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A Guide to Job Hunting

Developing your career and finding a new job can take over your life if you are not careful. That is why recruitment experts Kelly Services have come up with a great list of shortcuts and top tips that will help you manage your time and achieve your goals. According to latest research from Kelly, which last year found over 10,000 people permanent jobs across a wide range of business sectors, employers are looking for top talent combined with commitment and enthusiasm.

Prioritize your needs
Work out your priorities. What is important to you, what sort of company do you want to work for and what type of job are you after? How ambitious are you, would you be prepared to relocate, how far are you willing to commute and how important is job satisfaction? This initial homework will help you to recognize your own key requirements and could save a huge amount of time that could be wasted chasing the wrong type of job.

Consult the experts
Take the hassle out of job hunting by discussing your career options with the experts. Staffing giants Kelly Services have over 500 experienced recruitment consultants at 120 High Street locations who can take the legwork out of job hunting for you. They have contacts with multinational ‘blue chips’ as well as with smaller local companies and, with cutting edge technology in place, they can look at all available jobs nationwide at the touch of a button.

Executive CV tips
Selling yourself and your skills successfully in your CV can make all the difference between securing an interview or finding yourself on the reject list. Remember to focus on your achievements, to give examples of tasks you have successfully completed which demonstrate your strengths and competencies and to include activities that reflect your attitude and personality. Your CV should be tailored to specific job opportunities and you should have an electronic version as well as a paper-based one.

‘In today’s busy world it is all about learning to save time and spend it effectively’

Jobs online
The Internet has revolutionized the search for work and the web is a great place to look for jobs. There are hundreds of different jobs posted to – and because it is available 24/7 you can check your job opportunities whenever it suits you. Once you have registered for work and given us all your details, Kelly will contact you when the right job comes up. But make sure that you set up a private e-mail address because you will not want to be bombarded at work.

Get connected
The web, which gives you access to more than a million companies in every part of the globe, is the place to research your potential employers. Use a search engine such as Google or Yahoo to find out the latest on specific companies, industries and who has been in the news.

Effective time management
Using your time effectively is crucial, particularly if you are working whilst looking for your new job, and it is here that your strategy and action plan will come into their own. Make sure that your plan has targets, realistic deadlines, and that you set certain periods of time aside to focus on your search. One hour of concentrated effort is worth four hours with interruptions so make sure you are not disturbed! In today’s busy world it is all about learning to save time and spend it effectively.

Being prepared
Make sure that your skills are bang up to date and that you understand the different processes employers are now using to recruit staff. You may be required to take a psychometric evaluation, which will test your aptitude, ability or personality. If you know what to expect, you will be much more successful on the day. You can discuss any aspect of a forthcoming interview with your Kelly consultant who will be able to explain the various techniques to you and help you prepare for them.

Be prepared for the unexpected
Nowadays employers often ask questions designed to discover more about you as a person and the way you react to different situations. Be prepared to describe an actual experience that shows how you dealt with an issue and achieved a successful outcome. For instance:

  • Give me an example when you had to deal with a particularly difficult customer.

  • How did you feel in this situation?

  • How did you ensure that you were able to deliver everything that was expected of you in your previous roles?

  • Think about the most effective team environment that you have worked in.

  • What role did you play?

  • Can you think of a time when you had to deal with a conflict within a team?

Certain candidates tend to blame external factors whilst really good candidates are more likely to take personal responsibility. They are not looking for the perfect candidate who has never experienced difficulties or failures, but for people who can be positive and rise to challenges. Sometimes the people asking the questions say one thing but mean quite another. Here is the inside track on some of the trickier questions that you can practice with a friend.

- What did you like about your previous job?
Sounds innocuous enough but if your are not careful you could fall into the trap of focusing on the best bits of your job. What the interviewer really wants to know is whether you are prepared to take the rough with the smooth and approach the job with a positive attitude even if it is a very mundane task.

- What did you think about your boss?
This is less about whether you actually liked him or her but more about finding out whether you would fit into a team, so avoid being critical. Even if your boss was dreadful, try and answer in a positive way such as saying that he or she taught you to assess your strengths and weaknesses, etc.

- What would your friends/boss say about you?
Here they are looking for buzzwords such as motivated, conscientious, open-minded, loyal, committed, dedicated, flexible and creative, but obviously these qualities must come through in your approach to the interview.

And finally, there are those killer questions, such as:

  • Tell me a joke.

  • What was the question you did not want me to ask you?

  • Would you ever lie in the interests of your job?

  • Give me three things to remember you by.

  • Can you name five members of the Cabinet?

If you come up against questions like these, take a few moments to consider your answers. It may feel like a lifetime to you but it is not, and it is much better to think about what you are going to say than waffle. Often these really tricky questions are thrown in just to see how you react.

It is all about success
When that new job offer arrives, you know you have succeeded – but what does it take to be a winner in today’s world of work? Commitment, enthusiasm and determination to make things happen, the willingness to accept responsibility, plus motivation, skills and competencies. Not only that, but you need the right attitude and as much help as you can get from the experts who can show you how to avoid the pitfalls, and use their business connections and experience to help you make the very best of yourself.

Essential know-how from Kelly