Getting A Job
Rod Cornwell (International Director, Thomas International) gives expert video advice on: Should I send my application via email?; What sort of thing will be discussed in a telephone interview?; Should I apply for jobs I am not exactly qualified for? and more...
How do I go about finding a new job?
There are so many ways that you can find a new job. You can find a job through online job boards such as Monster and Totaljobs where you place your CV and you hope that somebody, usually an agency, picks it up. You could also find a job by going directly to recruitment agencies and registering yourself, what you're looking for, what your goals and aspirations are. You can look for a job at Jobcentre Plus, which is a free service provided by the government. You can also look for jobs by going direct to companies, or the most obvious place to look for a job is in the "situations vacant" in your local newspaper.
What is a recruitment agency and should I use one?
Recruitment agencies are a very good way about getting yourself in front of prospective employers. Recruitment agencies charge a fee to the recruiter, but they don't actually take that fee off your salary. In order for them to place people, like yourselves, they will actually have a CV database, and they will process it, and then put the right people in front of the right interviewer. In essence, they're matching you to the needs of you as an employee, but also the recruiter's needs in terms of the employment--they'll match the two, and they will charge the recruiter, not you. It's a great idea to use recruitment agencies.
What is a temping agency and should I use one?
If you find that you don't want necessarily want a career, and you just want a short-term placement for 3 months, 6 months, even 6 weeks you can go throug something called a temping agency. This is a part-time recruitment job. So essentially what you're doing is you're using your specialist skills be it typing, administrative, sales, marketing, whatever it is, they are using your skills but only in the short-term. It may be for something like maternity leave, it may be a 2-month project, it may just be for a few weeks. Ultimately, it's you that's being suited best here. The recruiter is looking for someone to fulfill a role for a give period of time, not as an ongoing process. The temping agency will look at you and put you in the right place, at the right time, for a given length of time.
What is a covering letter and what does it need to say?
Normally before you send your CV to a recruitment agency or indeed to a perpective employer, you will find that you've had some kind of conversation with them. So rather than just sending your CV, you might want to put a covering letter together to enhance your chances. Something like, "Dear sir, further to our conversation that we had on the telephone yesterday, please see enclosed my CV for your consideration. With best regards, John Smith".
Should I send my application via email?
Once you have completed your application form, send it back in the format it was received in. If it's by email, send it back by email. If it's by post, send it back by post. This is their preferred communication style.
What is a telephone interview?
Quite often prospective employers may want to know a little bit more about you before they actually meet you. So you may have submitted your CV or application form. They quite like to look at you at this stage so they think, I'll give this person a call. If it's for a tele-sales role or, indeed, some other role where it's customer facing where your voice is important, they may ask you questions on the phone that are relative to that type of role so don't be surprised if you do get, what we call, a telephone interview. What the employer is doing is saving you and them time.
Will my potential employer conduct a telephone interview without warning?
If your employer wants to do a telephone interview with you, it is extremely rare that they will call you out of the blue. They would normally send you an e-mail or indeed write to you if e-mail isn't available, saying are you free at 2pm on Thursday, for example. They will say to you, "This is what I want you to do and this is how long I need you for, so can you be available on a landline rather than on a mobile?", because mobiles, as we know, are inconsistent. But they'll also say, "Can we have you available for twenty minutes just to have a telephone conversation?" It would be extremely unprofessional of the employer just to phone you out of the blue.
What sort of thing will be discussed in a telephone interview?
Normally if a prospective employer is going to conduct a telephone interview, they will actually give you the subject matter that they want to talk about, or even the questions that they want you to answer. However, if they don't do that, the best thing you can do in order to cope with the situation is to look at the website, look at the press releases that they have, and look at the issues the company or the industry are facing because that's probably the route that they'd like you to take. They will want to know how much you know about them, and whether you've taken an interest in the company that you could be working for.
Should I apply for jobs I am not exactly qualified for?
Sometimes you may see roles in the newspaper or on a job site and think, "Well, that's a job I aspire to have. That's something I'd really like to do." Go for it, even if you are not exactly qualified. Think to yourself, "Can I learn and grow into this role? Is this role above me? Will it provide a challenge to me?" Quite often, we just sit back and relax on our laurels, doing the same job, day in and day out. Most of us need a challenge in life. Go for the next level.
Is it acceptable to send an email or should I apply through the post?
You've seen a job ad and it says, “Please apply in writing, providing your full CV, etc., to John Smith in the Human Resources Department of ABC, Ltd.,” then do exactly that, rather than send an email. You have to do what your prospective employer requires you to do. Don't think that by sending an email, it will make the job application process quicker. All you're doing by sending an email is trying to buck the system, and employers don't appreciate that.