18 lessons for ev­ery young job-seeker

Bayt.com weekly re­port

Kuwait Times - - BUSINESS -

It seems like a maze. You don’t know which path to take, which turn to make, and which tools to use. Search­ing for a job for the very first time can be an over­whelm­ing ex­pe­ri­ence.

Ev­ery­one re­mem­bers the days of ap­ply­ing for their first jobs; con­stantly en­larg­ing CVs, sub­mit­ting ap­pli­ca­tions left and right, ig­nor­ing strict qual­i­fi­ca­tions and re­quire­ments, and just try­ing to be con­sid­ered for more and more ca­reer op­por­tu­ni­ties.

By look­ing back at the early job search days, we can cer­tainly see which av­enues job seek­ers pur­sue cor­rectly, and which they are blinded to. The ner­vous­ness and the ea­ger­ness to get a job can cause many mis­takes. By work­ing for the Mid­dle East’s #1 Job Site, Bayt.com, one comes to un­der­stand more deeply the tricks and tools that are most ef­fec­tive dur­ing a job search and ap­pli­ca­tion process.

Here are 18 of the most im­por­tant lessons that will ben­e­fit all of you in your next job search:

1. More is not al­ways bet­ter

Many of us are faulty of this. We think that the more items and de­tails we have on our CVs, the more im­pres­sive it is. But that is just wrong. If the em­ployer is un­able to quickly find the most rel­e­vant and most im­pres­sive de­tails about a job can­di­date, they will quickly ig­nore the en­tire ap­pli­ca­tion.

2. Rel­e­vancy is key

This also re­lates to our ten­dency to do more and more. Ap­ply­ing to as many jobs as pos­si­ble, with­out re­gard to the re­quire­ments and spec­i­fi­ca­tions of the va­can­cies, is not wise. Do not waste your time on jobs that are com­pletely out of your field or ex­pe­ri­ence level. Stick to the ones you are truly in­ter­ested, qual­i­fied, and avail­able for.

3. Re­search is un­der­rated

We say this at Bayt.com of­ten, but many job seek­ers ig­nore it: Do the re­search. Un­der­stand­ing what in­dus­try, coun­try, com­pany, and po­si­tion you are ap­ply­ing for will make your ap­pli­ca­tion much stronger and your per­for­mance dur­ing the in­ter­view process more im­pres­sive.

4. Op­tional is not re­ally op­tional

Very of­ten, we look at these ap­pli­ca­tion items (sans as­ter­isk) and smile at the fact that they are op­tional. Things like cover let­ters, ques­tion­naires, and rec­om­men­da­tions are of­ten not manda­tory. But, in real­ity, the em­ployer will be much more likely to fol­low up with you if you give them suf­fi­cient in­for­ma­tion and show them that you go the ex­tra mile.

5. Generic cover let­ters are silly

It is al­most bet­ter to not send a cover let­ter than to send one that is com­pletely ir­rel­e­vant or ob­vi­ously generic. Trust me, em­ploy­ers will in­stantly tell if your cover let­ter has been re­cy­cled over and over. Make sure your cover let­ters are very spe­cific to ev­ery job you ap­ply for.

6. Ty­pos are rarely tol­er­ated

With only writ­ten doc­u­ments at hand, the em­ployer has to be ex­tra strict dur­ing the first round of eval­u­a­tion. There­fore, a CV or a cover let­ter that has ty­pos or gram­mat­i­cal er­ror will al­most al­ways get re­jected. Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate the power of proof­read­ing (mul­ti­ple times) be­fore sub­mit­ting any item.

7. Ego-cen­trism is an au­to­matic re­jec­tion

It is easy to get car­ried away and spend hours and hours talk­ing about how qual­i­fied you are, how amaz­ing your skills are, and how this com­pany and po­si­tion will help you grow, suc­ceed, and make your dreams come true. Sadly, it is not about you. Your ap­pli­ca­tion needs to be more about “them” or the em­ployer. How are you go­ing to add value? How are you go­ing to ben­e­fit the com­pany?

8. Less telling, more show­ing

Any­one can say that they are “great team-play­ers” or that they have “amaz­ing lead­er­ship skills” or that they are “highly at­ten­tive to de­tails.” But that is called telling. To have a more ef­fec­tive ap­pli­ca­tion you should show the em­ployer your qual­i­fi­ca­tion by pro­vid­ing very spe­cific ex­am­ples and de­scrip­tions of your ex­pe­ri­ence and skills.

9. Prac­tice makes per­fect

How tempt­ing is it to just wing an in­ter­view and trust your com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills? It is very tempt­ing, but why take the risk? Al­ways re­search the com­pany, pre­pare an­swers to the most com­mon in­ter­view ques­tions, and prac­tice with a friend or in front of a mir­ror.

10. Ques­tions are smart

Be­ing able to an­swer ques­tions on the job ap­pli­ca­tion or dur­ing an in­ter­view is great! But so is ask­ing ques­tions. Don’t feel shy or apolo­getic about ask­ing ques­tions. It will show the em­ployer how se­ri­ous, de­ter­mined, and in­vested you are for the va­cant po­si­tion.

11. Money comes last

Never, ever, bring the salary ques­tion too early. By too early we mean be­fore you have at least a ver­bal of­fer. Talk­ing about money at the be­gin­ning of the ap­pli­ca­tion jour­ney is never a good sig­nal to the em­ployer.

12. Wait­ing for a re­sponse is waste­ful

Don’t sit by your phone wait­ing for the em­ployer to call you. Don’t glue your eyes to your email an­tic­i­pat­ing that fol­low up let­ter. This may sound harsh, but you should al­ways as­sume that you have been re­jected. Af­ter you sub­mit a job ap­pli­ca­tion, get ready and start ap­ply­ing for the next rel­e­vant po­si­tion.

13. No-re­sponse is not a dead-end

Yes, we don’t rec­om­mend get­ting hung up on one op­por­tu­nity. How­ever, if you have not heard from an em­ployer and you are still in­ter­ested, then fol­low up! Show the com­pany that you are truly de­ter­mined. There is al­ways a chance that they will lis­ten and give you an­other chance.

14. It is never too early to ap­ply

Many job seek­ers wait un­til the last minute, when they ab­so­lutely need a job, to start re­search­ing and ap­ply­ing. The real­ity is, get­ting a job can be a very lengthy process. So, it is rec­om­mended that you al­ways plan ahead of time. If you are a stu­dent, start search­ing and ap­ply­ing be­fore you grad­u­ate.

15. It is never too late to ap­ply

Some­times, an older job post­ing or a long pe­riod of unem­ploy­ment may cause job seek­ers to feel less in­ter­ested in ap­ply­ing for jobs. For­get about that and know that you should al­ways chase your ca­reer pas­sions and ap­ply to jobs that in­ter­est you.

16. Be on alert mode

Alert mode means you are ac­tively look­ing for jobs, pur­su­ing many op­tions and op­por­tu­ni­ties, but also main­tain­ing a strong pro­fes­sional pres­ence and pro­file. You never know, jobs may come your way! In fact, em­ploy­ers who use Bayt.com can con­tact reg­is­tered pro­fes­sion­als for un­ad­ver­tised jobs.

17. Break the rules

Some­times, you may need to be as cre­ative as pos­si­ble. For ex­am­ple, if you are highly (and truly) in­ter­ested in a par­tic­u­lar po­si­tion but don’t have the rel­e­vant ex­pe­ri­ence, you can still ap­ply and com­mu­ni­cate your in­ter­est. Like­wise, you can get in­no­va­tive with your ap­pli­ca­tion ma­te­rial, whether through video CVs, port­fo­lios, or pre­sen­ta­tion, you can al­ways find a new way to reach your dream job.

18. Trust Your­self

Much of how you por­tray your­self, whether ver­bally or in writ­ten for­mat, re­lates to your con­fi­dence. Trust your skills and qual­i­fi­ca­tions, be as­sertive, speak with con­vic­tion and bal­ance, and en­joy the process. Now where do you do? You can start by ap­ply­ing for over 10,000 jobs on Bayt.com!

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