s like realising you are hungry after someone presents you with a nice meal. Your tummy signals to your brain. Immediately, you realise you are hungry.

It’s the same with employers too.

Many don’t realise they need someone until the right person shows up.

“Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” — Chris Grosser

A few years back, I approached some employers, and I was surprised by the number who became interested and wanted to offer me a role.

It turns out they had workloads and didn’t realise they needed an extra hand until I showed up.

Make a list of employer wishlists and pay them a visit. It might be your lucky day. I’d suggest you network with relevant staff on LinkedIn before showing up.

 


They Are Too Busy To Post The Job Online

“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” — Seneca

What if they realise a position needs to be advertised online yet haven’t done it?

Life gets busy, and employers get busy too. The pending job ad might be sitting on HR’s desk. They just haven’t got to it yet, because of other priorities.

So, if you are lucky enough to find this employer while the job ad is still pending, your chances of getting the job are higher.

You’d be saving the employer some good money and time.

They want it easy.

They don’t jump online to post these jobs straightaway.

Online applications are commonplace today. An overwhelming number of job seekers wait to respond to job ads. This is how they know how to job hunt.

While this might be good for employers, it does present new challenges. They must deal with hundreds or thousands of applications.

While large organisations have the resources, such as the Applicant Tracking System (ATS), to manage these applications, small to medium-sized firms don’t have these resources.

They prefer not to have these posted online (yet) and only want to discuss if they find a suitable candidate via referral or other means.

If you get lucky and come across this employer with a job you want, then your chances of landing a role are higher.

Why?

You will be in the driver’s seat to land the role.

 


They Are Waiting For An Internal Referral

Many employers prefer referrals to the traditional job ad response route.

It’s easier.

Scan 500+ applications for one position, or wave a magic wand and find the super candidate in front of you. Which would you prefer?

Some employers reward referrals with benefits after finalising the recruitment process.

At every job, I get asked if I know someone who might be a good fit for a new role before it goes public.

You see, hiring a new employee brings its risks. You don’t know if the person will perform well on the job. Many employers have this fear, too, so the job does not make it online immediately.

If you know an insider within a company, check with them to understand their current needs.

Ask for their current challenges and see how you can use this information to your advantage.

Sure, you might not always get in, but good chances are you would be getting in if they need someone that fits your skills.

 


Closing Thoughts

There are many reasons why you should approach employers at random. You don’t have to wait for a job ad to go public before you speak with them.

Many employers prefer a referral, don’t know they need someone or are too busy to post the job application online.

If you struggle to find jobs through the online application, I encourage you to consider other routes by meeting the employers directly. It might be your lucky day, and this meeting might end with a contract.

Sure, there might be some misses, but all you need is one YES. And the thousand NOs will no longer matter once you get this one YES.

Good luck!


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Quality Over Speed

“If a thing’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well.” — Chinese Proverb

Quality is not the same as speed.

I was chatting with a close friend a couple of years ago. Let’s call him John. It was one of those quiet evenings when there wasn’t much to do, so we had all the time to chat through our challenges.

He knew I had just completed my postgraduate degree and was open to job opportunities.

While we spoke, he got a notification on his phone that a new job matching my criteria had been posted. Not just that, it was in a company I was interested in joining.

He didn’t tell me what had happened immediately. All I noticed was an innocent smile on his face. I immediately asked him why.

He told me a job had been posted and advised that I left everything else I was doing to send my application, as I might be considered for the role because I would most likely be the first to apply. He stated that being the first to apply for a new position will put me ahead of others and help me land the opportunity.

John’s statement got me thinking.


The First Can Become The Last

“The most dangerous kind of waste is the waste we do not recognize”

— Shigeo Shingo

Photo by Matt Lee on Unsplash

I know the rush of job applications, especially when it comes to online applications.

Employers receive hundreds, if not thousands, of applications for a single role. Depending on the company’s popularity, this can even run into thousands.

So, I understood his point when he said I needed to be the first to apply for the role.

Unfortunately, this does not work as you think it does.

Being the first to apply for a role doesn’t automatically mean the recruiter will shut the application and ring you up immediately to schedule you for an interview. The hiring manager might not even notice your application until after the application window has passed.

 


The Downsides Of Rushing In

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives.” — William A. Foster

While sending your application as soon as possible is a great idea, there are downsides to rushing in.

Employers take quality time to prepare position descriptions for job ads and therefore warrants quality application to be received from the end of the applicants.

Unfortunately, rushing your application five minutes after the job was posted to impress the employer does not automatically mean the job will be handed to you like fresh cake straight out of the oven.

In most cases, the quality of your application may not contain keywords that can go through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) system. Your application might also contain errors that can cost you the job. Rushing in to impress the employer might cause you more harm than good.


Your Goal Is To Put In A Quality Application

“Quality is not act. It is a habit.” — Aristotle

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Sending an application five minutes after it’s posted is nearly impossible.

I believe the real goal should be to apply as soon as possible but with a quality application. What’s the use of applying for a job if you wouldn’t be considered? Instead, take your time to target your application to the job ad and submit a quality application.

I have applied for jobs severally, and I can tell you it does take time to prepare a solid application. Despite my experience as a career advisor, it still takes me about 4–6 hours to submit a quality response to a job application.

So, I was confident it wasn’t good advice to apply immediately after the job was posted to impress the recruiting manager.

A recruiter will not be impressed by receiving a generic application immediately after posting a job. They are unlikely to see your application. If they do, it’s doubtful it will be considered because it will be generic.


Closing Thoughts

“Anything worth doing is worth doing right the first time.” — Unknown

Don’t confuse quality with speed.

You might have been job hunting for a while and need to submit your application for a dream job immediately.

While it’s generally a good idea to apply as soon as possible, you also want to ensure you don’t neglect quality in the process.

Speed is not the same as quality. Take the time you need to develop a strong application and then apply.


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