What do I need to do to get a job
I recently visited the website of Linkedin and observed a new article by Mr James Caan CBE. The public profile of Mr Caan sky rocketed when he made appearances in a programme named “Dragons Den” on British Television. Mr Caan is a self made millionaire and entrepreneur and well a person who is easily liked and followed. He oozes common sense.
In a recent post, that he inserted into the Linkedin public forum, he described a structure for a “Cover Letter”, that is the letter carrying a Curriculum Vitae, from an applicant, to the advertiser of a job position. His opening remarks were that there were many views on the contents of a typical “Cover Letter” and the necessity for them, if at all. Following the publishing of Mr Caan’s article there were hundreds of comments placed against the article, both in favour and against, for the requirement and content of a “Cover Letter”. However, this type of response was what Mr Caan set out to accomplish as he notes at the heading of his article.
First we should understand that the CV is a historical document. It is about events which have happened. On the other hand the “Cover letter” can propose what may happen in the future whilst referring to what may have happened in the past. This is a subtle distinction
In analysing the views of those commenting, the context in which the comments were made needs to be understood. At a point in recent history, the introduction of the word processor made the generation of a “Cover Letter” and a “Curriculum Vitae”(CV) far less daunting. This was because each job requires the “Cover Letter” and the “CV” to be nuanced for each job application while still maintaining the truthful history of the applicant. Later, the introduction of the computer and then the smart phone led to an applicant being able send his CV by e-mail and much later to insert his CV information direct into a company’s standard on-line application form. As noted by many of the comments there is, in general, no means of placing a “Cover Letter” in on-line forms of application. Could this be because the applicant is being routed through a intermediate agent who will select the CV to go forward and for the agent to make the appropriate presentation.
Whichever way you communicate and project yourself, to the person and / or company advertising the job position, it has to be done in such a way that your application gets to the desk of the person who actually initiated the requirement to fill a job vacancy. It is important to note that your application will be one amongst possibly tens, or hundreds , or thousands which may pass through the hands of several intermediate people who will compare your key performance indicators (KPI), with the set of criteria in the job advert, and discard your application if they cannot check off your application has all the key points addressed appropriately. Remember, your application has just ten seconds to avoid being placed in a trash bin. Further, get used to the fact that you will not get a response from 99% of your job applications which may make you very dejected , however, securing a position is a full time job and can last months or even, in the worst case, years.
This article will proceed on the basis that your job application will be hand written and delivered by land postal services. Should you wish to deviate from this process and make your application on-line I would recommend that the understandings, shown within this series of articles, are considered during your application process.
Employers need to ensure their businesses have the correct level of expertise, for specific duties, to maintain their operating efficiency. This relies heavily on identifying the correct level of experienced people for new hire. Employers also know that if they can identity young people, with potential to become the core staff of their businesses in the future, then they will need to invest in those specific people, soonest. So, an employer requires staff, but at a reasonable cost, if his business is to grow. Bearing in mind that all businesses either grow or die, he will always be thinking ahead to obtain new blood to introduce into his business in order to make it thrive in the long term.
When considering an applicant without job experience, an employer may decide to secure new blood with new ideas and a zest to take on challenges. A start point is to review the applicant’s academic achievement and what roles he has played up to entry into the job market.
Accordingly, the securing of a job is very dependent on correctly identifying what skills and experience you can give to a potential employer by matching the requirements of the job description and then demonstrating that you can increase the value of that position.
Whether you are inexperienced or experienced to match the job description being offered you will in one form or another be responsible, to management, for the company’s success and, by that, the company’s profit should you be offered the job. Therefore, as a young person develops their career, the level of financial responsibility that they can take on is a key to their ability to take a “heavy weight” role in a company.
Accordingly, when compiling a CV it is important to show, hopefully, a steady and progressive increase in the level of companies money that you have taken responsibility over. For an example of financial responsibility:-
Junior Assistant responsible for $10,000
Senior Administrator responsible for $ 100,000
First line management responsible for $1,000,000
Senior management responsible for $100,000,000
The process of managing your own career, and particularly the aspects which involve changing jobs have close parallels with the process of selling a product. When you are looking for a new job the “product” that you are selling is yourself. Therefore, you must make yourself a marketable product . It is therefore important that you understand exactly what it is that you are offering the potential employer. This sounds simple, but it is important to think of yourself, not in terms of a set of qualifications and experience, but in terms of what it is that you can do and the success you can achieve in doing it. To extend the parallels with the selling process, your product literature is the “curriculum vitae” and the sales meeting “the interview” (To Part 2)