Recruitment/ Personal Development/ HR

Being without a job can be stressful for many reasons, whether they are financial or personal. As a consultant, I often see the personal issues, or more importantly experienced the different emotional stages in people such as; being in denial over what happened, being embarrassed, being sad, being angry, going from action mode to giving up hope. Overall, different stages that can come and go – and may return. 

This is what I have learned from many years working in recruitment; Performance depends on many aspects. Low performers in one company can be high performers in another. In other words, do not let one mishap or event define you. 

However, to think positive is easier said than done, so I have made some suggestions on how to manage this period of time, which with the right actions will help you keep your sanity. And perhaps even make this a good time of your life too.

Day

Morning

Afternoon

Monday

Search job sites and social media

Desk research on companies and relevant contact persons relevant to the job you apply for

Tuesday

Adjust your CV to each job you will apply for. Use same wording as found in the job advert or website. Most relevant on top

Send your applications. Keep them short and to the point. Make a list so you know when they have been sent and save the adverts 

Thursday

Map you network – not just LinkedIn but remember sports clubs, parent groups, school friends. Learn about who they know

Read business papers – your local library will stock them for a week or two. Identify target companies you would like to work for. Read about companies with new management 

Friday

Apply for unsolicited jobs from yesterday’s target list

As preparation for interviews, make a list of your results, learnings, skills etc. 

Tip no. 2 – Make this a pleasant period too

You may have noticed that the above plan only has 4 working days in it. The reason for that is that you should take time out for yourself. Go to the gym in the morning, visit a museum, go to your favourite café and read magazines, read a book, be a super mom or super dad and pick up the children early – whatever makes you happy. In order to motivate yourself applying for jobs and inspiring other people at an interview, you definitely must fuel yourself with positive energy. Treat yourself. Do the things that you wouldn’t or couldn’t do if you had a full time job. This is a vital part of your preparation for finding a job, so do not feel guilty on your days off.

Tip no. 3 – Think out of the box

This certainly worked for me, when I was in between jobs years ago. I applied for many jobs and were rejected… a lot! I had to accept that doing the same thing repeatedly created the same result. You may want to send a video presentation of yourself or change the graphic design of your CV. You may want to revisit your goals and remind yourself that companies employ people with certain skills rather than what they dream of. Be flexible, be bold, but still professional. Use your network and ask for feedback on your ideas, before going too wild.

Tip no. 4 – Target your applications

Say you would like to work for a large international company and you apply for a job that might not be your dream job, but you see it as an entry. Next month you see your dream job at the same company being open and apply for that one too. Many people do not consider that they create an application history, which is visible to HR departments. If a candidate applies for two very different jobs, the HR consultant or hiring manager may become uncertain of what motivates the candidate, what skills they have and what entry level they fit. Uncertainty rarely puts you on top of the recruiters list.

Share your ideas

There are of course many more tips on how to get the interviews, how to engage your network, how to make an action plan. If you have experienced being in between jobs, please share your best advice.