The best advice I give job seekers is to set realistic job expectations. Too many times candidates cause themselves heartache and misery because they have unrealistic expectations when applying for jobs. Yes, it’s true you need to aim high, but aiming too high can just lead to a longer time of being unemployed. I recently met a candidate who told me they had applied to over 100 banking jobs, but had not received a single interview request.
The first thing I did was review his resume as a poorly written resume is usually the reason behind 90% of failed attempts at securing interviews. The resume is the first impression a hiring manager has, so if there’s something fundamentally wrong with it, it doesn’t matter how good your qualifications are if the resume is never going to be read.
This time, however, his resume was very well written. His achievements were highlighted and the resume was structured and well presented, so I was quite confused as to why he was not getting a single interview. As a job seeker with 2 years of relevant work experience there didn’t seem to be a reasonable reason why this candidate should not be getting interviews or job offers.
The next thing we did was sit down together and analyze the jobs he had applied for, and there was the answer.
Within 60 seconds it became obvious why he wasn’t getting any interview requests. With 2 years of experience and on a base salary of $50,000, he was applying for senior roles with base salaries of $80,000-$120,000. With many of the jobs he didn’t even tick the essential requirements on the job description such as minimum years in a manager position.
Not only was he wasting his own time by applying for these positions, but he was also causing unnecessary stress and anxiety in the meantime. I encourage candidates to strive for bigger and greater jobs and to seek out higher salaries, but just remember to be realistic in your job search. To be a manager or in a senior role takes experience and it is very unlikely that a company will hire an outside person to fulfil a role without the relevant experience. The more likely scenario is the company will promote within the company.
Go for gold and strive to succeed, but just remember to be realistic with your job expectations.
What Are Your Salary Expectations?
Example Interview Questions: What Motivates You?
It goes without saying that everyone wants to make as much money as possible. The best way to answer this question is by researching the market value of the job you are applying for. Honesty is the best policy when it comes to salary expectations because if you are looking for a role that pays 60,000 but the role will only pay 40,000, it won’t be long before you begin to lose interest in the role and start searching all over again for a new job. Show the hiring manager that you have thoroughly researched the role and have an understanding of how much the role pays. Many people try to avoid giving the interviewer a straight answer when answering this question as not to “rock the boat”.
The Worst Answer is a “Desperate Answer”.
Example Question: What are your salary expectations for this job?
Example Answer: “I’m easy – whatever you guys are willing to pay.”
A Good Answer is a “Researched Answer”
Example Question: What are your salary expectations for this job?
Example Answer: “From my research, I know that the salary range for this position is between $60,000 and $70,000 – having worked in the industry for 5 years I feel that my value would fit into this range”.
Every job market is unique and in order to gain the most out of your job search working alongside a specialized recruiter can be your ticket to success. Just as you may use a mechanic to help you with your car or a plumber to help stop your leaking tap, an expert recruiter can help you find a new job that matches your requirements. Best of all it’s completely free for you to use. Even if they find you a job, you will never have to pay a cent. The employer fits this bill.
In order to find the best recruiters, the first thing you need to do is spend some time researching recruiters in your industry. For example, if you are a senior accountant, you need to align yourself with accounting recruiters who specialize in senior management accounting positions. There is no point in wasting time speaking to accounting recruiters who only specialize in graduate recruitment. To further maximize your research, do some investigating into the recruiter company’s clients. Many times, recruiters will work with the same set of clients. If you wish to work for a large multinational company, you will need to find recruiters who have these contacts. A small boutique recruitment firm is more likely to work with smaller clients as they don’t have the size to be able to recruit for larger organizations.
How can I begin to find a recruiter who can help me?
Creating a LinkedIn profile and networking would be my number one piece of advice to job seekers. Once you have a professional LinkedIn profile that highlights your experience, achievements, skills and expertise, you can begin to network and research recruiters in your field. Typically, most recruitment firms are listed on LinkedIn and you can search within their company profiles to find individual recruiters.
How do I know if a certain recruiter is right for me?
Building up trust and rapport with your recruiter is vital to finding success. Many people send their resume blindly to a recruitment company and wonder why no one calls them back. In order to have the recruiter searching for jobs on your behalf (remember recruiters don’t get paid until they place you) they need to know that you’re serious about the job search. Go and meet your recruiter face to face. Be upfront with your recruiter and tell them the types of roles you require and the companies you wish to work for. If you can provide a recruiter with all the information that they require they will be able to work as best as they can on your behalf. Make a really impressive combination resume with our advice.
Finding the right recruiter can certainly help you in your job search. Having someone with inside knowledge will increase your odds of finding a new job. However, just because you have a recruiter working on your behalf don’t think that you can just sit back and relax. Finding the right recruiter is only one aspect of job seeking. In the competitive job environment, you need to be constantly networking to ensure that you are ready when the opportunity presents itself.
Have you switched careers several times in the past ten years, worked several short-term positions, or been retrenched and forced to find new work? If you’ve held several different positions in the past 5-10 years, you may be sending a message to employers that you’re a job hopper, not staying in positions for very long. Hiring managers confess that if a candidate looks like a job hopper, they will automatically discard their resume, assuming that they’re either not reliable, get bored easily in positions or have been terminated by past employers. Whether employers’ perceptions are accurate or not, you don’t want to be labeled a job hopper and lose a good opportunity.
Whatever your reasons are for frequently changing positions (and there are a lot of totally legitimate reasons nowadays to choose, or circumstantially need to change jobs), you don’t want to be automatically discarded for positions you apply for. Try these helpful tips to avoid being labeled a ‘Job Hopper’ and eliminated from consideration.
Categorize your work experience differently
If you have several short-term, consulting or temporary work assignments, you may want to consider categorizing them under one heading such as “Consultant” and list the various projects you worked on and accomplishments under that, so it appears more as a whole set instead of separate assignments. You can also include two separate headings for your work experience if you’ve transitioned between industries a lot. Put “Relevant Work Experience” with the positions you’ve held that are directly related to the position you’re applying to, and “Other,” or “Additional Work Experience” below that to account for large gaps of time.
Leave out irrelevant jobs
Your resume is essentially a marketing tool to demonstrate your qualifications for a particular position or industry. If you have short-term, contract or part-time experiences that you don’t feel are relevant to the position you’re applying for, it is entirely okay to leave it out. You will, however, need to include it if a company asks for your full work experience.
De-emphasize dates of employment
If your dates of employment are choppy, you can try downplaying the dates in different ways. You can try leaving out the months of employment and only including the years, so it’s not as obvious. You can also include the dates in parenthesis after your job title, or below your achievements.
Focus on resume achievements and qualifications
Employers are mainly concerned with your success in past positions. If you can demonstrate you made significant contributions to your previous employers, even if they were short-term positions, employers will be more likely to overlook it. You can even emphasize accomplishments and skills you’ve acquired through your diverse roles, such as being a fast learner, adapting to new work environments and industry trends, and yielding high results.
Use your cover letter to briefly explain your work history, putting a positive spin on it and expressing your interest in a long-term position
If you feel like your resume screams Job Hopper, you may want to add a brief explanation for why you’ve changed jobs so frequently in your cover letter, or highlight the unique skills and perspective you’ve gained through your diverse experiences. Make sure to stay positive about your past circumstances though and try not to sound like you’re making excuses for every position you’ve left. It’s important to also express your interest in a long-term position with the company to help put employers’ fears at ease.
Traveling and working overseas can be one of the greatest life changing experiences you will ever do. In fact, many people who travel overseas for work often end up living in that country for the rest of their lives. However, preparing to move overseas is not easy. No matter what country you are from, if you are planning to move to abroad you need to ensure that you have prepared yourself properly in order to find success.
International Resume Writing:
Everyone needs a well prepared resume/CV that meets the employment criteria of their desired country
Are you seeking a highly skilled work visa? The most important part of the highly skilled visa application is being able to highlight your skills and achievements and back these up with evidence.
Different countries have different rules and requirements when it comes to resume presentation (including resume length, format and structure), and with the useful tips at our blog we ensure that your resume is 100% correctly written towards the right job market to give you the edge over your competition.
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