14 Job Hunting Tips and How to Impress an Agency

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Job Hunting Tips

There are so many IT contractors out of work at the moment that any competitive advantage that you can get when looking for jobs is essential. Here are some job hunting tips, gleaned from IT recruitment consultants. These can help you impress them and give you a better chance of getting a job

Be Realistic

Be realistic about rates – don‘t price yourself out of the market.

Concentrate on putting your core skills at the forefront of your CV

This is one of the most important of our job hunting tips. There is a temptation to put every skill you have ever had on there, but it isn‘t worth it.

If you don‘t have much experience of the skill, you won‘t get the job. And it could clutter up your CV so that an employer can‘t spot the skills he/she wants. Remember that the employer will give a maximum of 2 minutes (and probably less) to perusing your CV.

Have the Job Reference Handy

When you speak to the agent, have the job reference for the advert for the job that you are applying for readily available. Often the agent has multiple job ads out for jobs with similar skills. It doesn‘t give a good first impression if you don‘t have the information to hand.

Level of Competence

Put on your CV the level that you have gained for each of your core skills and when you last used them.

Swat Up on Skills

Swat up on your skills before an interview. They may question you on it. Very often you do not use the full repertoire of any skillset at a particular job, but they may question you on them at another. You may also not have the answers at the tip of your tongue if you haven‘t used the skills at your last job, and hesitation is not as good as having the answers off pat at the interview.

Apply for as many jobs as possible

This is one of the more important of our job hunting tips. It doesn‘t hurt. It is one of the first rules of marketing to follow up any written contact you have made with a phone call shortly afterwards.

Agencies get hundreds of CVs daily, and you will get lost under the pile unless you follow up with a call. There‘s always a possibility that a job might have just come in that is an exact match for the skills that you have – and you could put yourself first in line for it.

Be Careful About Over-Negotiating

This is not a good time to try to negotiate with the agent over a contract. There are plenty of other people around and the agency will just turn to someone else.

Do not have a negative attitude towards the agent

The agent can be your best friend. Agents, like anybody else, are just people, and can be influenced by your attitude towards them. In any walk of life, if someone likes you, they‘re much more likely to do business with you.

Your CV should be concise

It shouldn‘t be longer than two or three pages. There is no point in putting skills on your CV that are more than five years old. After all, the agent or employer is not going to look at it for more than two minutes anyway, so anything on page 10 is not going to get read.

You need to customise your CV for each different job application

This is not advising you to ‘˜manipulate‘ your CV with false facts, it is merely advising you to bring forward the particular skills that the employer with the job wants. He/she has no interest in what you did with C++ if he is looking for Java. He doesn‘t want to find your Java experience on page three of your CV.

Your CV should be a good read

Agents and employers read hundreds of CVs. If you can make yours a little different and fun to read it can give you competitive advantage on your rivals. Your CV is the best way to sell yourself. Imagine it as your brochure. Try not to make it just one more turgid document for the agent or potential employer to read through.

Your Strongest Traits

Don‘t just mention your skills, but mention what your strongest traits are, e.g. determination, makes sure the work gets done, has good attention to detail etc. The agency and employer want to know what type of person that they might be getting as well as the skills that you have.

Develop good communication skills

You are a salesman for your own services. Recruitment agents are salesmen and they look askance at other people who don‘t know the basics about selling themselves and their services.

Ask for Agents Views

Ask agents what they like and don‘t like about your CV and be prepared to accept the criticism. Don‘t start arguing with them or try to justify why you did what you did. Just thank them for their feedback and then decide whether to make the necessary changes or not. It would be probably best if you did.

A good CV helps make a successful contractor.

So, concludes out job hunting tips. If anyone else has any more job hunting tips just put them in the Comments section below.

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