Job Doctor

I have been looking for employment for the past few months now and it just seems impossible. I can’t even get an interview, and I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I could really do with your professional help.

I have been looking for employment for the past few months now and it just seems impossible. I can’t even get an interview, and I don’t know what I am doing wrong. I could really do with your professional help.

As mentioned last week, I have been in recruitment in the South East for the past seven years and have a really good understanding of market dynamics at play. This is the typical type of plea for help that we at Morgan McKinley and laCreme get on a daily basis.

I can truly empathise with people’s frustration and confusion over why they are unable not only to get an interview but also why they do not hear one word back one way or the other.

The strong message that I have for you is to start off by being realistic. There is an oversupply of people looking for work and an undersupply of jobs available to meet this demand.

So does that mean that you should immediately pack your bags and head for Canada or Australia? No, it does not. There are things you can do to increase your odds of getting that job as follows:

Have a good look around at your catchment area for work – look at the industries and companies that are growing and try to align yourself accordingly.

Consider the skills and experience that you have, identify the gaps in your experience and attempt to plug the gaps with additional training or JobBridge schemes (we will look at the relevance of these again).

While I understand that you do you not want to leave any stone unturned in your search for work, I would urge you to read each advertisement very carefully and make sure that you have the skills and experience that are requested in the ad. This will definitely cut down on the number of roles open to you but it will also improve your success rate in terms of CVs sent to an initial response/feedback to an interview.

Before you apply for one more job, have a really good look at your CV. Make sure that it is fit for purpose and that it gives a clear profile of you and your background.

It needs to be concise and easy to read. It should provide you with a full run-down of responsibilities and achievements within your roles and paint a full picture of your skills and knowledge. It may sound basic but be sure to run a spell check and ask a friend or family member to proof read it from end to end.

Cover letters are also always important! They need to explain in a few lines why the person reading this note (and CV) should want to read your CV and go on to organise a meeting with you.

Posting CVs is definitely a feature of the past, so make sure (unless asked to specifically to post) that you email that CV across in the most up-to-date version of Word that you can find.

Keep a complete record of the applications that you are sending for jobs – to whom you are sending the application and when it is sent.

This way you are in a good position to put a call into the relevant contact to see how things are progressing. This can give you a chance to build rapport and gain any additional information that may assist later on.

And all of this advice is before you even get in for an interview.

Tanya Thomas is a recruiter covering the South East with Kilkenny- and Waterford-based Morgan McKinley. Readers can submit questions to her at JobDoctor@morganmckinley.ie.