Archive for the 'Job Transition' Category

Why is finding a job a problem?

It’s tragic that at the start of the summer, nearly one million 16 to 24-year-olds in England were out of a job, not in education, nor in training. Known as Neets, this group seems to be growing and growing and doesn’t include school leavers this year, according to the latest official figures and reported by the BBC.

The BBC highlights Jordan Millward a 24 year old from Stoke-on-Trent who has two degrees, a 2:1 in politics, and a 2:2 in law, as well as a post-graduate law diploma.
He says “I’ve had no replies to more than 100 applications to different law firms looking for both jobs and work experience I’ve made over the last year, and only two interviews from the 90 plus applications I’ve made over the last two months”.

Little advice from Universities
Why is finding a job so difficult for this group? In discussions with students at my local University it seems that there is very little practical advice is given on how to find a job. I’m told that there is the “odd talk” about developing a CV (Resume) but very little else! Doesn’t this place too many in the area of “working it out for themselves”.

More practical help could and should be given! For instance, why is it that most students know how to use social media to find friends and entertainment at the weekend but they find it difficult to use when looking for a job? Why is it that so few place their details, qualifications and interests on the business pages of LinkedIn, Facebook or other SM sites?

Meet the employer
Perhaps organisations such as the IOD (Institute of Directors), Chambers of Commerce, FSB (Federation of Small business) could help more by regularly offering FREE places at their events for graduates or students to meet people in business and thus potential employers.

A small contribution of my own is given below:

Questions you should ask the interviewer

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Hiring Good Sales People and Avoiding Ordertakers

I’m continually asked by businesses how they can interview and recruit good sales people whilst avoiding the order-taker that eats up valuable management time and resource.
So here’s a video I’ve just uploaded and hope that you find it useful

Hiring salespeople, avoiding ordertakers

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What To Do When It All Goes Pear Shaped!

News International closing down the News of The World after the various scandals that’s gripped it has probably left a majority of staff wondering what their future is. Even though the majority will be entirely innocent of any wrongdoing there will be the fear that future employers will view with scepticism those that have “The News of The World” on their CV.

There is a future
Assuming that one is innocent of any wrongdoing then there is a future. The thing to consider that in the past there have been many other people who have worked for discredited companies that have gone on to greater career success.

Think of the thousands of innocent staff who worked for BCCI (Bank of Credit and Commerce) who suffered the Banks closure and yet who moved on to find other jobs.

Confusion, anger and a sense of betrayal
Naturally, as with many redundancies, there will be confusion and anger and a sense of betrayal directed at the Directors and management. There is, however, little point in brooding on it. It’s happened. If you’re good at your job and can show a good track record then most future employers will make a judgement on the facts and the earlier one considers the areas of work that will “look good” and include them on the CV the better.

What’s next
Apart from thinking through how to construct the CV it’s worth ensuring that previous connections and maintained with other employees and anyone who can provide a reference. Keep copies of work that can be shown to future employers and make contact with new people as soon as possible and network hard. Most people leave this part far too late!

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Ridiculous Job interview questions

I read with facination Anne Fisher’s article in Fortune magazine  The Most Ridiculous Job Interview Questions asked by some leading companies to job candidates. She does defend them on the basis that the interviewers weren’t looking for correct answers but how the candidate responded to the question. So I asked some of my network how they might answer the questions.

Interview questions mentioned in Fortune include,

“Using a scale of 1 to 10, rate yourself on how weird you are.” — Capital One (COF)

“How many bricks are there in Shanghai? Consider only residential buildings.” –Deloitte Consulting

“You have three boxes. One contains only apples, one contains only oranges, and one contains both apples and oranges. The boxes have been incorrectly labeled so that no label accurately identifies the contents of any of the boxes. Opening just one box, and without looking inside, you take out one piece of fruit. By looking at the fruit, how can you immediately label all of the boxes correctly?” — Apple (AAPL)

Lack of expertise to anaylse answer

Most people thought the questions silly and was another “fad” that would probably not last. The reason being is that one has to be quite expert to analyse people’s reactions to situations to deterime “norm of behaviour” and most interviewers will not have that expertise.

Candidate’s rections

I’ve asked some friends of mine what their reactions would be to being asked such questions and here are some of the answers.

a) I would assume that the interviewer was “barking” and probably be impossible to work with.

b) To the bricks question from Deloitte I’d answer “Three” and then add “Red, Grey and Brown”
but my favourite answer was:

C) Answering the “weird” question I’d say “How weird do I have to be to get the job?”

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How to get a job you’ll love

I’ve just had the pleasure of reviewing an advance copy of the book “How To Get a Job You’ll Love”  by John Lees and suggest that you buy it when it is published in a few days time.

My review is as follows:

Here’s a novelty – a book about career planning that has something new to say.

John Lees begins by tackling the agonising debate that one has with oneself over the dissatisfaction with the current job.Then chapter by chapter he walks you through not just “The dream job!” but the practicalities of how much one must earn, what skills and personality one brings to the table for a potential employer.
The primary value in this book is that it’s not a comfortable “get rich quick book”. The exercises and thought processes that John takes you through are superbly designed to make you think through your options and your marketability to an employer clearly and truthfully.
The chapter (11) on creative job search strategies is particularly useful as it debunks many of the job hunting myths that persist. Other chapters deal with CV creation, using social media to find a job, attending interviews and even changing career.
As a coach and mentor that integrates senior executives into a new job I will be recommending this book as a “Must buy and read”
£14.99  Mc Graw Hill   ISBN: 978-007712993

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“How to Find a Dream Job Using Social Media”

So many of my friends and VIP clients have asked me how they can use social media to find a job that I’ve written a 40 page e-book to give them the information they needed. As a reader of my blog I’d like to offer you the same package.

Included is how to use Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin as well as many other sites.

The film explains more and the whole package can be ordered HERE

Social media ebook

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Tips for using Social Media to find a job

The competition for jobs is going to get hotter as more people are laid-off. Maximising your time looking for jobs is essential.

Here’s a tip

Bookmark helpful articles on job search topics to read when needed. I would recommend creating lists for the following categories:

  • Creating the resume (CV)
  • Interview questions and technique
  • Cover letters
  • Creating your Personal brand
  • Personal website creation
  • Social networking
  • Job search strategies.

Have an interview tomorrow?
Now you have an entire library of interview and tips.

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It’s time to stop job interviews in public

On three occasions last week I found myself in a hotel lounge listening to a job interview being conducted at the next table. Given my interest in job transition I found it difficult to ignore what I was listening to.

What amazed me was the detail that some questions went into and forced the candidate to talk about “their weaknesses”, “failings” and so on in public. On one occasion I was even able to identify a past employer as well as the individual’s past boss.

I think that it’s time that head-hunters, recruitment companies and job search companies adopt a policy and practice that all job interviews or exploratory interviews are held behind closed doors.

It would be:

  1. professional,
  2. provide appropriate confidentiality,
  3. deliver a better result in that the candidate would be more relaxed
  4. Prevents head-hunters that do interview in public looking “Cheap”

I personally feel that if I were to recruit a search company to find suitable senior staff for my company I would question the professionalism of a search company and the fees that they were charging if interviews were conducted in public and believe that the industry should outlaw such practices.

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Tips for using social media to find a job

Some more tips on using Linkedin, Twitter and other Social media sites to find that job

UsingSocial media to find that job

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Tips on using Social Media for jobsearch

Some more tips on using Social media to find a job and I apologise for the noisy seagull

Video 4

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