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Ask James Caan – 19th July 2011 – Issue 56

Written by Kimberley Startup | July 19, 2011 | 0 Comments

James Caan Recruitment

Dear Member,

It’s busy times for webrecruit. As we draw nearer to our year end, we’re planning a number of exciting developments for the next 12 months – one of which is improving candidate communication. As recruiters, a number of the threads within the group have been invaluable to showing us what we can improve upon, so thank you to everyone who has contributed.

This week I’m discussing a topic some of you will have encountered – a lack of motivation when job hunting – thanks to a letter from Danielle.

Danielle, a Marketing and Advertising graduate, tells me she’s finding it extremely difficult to find a job or even secure unpaid work. Her search is approaching two years now, and she’s fast losing motivation. Despite numerous interviews and assessment days, she can’t seem to get her break.

She writes:

‘I am sitting at my computer going through countless job roles and application forms but its now like a blur. I feel like a robot and it’s the same thing every day.

‘My confidence is very low right now after the countless knock backs and I am not looking forward to my future if I have to go on like this another 2 years or more… how do you stay motivated looking for a job?’

Danielle, you’d be forgiven for thinking that trying to find the job for you in the middle of a turbulent economic climate would be the worst of all possible times. Unemployment is high, competition has increased, and, two years in, you’re competing with an even bigger pool of graduates. No wonder you are losing your patience.

People sometimes forget the emotions that come with unemployment. Being out of work for a considerable time; applying for hundreds of vacancies in a week with no real outcome can be extremely disheartening.

Whilst it may not sound easy, your first step should be changing your approach. I appreciate this isn’t something you can achieve overnight, but searching for a job is a job in itself. People dedicate hours searching for jobs and contacting recruiters. It’s a tiring process, but one that you shouldn’t let get on top of you.

Danielle, to reinvigorate your search, treat it just as you would employment. Get up early and plan your day’s activities. Ensure to stop for breaks and take your lunch hour. In these periods, go for a walk, watch TV, chat to your friends: whatever you do, make sure to take a break from it all to re-align your efforts. Then return to see what you have achieved.

Next, look at the state of the job market as an opportunity for you. While a period of economic turmoil does offer opportunities, you should be realistic with your expectations. Review the PR, marketing and advertising industries and look for skills they’re crying out for.
Employers, especially in those sectors know there is huge demand for those kind of jobs, so it’s crucial to look at your strengths and which sectors would be most lucrative.

Whilst it may not feel like it at the moment, Danielle, you are doing very well. If you are securing interviews and invites to attendance days, it means your CV is doing what it should be: selling your skills and telling the employer you have something to offer. You’re half way there.

Your next hurdle is the interview. Once you have learned you have missed out on a job, what do you do next? What do you do with feedback?

Feedback is the only way to help you move on. If you find the hiring manager has passed you off with a generic excuse – push for something much more specific. To move on, you need tangible advice: something you can act upon. Don’t be afraid to tell them this!

Danielle, you’re obviously an extremely ambitious person with a fantastic skill set to offer. If you can motivate yourself, you will find that applying for jobs becomes less laborious and hopefully, new opportunities will present themselves.




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