With the arrogance of youth on my side I have the slightly infuriating ability to describe earlier years of online job hunting as “back in the day”, something that clearly annoys most of the people around me. In my early post-graduation days, one could simply pop online and scour a job board, knowing that after a solid hour or two you would have fired off enough applications to fill your daily quota and then just spend the rest of the day playing Smackdown Vs Raw and waiting for the replies to trickle in. It wasn’t necessarily the most efficient method, and I’d like to believe if it wasn’t for my ignorance I would have listened to my parents and organised meeting with a recruiter or two years before I did – but then I guess I wouldn’t have spent those winters in the Alps or summers pouring pint after pint in beautiful south London. However, for those who have the ambition and desire to get into full time employment as soon as possible (and credit to you indeed) two or more years of coasting about waiting for something to fall into your lap probably doesn’t sound too appetising. So what can be done differently?
As I mentioned, online job boards are, more than ever, the first port of call for most job seekers. For all my digital natives out there, the concept of looking through a newspaper or lord forbid going outside and talking to a real person probably seems a bit pointless, especially if you haven’t already interjected your daily forum and blogging time with a quick skim over TotalJobs or Reed. There is of course a level of logic behind this approach. Currently Reed.com has more than 160,000 live jobs posted by over 9,000 recruiters, covering a plethora of industries and specialities. However, there is a problem with this. With so many recruiters and direct employers posting, how many of these jobs are unique and how many are even relevant to you? Furthermore, with so many thousands of candidates looking at the same positions and each recruiter having to sift through hundreds of CVS a day, how confident can you really be that your details will stand out?
From my time in recruitment I have learnt many many things but perhaps the most important is the value of human interactions. A client will often forget a phone call, but rarely a face. Similarly, I may merge the last 20 accounts assistants I’ve seen in my mind, but as soon as I see a face I can remember the smell of coffee on their shirt, the way they kept spinning their pen as they spoke and more importantly, the culture they would suit, the industry they have worked in and the type of job they are looking for.
Now I appreciate not everyone has the luxury to take time out of their day and visit me in our lovely Noho offices, or even one of the other agencies out there (boo!), but it is still more important than ever to create that human interaction, that memorable moment that makes you more than just another name in the pile. Social media is a fantastic way to do this without leaving the comforting blue glow of the computer screen. I love having little chats and interactions through our own Twitter account @Impact__Finance (two underscores) and never forget a cheeky retweet or mention. It’s all the advantages of human interaction without all that annoying human stuff.
Either way, we live in a far more diluted and competitive world than “back in the day” and the scattergun approach just doesn’t pack the punch it used to. So my advice? Get out there, get creative, get noticed and get remembered. Or, even better, just get in touch.