Is the job market as bad as it seems? Redundancy has become a fact of Yorkshire life recently with many of us being touched either directly or indirectly. Many more are still living under the threat of redundancy or have already had their position put at risk. It can be a traumatic time especially when it may come out of the blue. Some people have found themselves thrown in to the job search after 20 or 30 years with the same organisation.

How a company handles the redundancy process should be fairly standard and you should be informed at every different stage. The thing that some people are left unprepared for is how they are going to feel about being made redundant. So many of us are defined by the job that we do, when this is taken away we lose our sense of structure and in some case we feel we lose our sense of worth. An even greater challenges is bouncing back if the process has been handled badly. It is often impossible for people not to take the decision personally. The job search is based on negatives rather than positives, you are under qualified or over qualified, you work in the wrong market sector, someone else was a closer fit and the list goes on. It can be difficult to get over the constant rejection that is a daily element of the job search.

Here are some recently asked questions;

Q: I used to have a good relationship with recruiters, now they never call me back, what am I doing wrong?:

 A: Your experience of recruiters will be different if you are an employer or a candidate. A company that served you well when you were recruiting for staff might not be the right one to find you your next position. Recruiters are sales people and their job is to find candidates that fit their clients job specification, not find you your dream job. Ask yourself the following questions; • How have you selected the recruiters you are targeting? • Is your CV pitching you at the right career level? • Are you selling yourself to the recruiter? • Does your experience fit the key job requirements? Reduce the risk of getting rejected by not applying for things that are a vague match, ensure you make contact with the recruiter and ensure that your CV is selling you effectively.

Q: I have applied for hundreds of jobs online and I am not getting any response and I am on the verge of giving up. Is there anything else I can try?

A: Many people are unclear about how job boards (online job advertisements) work. The job board is an online version of the situations vacant column in the newspaper. Anyone can advertise a position on line, recruiters and employers place their adverts and the job board directs your application to the potential employer. Ensuring your CV and cover letter looks professional and sells you effectively is critical. Having the right key words in your CV is also crucial to ensure that you get picked out. Many of the job boards have candidate scoring systems to see how closely you match the spec. Sometimes the sifting can happen before a human has even cast an eye on your CV. Always keep track of the company that was advertising the position and be careful you are not applying for the same job several times. Different recruiters may advertise the same job, if in doubt try and speak to them before you apply.

Q: I’ve always been approached and have never really needed a CV. How do I know if my CV is good enough?

A: The CV has become even more important as technology has taken a bigger part in the job search process. I mentioned in an earlier answer that your CV may be scanned for key words and it has to stand out. Technology aside too many people simply add on to their CV each time they change position rather than thinking about what they are trying to achieve. The higher up the career ladder one goes the more a CV has to demonstrate the quantified achievements within each role. The CV has to have the right level of gravitas and enable the reader to understand what you might do for their organisation. We only tend to see CVs of those in the career levels below us and have little or no understanding of what is required in an Executive level CV. • Do you have a clearly defined objective that will be easily understood by your target market? • Will the audience understand the impact you have had within your current role? • Are you confident that your skills and achievements are presented with sufficient gravitas? • Have you checked the formatting and spelling?

The simple answer to a number of these questions is that the advertised market should only make up a small percentage of your overall job search strategy. The Advertised market including recruiters, job boards and the press only accounts for around 20% of positions within the market place. These tend to be the positions we react to rather than proactively source. Focussing all of your attention on the advertised market will increase the chances of rejection and cause further frustration. Do remember to keep a positive attitude and be proactive.