Unemployed hits 2.47m yet job seekers lack know-how to ‘sell’ themselves to employers

Yesterday’s figures reveal that the jobless total in the UK has now reached 2.57m – some 88,000 more than last month. Yet many employers report the lack of understanding and application needed to secure a new job among job seekers. Why is that?

With the number of applications grossly outnumbering the number of available jobs, candidates need to pull out all the stops and positions themselves as the employee of choice. Take the Wookey Hole Witch as an example. Back in the summer some 3,124 people applied for the £50k per annum job of Witch of Wookey Hole. But, how did the recruiters determine who was the right person for the job?

OK, admittedly this is an extreme example. However, competition for vacancies is fierce and job seekers must work hard to stand out from the crowd and make an employer see what they will get for their investment if they take a person on. Graduates are also finding it difficult, with just 1 job per 47 applicants. 

Although the odds may be stacked against them, job seekers can drastically reduce these odds by focusing on what really makes them different to everyone else applying for the same job. But first, they need to get the basics right.

I work with a number of recruitment consultancies and they tell me of their horror at how some candidates portray themsleves: poorly prepared CV’s, failure to address the key requirements for the job at hand, lack of experience, listing skills that do little to impress an employer because they have failed to demonstrate how they have used these skills to the benefit of their employer…the list goes on.

Perhaps we need to re-educate job seekers on why a CV is so so important and how getting it right at this stage can mean the difference between getting the job you want, or being left on the shelf.

About yourcareermatters
CareerMatters was founded as part of MacKenzie-Cummins Communications in 2006 by Paul MacKenzie-Cummins MICG (Member Institute of Careers Guidance), regarded as one of the UK's leading career's advice and guidance writers and specialist PR consultant for the UK recruitment industry. Since 2006 Paul has been the leading advice writer for Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com - the two biggest careers website in the world -tackling all aspects of workplace and management issues, job seeking, career change and hiring trends. In 2006, 2007 and 2008 his writing contributed to Monster winning the Best Employment Advice on the Internet Award for an unprecedented three times beating the likes of The Guardian, Learn Direct and Personnel Today on each occasion. And his work was a runner-up for the same award in 2009. In 2009 Paul was a nominee in the prestigious HR Journalist of the Year Award and Recruitment, Retention & Motivation Journalist of the Year Award. Paul has been commissioned to write more than 500 careers advice and guidance articles for a number of lpublications, from regional and national newspapers to industry publications and various career-specific websites in the UK and USA. Recently, Paul was the Technical Editor for career psychologist Dr Rob Yeung's Job Hunting & Career Change for Dummies (John Wiley & Son, 2007). Dr Yeung is better known as the TV psychologist for Channel 4's Big Brother and the BBC's Who Would Hire You? series. Clients include: Monster.com CareerBuilder.com MSN Careers (Europe) TheLadders TotalJobs SalesTarget.co.uk IntaPeople Recruitment Lifetracks/YouthNET MediaSalesJobs The Press Gazette

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