Job hunting can be a daunting process – especially if it’s taking a long time. But don’t let the self doubts creep in - overcome “the fear”.
Fear 1: Being overly cheeky
We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” and when job hunting it can be very true. When job hunting it’s easy to be put off asking people for work or contacts to find work as you don’t want to appear cheeky, but it is a great way to put yourself forward or even just to find out about great opportunities.
Most people are happy to receive a polite email asking for help with a job search so follow these three steps to get maximum results. . .
- Be clear what you are asking of the recipient – information on their company? A contact name in HR? Them to put forward your CV?
- Be polite – they are doing you a favour!
- Don’t be pushy – several follow up emails are not a good idea.
At the end of the day if you have invested time in building a relationship with someone, it’s likely they’ll be happy to help you. A good guide when deciding who would be ok to contact is to think of it the other way around – would you be happy to help them? If so, it’s a pretty good indication they will be fine with you approaching them.
Fear 2: Not being good enough
Job hunting in general is scary as a new job means a big change to your life. In order to be happy in your new career it’s good to aim for a job that will challenge you but that you are fully skilled to undertake.
When looking through job descriptions it is easy to discard a job as you don’t meet ALL of the requirements. If you know you can do the job – you just have to convince the employer that your skills and other experiences compensate for the aspects you may be missing. This point is particularly relevant to graduates searching for IT graduate jobs.
Fear 3: Trying different methods
It’s easy to get stuck in a habit of using the same job searching method but it’s good to use a few as (especially nowadays) there are so many methods you could be missing out on great opportunities by not engaging fully.
As well as the traditional recruitment agencies on the high street, online recruitment is now huge! You need to post your CV on online job boards, sign up to job alerts by email or subscribe to an RSS feed. Try getting involved on social media as well – follow companies that you are interested in on Twitter or like company pages on facebook. The easier you are to find – the better!
Fear 4: Not being absolutely perfect
No-one is perfect. So no-one expects you to be! It is easy to put off applying for a job as you haven’t finished your course, or your CV isn’t perfect. Keep an eye on the bigger picture – include your unfinished course but explain when it will be completed, any predicted grades or results from completed modules. Endlessly “tweaking” your CV probably won’t make a huge difference to your chances – but missing the application deadline definitely will.
Put forward the best you – but don’t over scrutinise every last detail.
Fear 5: Not getting the best deal
This is really two fears in one: A fear that you will ask for too much money and be ruled out as a consequence; and the fear that by mentioning money you appear more interested in that side of things rather than the actual job itself.
Money is always a controversial subject and there are few steadfast rules but it is generally accepted that you wait for the employer to bring it up. By allowing them to raise the subject (which both parties know is an inevitable conversation) it gives you the chance not to compromise your apparent interest in the job.
In order to ensure you get a good deal – but don’t get ruled out by asking too much, make sure you have a look around before you go in with a starting request. Find out the industry average for someone of your level and compare it to the salary you are being offered. Companies are often able to be flexible and if you have the skills and knowledge to justify a higher pay rate then highlight that to them when asking.
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