By Samuel Rosenberg
A high number of employers consistently complain about the challenges that they face when filling vacancies. They criticise applicants who fail to follow a variety of straightforward basic steps during the process of applying for a job. One Caribbean Defence Force recently protested about the high number of unsuitable applicants including those with either a criminal record or an excess of illegal drugs in their system. What can you do to make finding a job easier for both applicants and employers?
The first step in looking for a new position is to be fully informed of what is available out there in the marketplace. While newspapers are still the main source of job vacancy advertisements in the region, purchasing the newspaper when they list the most jobs is a simple first stage operation.
Many companies use social media to inform the general public about vacancies and there are a variety of online groups which have been formed, simply to provide job listings.
Governments and businesses have online job boards. These often list specific details about the job requirements so that it is easier to match the applicant with the vacancy. Some regional websites are especially good at detailing more senior positions, although far too many still fail to mention the salary expectations, which makes it difficult for applicants to apply without knowing the full facts. A mention of the salary banding allows individuals to know whether it is worth applying for a position or to stay where they are with more money.
The second step in searching for suitable employment is to ensure that you meet the criteria required. It is a waste of your time and that of the potential employer when you apply for positions that are completely out of your spectrum and possibility. Where a company asks for a minimum of five years managerial experience, there is no chance that you will qualify if you have just graduated from college with no managerial experience whatsoever.
Spelling and grammatical errors will make you appear lazy to a potential employer. If these subjects are difficult for you, have a reliable person double check your application to enhance your possibilities.
Adding the correct information to your application is vital if the company wishes to contact you, especially where you have written down an incorrect telephone number or contact details.
As it may take time to find suitable employment and be hired, it helps if you keep an organised list of where you have applied and what you have applied for. Where an employer calls you to arrange an interview, you may fail with the application immediately if you do not remember or cannot identify the position you have applied for.
Where you lack experience in certain areas that you have identified, you may be able to volunteer for a charity or work a business so that you can add that education to your CV.
It always helps to assess what went well and what didn’t following an interview. This will help you learn how to turn any drawbacks to your advantage in your next interview and help you land the job.
Finding a job may not be easy, but by remaining flexible and available, preparing your answers for common interview questions and perhaps even conducting mock interviews will help you stand out from the crowd and increase the opportunity for your success.
Samuel Rosenberg is the founder and CEO of Axcel Finance Ltd., the leading regional microfinance institution. Share your thoughts and email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org