9 important lessons for job seekers (Part 1)
Having worked as a recruiter, outplacement consultant and career adviser for around 18 years I had the opportunity to help build a junior miner’s team which was ramping up for production. My job was to recruit 57 positions. The positions varied from mining engineers, geologists and underground managers to boilermakers, process technicians and truck drivers. Just about all the positions were Fly In – Fly Out (or FIFO) to a remote location in Western Australia. As I had been providing career advice and job search coaching, I was interested in comparing various methods of job searching techniques inside a mining company. In total, we advertised just over half of the positions on various job boards focusing on candidates looking for FIFO work in Western Australia. Whilst the number of applicants applying for jobs has dropped off significantly from a year or two back, we still had anywhere between 30 – 100 applicants per position. What might surprise you; although we received hundreds of applications for our advertisements, they only accounted for 4 placements. In fact, of the hundreds of applications we received, only 15 people were invited to interview. Most of the positions (over 90%) were filled through referrals or recommendations. The difference between the 2 methods came as no surprise to me by although it was a lot higher than I normally see (there were extenuating circumstances for that in this case which I won’t go into).
Lessons for Job Seekers
Importance of professional networks
The first and most important lesson is pretty obvious – it pays to build your professional network. The numbers are clear. If you applied for a job advertised with our company, you would have less than 1 chance in 200 of being successful! By comparison 1 in 3 people that were referred or recommended were successful in their application! Unfortunately, not everyone is comfortable with networking or knows how to do that – more on that now…
Building your professional network
What does ‘building your professional network’ mean? When I speak to people that have just lost their job I ask them if they have contacted their professional network. Most people understand this to be the people that they worked within the past – previous colleagues. For many, this is one of the first things to do – particularly if recently made redundant or let go. But as can be imagined, it doesn’t take too long before networks are exhausted. Then what happens? Well, the obvious things it to build your network!
Get out there – with the right attitude (and stop asking for a job)
It has been said that a stranger is just a friend that you haven’t met yet. Well, the same can be said for professionals. Attending professional networking events is a great way to meet with other professionals in your industry and build your professional network. So why are so many people hesitant to attend networking events? For many that I have interviewed, this is the typical response that I receive; “I attended an event once, but I could not find anyone that was looking for a <insert your job title here> and anyway, I felt uncomfortable asking”.This is not what networking is about. Networking events are places to meet with professionals in your industry. It is what happens afterwards where the magic happens.
Here is a helpful introductory video to networking. Contact me for a free confidential chat about your current job situation – firstname.lastname@example.org
To Be Continued ….