Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Darwinism in Job Hunting

In current down turn of job market the employers can enjoy the luxury to find the right candidates with nearly 100% FIT of a given profile. And a lot of people apply for jobs which do not FIT well to their profiles with the hope that if they send CVs to a large enough number of companies, some one might consider them. This is the wrong strategy.

What is the right strategy? First you need to define your own species. You need to make yourself clear enough what exactly you are good at. Are you an elephant with a long nose or a hippo with a big mouth. If you do not know, then do not apply for any jobs. We say do not compete, if you do not have competitive advantages.

The next step is to find job offerings which exactly require those unique strengths. Apply for jobs only where you will land on the short list, meaning you are one of the top three candidates. How can you land on the short list? I have a couple of head hunting friends they all told me that the key word for head hunting is FIT.

The same applies for you as job hunter. Study the job description very carefully and try to understand each and every sentence. Your job is to rewrite your CV such that exactly FIT to the job description. Certainly you should not lie. However, you can emphasize your experiences which is relevant to the job and leave things out which is irrelevant. Since you only apply for jobs you can be short-listed you have more time to prepare your CVs. So take time.

If you are invited for an interview, the firs step is done. Now the focus is to prepare a list of potential questions your interviewers would ask. Put your feet into the shoes of your interviewers. Then think exactly how you would answer those questions. Some times I prepared 100 potential questions and answers. Usually only 10% of those questions were asked.

Experienced interviewers always ask some follow up questions such as

- How did you do that exactly?
- Can you please tell me an example?
- Tell me about the person you were dealing with?

If you hesitate, they might think you did not tell the truths. Be prepared for follow up questions. Here again, since you only focus on few job application, you have time to prepare. Take the time.

Job hunting is a not a battle, it is a war. You enter into a war only, if you see a great chance to win, because if you lose there you may die. It is about the survival in a tough job market. The evolutionist Charles Darwin said: "In the struggle for survival, the FITtest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment."

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