Tuesday 6 March 2012

How can I get an Interview?

Essentially it is important to sit down, spend time to think and to try to attain a deeper sense of yourself. Start by asking yourselves several questions such as: how am I able to contribute something useful into our society? With my talents and interests how can I be of value to an employer? Where can I add or improve where something else is missing or needs improving in the marketplace?  How can I make a difference? What projects or initiatives does my conscience tell me to inspire me to take action?  Once we have come up with some answers, by this we can obtain a sense of direction, a focus and possibly acquire a passion, a vision and a purpose.  After which, well, we can begin to take some action.

Our next step is to concentrate on our CV.  This is important. I have seen hundreds of CV’s of which and believe me the most part are very poorly written. There are many different ways of writing CV’s. You can see this link to my website for a generic form. Some additional comments; Have two ready, one in your own language and the other in English.  Have your CV checked by someone in the ‘know’, an expert, career counsellor or coach for example.  Your CV in most cases is the first thing your target group will see. It is you on paper and it has to be easily readable for those who read it. Keep it down to two pages maximum. Tailor it slightly when necessary according to your different target group and eliminate any form of personal pronouns. ‘I’ ‘me’ us’ ‘we’ myself, themselves etc. Finally have it ready in PDF format but beware who you send it to! A resume at the same time is a confidential piece of information and must be treated as such.

Now we come to your target companies. This is where we need to be internet savvy. Look at their websites and check their job vacancy page. Search too by typing the position you are seeking and to see who is hiring. This way you will come across interesting SME’s and start ups most you have never heard of. Take note, senior positions although fewer and far between, are rarely advertised and are often contracted outside via third parties or searched through their own network. Mid management positions are often advertised typically on job sites such as Linkedin and efinancialcareers.com. There are many other job sites. It is a question of really getting the hang of searching online. Get to know them. Contact a handful of mid management recruitment companies and ensure they have you in their database. There are many. For senior positions; contact headhunters familiar with your market. (there are many therefore keep to the leading ones and ensure you get a good consultant!)  Check out positions in popular national newspapers and well known business magazines. Open applications are always worth a shot; and finally, never forget your own network!

Do not be afraid to make phone calls. Try and get to the person directly and always be polite but to the point on the phone. You have a ‘voice’ and you never know, the person on the other end may like the sound of it. Covering letters if required must remain reasonably brief and again to the point. Hand written letters (which may reflect a more dedicated effort) are sadly increasingly outdated and not handled well the other end as most applications are done online.
Searching for a job can be very disconcerting and can really affect ones self-esteem. In my view, this is one of the biggest challenges a human being can face, particularly in these harder times. It can really take time. Do not despair as most people have been there in some form or another at a different stage in their career. Normally people at the other end will understand. It is only by fighting this you will reach your goal. Remain concentrated on what you have and not what you don’t have. Remain focused. Treat it as a part time job. I would advise you to hire outside expertise, a career coach or counsellor. This is to give you the extra added value, a stronger sense of direction and better self-awareness and to help you answer those questions I put across earlier on.  It can also help you instil inner belief; add extra discipline, and tips on how to market yourself, almost like building a roadmap to success. Do not be afraid to knock on doors, calling people and yes, your network. Use it!

‘Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened’

Next blog post; How do I get the perfect job?


  1. I agree wholeheartedly with your first paragraph, unless you answer the questions described, you run a real risk of applying for a job you won't be happy doing.

    To many people apply for the wrong jobs, just because any job is a job. Applicants should only ever chase a job if they really want.

  2. Regrettably, you are giving advice about how to write a CV, but your own text is full of errors. For example, you are using a semi-colon where you should be using a colon. Also, "Ones self-esteem" should have an apostrophe: "One's self-esteem". Whilst this may seem trivial, even small errors like this present an unprofessional image. And what are "Starts ups"? I believe you mean "Startups". I would advise that we carefully proofread our copy before publishing it, employing spell-check and possibly seeking the assistance of a copy editor so that we can be confident that our presentation is professional.

    1. Thank you for your input. You are right about the semi-colon. I have corrected it. I am afraid you are wrong about one's self. One's self = one is. Start ups are a made up word anyway. Kind regards, George

  3. Type "How to improve one's writing skills" into Google, and you will see that I am indeed correct. "One's" is a possessive pronoun. It can also be a contraction of "one is", but in the context you are using it, it is not. Cheers!