HOW to beat bad luck in the job market

Posted January 14, 2014 by
Young female student looking in newspaper for a job

Young female student looking in newspaper for a job. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

Sometimes sending a job application can seem similar to the spinning of a roulette wheel – really, all you can do is hope that the ball lands on your number and that you’re not pot out of luck come the end of the night.

And, if a big fat rejection pops up in your inbox, you’ll find yourself wondering if the gamble is even worth making.

In reality, not everything in the job market is a gamble – there are a number of ways that you can strive from a bottom-rung player to a high roller who’s matching the house at their own game.

Here are just a few tips to make that job search less of a gamble and more of an even playing field.

Perfect that ideal covering letter

A covering letter isn’t simply a list of your achievements and accolades, but a little window into your life that will give employers some knowledge of your personality.

While your CV might give an employer a list of impressive grades and work experience, it doesn’t show them the whole picture. It’s like trying to imagine driving a car after you’ve only ever read its specifications – you might have the basic knowledge, but you don’t truly have a feel for it.

With a sparkling covering letter brimming with personality you’re giving an employee the chance to see the real you – or, at the very least, the real you that you want them to see.

Try to keep that letter short and to the point, covering no more than a page at most to ensure that employers will actually read it. Add in some knowledge and facts about the company you’re applying for and you’ll find that your chances of getting a job will increase exponentially.

And, while you’re at it, always develop that covering letter by gaining new skills. Try out for distance learning degrees or take on night classes to make yourself seem proactive and ready to learn at every opportunity.

The ideal covering letter is in a constant state of flux, improving with every redraft and new skill you attain, so keep getting better skills and your letter will enhance along with you.

Research your potential employers

The interviewee who knows about a company is the interviewee who can impress a company. The same question is almost guaranteed to come up in every interview – “So, what do you know about our business?”

If you don’t have a decent answer, you’ll find yourself losing out on a job with that one simple question haunting you for weeks.

That’s why your best bet is to research every angle and priority of a business, working your answers for every interview question around the needs of the company and, in turn, making yourself look like the best candidate for the job.

Network your way into a company

The real way to get an employer to take notice of you is to make some contacts within the company you’re applying for. If you can have a friend or associate whisper into their boss’s ear about what a great prospect you are, then half the battle is already won.

But, how do you go about making contacts to gain that ideal position?

The fantastic thing about the modern age is that if you need to speak to people, then social networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are gems for making contacts and glad-handing important people.

That doesn’t mean that the older methods of a phone call or a face-to-face meeting should be avoided, but the advent of the internet has led to a globalisation that makes contacting people that little bit easier.

If you can make your profile seem like an appealing one and have the right chat for the right people, you’ll find it much easier to pop up on a company’s radar.

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