The job-seeking process has evolved over the years. With the advent and dynamic changes in technology, recruitment has since shifted from manual post to job boards and online application. Job sites are considered excellent job advertising tools due to their wide reach to recruiters, employers and job seekers.
Job sites can be split into two major categories; the advertising-only sites that simply allow you to create an account and access various job listings, and the ones that not only give access to job listings, but also require the candidate to upload a CV and create a profile that will be assessed by recruiters and head hunters. Brightermonday is an example of the latter.
Use of Job Sites
Job sites can seem deceptively easy to use. Easy as seeing a job ad, going through the profile to confirm suitability and sending applications. Right?
The truth is that job sites are advertising sites that present existing vacancies to a large audience of eager job seekers. Rushing through the job listings and sending CVs to as many ads as possible will not increase chances of getting called for an interview. Employers receive hundreds of CVs for a job they posted on a job site and the job market is highly competitive as shown in the info graphic below;
So, how do you use a job site to your maximum advantage?
Understand Your Industry and the Particular Position You Are Applying For
It helps if you have a prior understanding of the industry you are in, the competition rates, job positions available at a particular time and the frequency of these vacancies being available. Some industries will always have vacancies available since they cut across the job market. Industries like customer service, finance and administration always have the highest number of vacancies at a given time. While industries like engineering mostly have the least number of vacancy listings.
Being aware of your industry dynamics helps you understand what is needed in an application, how best to structure your CV and what information is priority in an application.
Optimize Your CV and Cover Letter
This job-application tip never grows old. When a recruiter or an employer is looking through a CV, their keen, experienced eyes skim through to see if that particular applicant has the requirements highlighted in the profile of their ideal candidate. This means that you have to edit your CV every time you send a new application. Forwarding CVs from previous applications greatly reduces your chances of getting called for an interview.
Ensure that you have highlighted the qualifications listed in the profile on your CV. The key competencies and skills should also be reflected in your CV and cover letter. Look at the expected duties and if you are familiar with some or most of them, ensure that you also state this in your cover letter.
Also, it is advisable to update your CV in a job site on a regular basis. First is to ensure that you capture every milestone in your career. Secondly, most employers and recruiters look at the most recently updated CVs when selecting and shortlisting candidates for a certain position.
Searching For Jobs Using Job Sites
Despite the fact that job sites provide long lists of available job opportunities, narrowing your search to jobs that appeal to you makes you job-search effort more productive. You can start by narrowing your search geographically. If chances of you moving out of Nairobi are slim, it’s no use receiving alerts on job vacancies all over the country.
When you find jobs that appeal to you, learn to read beyond the job description. Conduct research on the company advertising (if its name is revealed) and learn more about it. You may discover the company culture, mission or values appeal to you, even when the job title sounds boring. This means that you need flexibility when searching for jobs on job sites.
It is advisable to use titles relevant to your area of expertise when looking for a job. Apart from just keying in a title on the search panel e.g Accounts Assistant, you can also type skills and get results of jobs that require the kind of skills you possess. See if these jobs match your idea of an ideal job, then send your applications.
Applying for Jobs on Job Sites
It is usually very tempting to blindly send application to every ad you see in the hope that you may get lucky with one. Resist this temptation and only send applications to jobs you qualify for and you are interested in. Sending fewer applications ensures that you concentrate on fewer tasks, and hence you are likely to put together better application packs.
Reading and understanding application instructions is key. This is usually the first test that employers or recruiters assess applicants by. If an employer asked for a CV only, do not attach any other document. If they asked that you paste the title of the job advert on the email subject, do precisely that.
Job Sites Are Excellent Research Tools
You can learn a lot from job sites. Most of them, like Brightermonday offer career tips in various spheres of employment. This can assist you navigate through various stages of your career and help you make more informed decisions.
You can also gather information on various industries, the job market and different companies that you didn’t know previously.
Apart from that, you can use data in job sites to help you prepare for interviews. For instance, you can find out what to expect in terms of remuneration in a certain position by looking through job sites and see the expectations laid out by other companies on the same position. This way, you can formulate an appropriate range to give during an interview.
With the knowledge of how competitive the job market is in Kenya, you definitely cannot rely on sending applications on a daily basis to get the job of your dreams. Professional connections are crucial in your career growth. If you are a beginner, create online professional profiles and grow your connections. Seek professionals in your industry of interest and stalk (in a good way) websites of companies you dream to work for.
For those who wish to grow, expand your connections and gain important information from them. These connections will share information on who is hiring, training, expanding or downsizing. Such information is valuable to you as a career individual.
Read wide and be knowledgeable on market trends in your particular industry. An updated candidate always awes an interview panel and has better chances of getting the job.