The extra 10%!

The internet is an amazing thing. Google 'interview tips' or 'resume tips' and you will be bombarded with advice. Whilst positive, helpful and a good reference point for those with little experience, most 'tips' seem to be common sense and not that insightful or original.

We want our candidates to have an edge and hence we have come up with our 'extra 10%' that we think can complement your job search. Like most things in life it is the extra 10% of effort and insight that brings the reward, not the first 90-100%. Think about what gets you FITTER? It's not doing exactly the same thing over and over again is it? It's actually going BEYOND your normal boundaries that will get you extraordinary results.

The following is the Keegan Adams 'extra 10%' that we think can make a difference to your search and give you an edge over your peers. None of the 10 points are 'text book' (hence you won't find them on your Google search or other web sites!) and some you won't agree with or will feel uncomfortable with, but we firmly believe they can make a difference to your chances of securing 'that' opportunity. They will not guarantee success but they will increase your chances. We hope you find them thought provoking and interesting.

If you require more information on any individual point please feel free to contact a Keegan Adams Consultant.

Finding a new job is a job! Never do it half heartedly once you have decided why and what you want. Anything but 110% focus on your job search is a compromise. Why study all those years and work so hard only to compromise a job search. Go about your search as professionally, if not more professionally, as you do your current job. Make sacrifices. Don't make one application one week and then one the next. Focus on condensing the process as much as possible, partly for comparison and decision making purposes. Make plenty of applications, make them relevant and realistic.

Throughout the process maintain your focus on your current job. DO NOT let your attitude slip to your current employer. A negative spiral can easily be fallen into. This has to be avoided and is not in your best interests or anyone else's. The known and unknown consequences of this in the future can be profound.

Forget a lunch date with a loved one, you should be out there looking for 'that' job!

Use that thing called a TELEPHONE!

Always call the employer or agency prior to sending in an application. Don’t make the excuse to yourself of not having a name, find out the name and make the call telling them of your impending application and asking any pertinent questions.

Similarly 2 -3 days after you have sent your application in follow up with another call, not email! We are not advocating harassment (!) but you do need to be a real person with a real voice and face! Less than 15% of applicants make these calls!
Even better than using A.G Bell’s invention is to fully utilise your shoe leather!

Present your application in person. There is absolutely nothing to stop you doing this and yet less than 1 in a thousand applications are delivered in this manner. Again it won’t guarantee success but you may just get to meet the hiring manager before anyone else, even if it’s in the lift. If you are suitably attired, polite and professional and visit the office at the right time, you are always going to be in with a chance. Even referring to the fact that you have visited their office in a later conversation will help you stand out from the crowd.

Which brings us back to our point about timing:

Timing in all aspects of recruitment is absolutely critical. In broad terms there are certainly better or worse months, days or hours for us to choose to do things. 3 quick and simple examples of this are;

1: Don't start your job search in mid June or mid December.
2: Don't send an application over the weekend.
3: Don't phone a potential employer at 5 minutes past the hour.

Please speak to a Keegan Adams consultant for more information on timing, or to find out the reasoning / answers behind the above 3 statements....very few people think this is important but timing as in most things we do is critical!

NEVER start your covering letter with ‘My name is.....’  Whilst this is well meaning it is not professional. Far too many cover letters still start in this manner. Whilst you may think that this is a very small element of your overall application it has zero benefit, and in some circumstances can actually be terminal. We know several employers who will press delete immediately on viewing this, and as such the relevant parts of your application could then be completely overlooked. Actually invest the time in writing a short but sharp cover letter detailing your interest and suitability for the role. Humbly of course!

In your resume make everything proportional to its importance. Your 3 month McDonald’s stint in 1996 whilst worthy of a one line mention should not take up the same space/lineage as your current position.  (That is unless you are wanting a position back at Mcdonald’s). Even the most experienced candidates can make similar mistakes. WORK OUT what is important in any particular application and then modify your resume accordingly. Make relevant aspects stand out and get rid of the irrelevant.
Demonstrate a piece of your work, through an attachment to your application that clearly shows how capable you are in your chosen field. Less than 1% of applications have such an attachment. Your application will sing louder with a well thought out and relevant attachment that demonstrates what you can do or what you have done for an employer.

Think hard on this as it may not be obvious.
You were hopefully born with 2 ears and one mouth, the perfect body design for an interview, to listen twice as much as you speak! If ever in doubt, simply listen, listen and listen some more!!

Try to find some commonality with the interviewer without coming across as too personal. Display a genuine, not false, interest in what the interviewer is saying, don’t interrupt but do agree/debate with intelligent commentary, thoughts or insights. VERY few people think about this as a way to stand out. Throughout your job search you must be 110% up on current affairs and relevant industry news or knowledge. Read the newspapers daily during your search. Do not allow yourself to be caught out in this way or you could look very average. Be ready for anything that is thrown at you but NEVER prepare standard answers. Be informed, interested and inquisitive about their business.
Ask 2 high quality questions and remember them! Two good examples are;
 
1: ’In your experience of working at X (employer) what are the key attitudes, attributes and skills that make a great Y (Job type you are interviewing for)’. This question in part will get the interviewer to talk about their own experiences and you should then be able to demonstrate how you and your background match what they have just said to make the perfect Y. Very simple technique but it works! Through this question you should also be able to find out how they view their own firm, positive, negative, progressive, conservative etc. All good information for you.
 
2: Investigate their business or industry and ask a VERY topical or insightful question regarding the company or industry in question. Ask them what their opinion on this matter is? Where ever possible, ensure that this question will lead to a positive answer or discussion.
 
Be positive throughout the interview and be sincere not ‘fluffy’. Finish strongly with your last question, and remember to ALWAYS have a strong handshake and make them know that you have appreciated their time today.
As you are leaving just post handshake, ask the Interviewer when you will be hearing from them or what might be the next step in the recruitment process.

Follow up with A.G Bell’s invention if they forget.
Many people do go through life without really putting much thought into their actions, and whilst that may be fine for an immediate need it does not work us towards filling a future goal. If you want to optimise your recruitment search and hence improve your opportunities in broader life then you must be continually thinking and challenging yourself. Don’t just let things happen, make things happen! Strangely enough thinking rationally or even thinking at all isn’t as easy as it sounds. Proper thinking leads to positive and well thought out decisions which will then lead to positive consequences. At the end of the day this is what we all want but sometimes we can get lazy or distracted. DO NOT compromise yourself in this manner!