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- Shelflife Magazine: A Timeless Approach to Job-Seeking - Jul 5, 2012
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Shelflife Magazine: A Timeless Approach to Job-Seeking
Posted on Jul 5, 2012
Published in ShelfLife Magazine June 2012
As the majority of businesses are looking for modern thinkers, it is easy for job-seekers to fall into the trap of only using technological methods for searching and applying for jobs. Many people tend to forget that job hunting existed before the age of social media and job-boards and while these tactics are convenient and effective, the traditional ways of finding work are still incredibly relevant.
There is no denying that many older approaches to job-seeking went with the dodos but there are some techniques that will enable you to stand out among the droves of applicants applying via online forms and emails:
It is easy to stick to the job-boards and social media aspects of job hunting but it does not hurt to expand your job search away from the internet; The Evening Herald, Irish Independent and The Irish Times update their job advertisements on a twice weekly basis, so it would be beneficial to pick up a copy of at least one of these newspapers and scanning through the job section. Asking around your friends and acquaintances when you meet or bump into them if they have heard of any relevant vacancies can be even more effective, and organising networking lunches keeps you informed on the current market and gives you the chance to remain “on the scene” even if you are currently out of work. Alternatively keeping an ear and an eye out for job-seeking seminars, availing of Job Clubs and attending Expos can be both informative and fruitful in terms of your Job search.
The Cover Letter:
It is impossible to deny that it is tempting to keep emails and cover notes to a couple of sentences when applying online, however, an informative and well-structured cover letter could be the very thing that sets you apart from your fellow applicants. There are some general rules to stick to when writing a cover note whether via email or as a hard-copy.
- Avoid free online templates.
- Find out who is looking after the available role and address it correctly.
- Do not dilly-dally by adding a spiel to the beginning of your email/letter; get right to the point.
- Refer to the specifications in the job description in relation to your own skills.
- Be brief yet informative.
- Do not brag about your achievements, simply inform the reader of them.
- Know how to sign off- “Kind/Best regards,” for a more informal emailed letter, or via hard-copy “Yours faithfully,” if you could not find the name of the person whom is looking after the position, or “Yours sincerely,” if you have the name.
Ye Olde Postal System:
Some of you may have forgotten, but there is a reliable postal service of which you can avail for a mere 52 cent when looking for work. The majority of CVs are received via email or through online application forms therefore it can immensely effective to send a hard-copy of your CV along with a cover letter via post. As already stated HR managers and recruiters often expect a certain degree of technical understanding and modernity in their candidates so it is not advisable to exclusively rely on post applications. Instead, use it as a follow-up to your online application. Before you head off to the post box there are two important pointers of which you should be aware; 1. Some businesses state specifically that they will only accept online application forms so be sure to clarify this. 2. Always find out who is dealing with the role for which you are applying rather than sending it to “HR Manager”.
Remember when you used your phone to call people?
Following up a CV and cover letter submission can have an important impact on your overall effort to find a job. It can be nerve racking to pick up the phone and make the call but the benefits are likely to be worth the effort. It displays confidence and assertiveness to recruiters and it shows that you are genuinely interest in the position and that you are capable of effective verbal communication.
Mind your Manners.
This is probably something you haven’t been told since your childhood but basic manners can take you a long way in your job seeking efforts. Showing that you are grateful that you have been considered for the role and/or interviewed for the position a day or two afterwards can reinforce your communication skills, keep you fresh in their memories and it simply comes across as pleasant. Remember, Ireland is a small place so although you may be disappointed to receive a rejection letter or email, it is good thank them for letting you know; work of your gratitude and graciousness is likely to spread.
Prior to reading this article you may not have believed in the age-old methods of job hunting, but they are still relevant and are a usual supplement to your online application. Remember, there a countless people either looking to move on from their current job or actively seeking employment so you should make it your mission to stand out among a sea of applications similar and often identical to yours and taking it offline is arguably the only way to do so.