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Savvy Searching

Focus on Your Future

THAT'S it then. You have your diploma/degree in hand, all crisp and nice, and it's off to the market to get a good job. Sounds easy, but once you've had several doors slammed in your face (God forbid!) things could get a little frustrating. This is because, for some inscrutable reason, no institution ever teaches people how to go about getting a job. Sure, all the top B-schools, and other professional colleges beckon corporate houses with all the come-hither wiles of a practiced courtesan, and several companies do succumb, but for every college that has campus placements there are fifty that don't. And that's where the problem lies. Graduates from these institutions have to do the job search on their own and begin without the least knowledge of how to do it. The task is one that requires considerable focus and planning. People embarking on a search should be aware of the pitfalls, the truths and the effort that results in a successful conclusion. Firstly, let's get the basic starting assumptions you must have:

The indenting manager - or the person that needs the person is probably the last person to see your CV. It's first scanned by a machine or several bored, overworked HR executives at a very junior level who just scan to see if you have the right skill sets and qualifications

The first short pile is seen by a slightly more senior person that sends in his short pile to the manager who raised the indent in the first place. Be clear that more than half the number of CVs have been trashed before this happens

The indenting manager is looking for things that he had insisted the advertisement should carry, so if they aren't there in your CV, he'll just put your effort aside without a second thought

He'll make a short list and ask his recruiting division to set up a suitable date for interviewing, and when he discovers that the number chosen will take more than a day, he makes another, smaller short list

The indenting manager is not an experienced HR person so his natural fatigue will assert itself after about five or six candidates and his questions become almost perfunctory

HR managers do not like or pay too much attention to CVs received that have not been requested and generally delete them without bothering to look at them, therefore you may need to make a reference to something the company needs if you want them to read your CV

Try always to follow up about your performance at an interview, or at any earlier or later stage of the hiring process. It's when people feel chary of this courtesy, that hiring managers don't even give them a second thought. With proper follow up, such managers are often shamed into taking a look if nothing else

If a candidate is called for an interview, it's a very good sign because it indicates that he is being seriously considered, no matter how indifferent the manager might look. If he cannot find sufficient people to fill the vacancies, he'll have to repeat the whole exercise all over again and that is tedious in the extreme. Generally, he wants you. The interview is all about allowing you to prove how suitable (or unsuitable) you would be. If you go into an interview with this in your mind, you'll be less tense and more `with-it'. Remember to start your job search by listing the companies that could have requirements with your qualifications. Then see if they have advertised recently. Research them and find out all you can. Apply to the hiring authority by personal name, in hard copy. Soft copies are almost always deleted. Make certain your skill sets match those of the role you want to play in the company of your choice. Follow up to find out what is happening to your CV or your interview. Finally, if you pray - do.


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