Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers
According to the most recent report on changes to unemployment in the UK there had been a reduction of 51,000 to 2.61 million unemployed in the first quarter of the year.
The ONS, which produces these figures, also revealed that in the most recent month for which statistics were available the increase was fairly evenly spread between part-time and full-time workers although on closer examination the figures revealed that the majority of those who had returned to employment were men and female unemployment fell by only 1,000.
Once the monthly unemployment figures are released a collection of advice and guidance on how to approach the job search, how to succeed in getting an interview, how to prepare for interview, what to say and what not to say invariably appears in the media.
One careers coach emphasises that preparation is the key whether a candidate is seeking a PA role, an EA role or a professional and senior management role and crucial to that, she said, is to research the companies the candidates are applying to.
Another adviser, a public speaker, advised candidates to breathe deeply and listen closely to questions at interview while a third emphasises the importance of dressing correctly to create the right impression.
Although it has to be said that all this advice is both correct and helpful it can all add to the stress a job seeker or candidate is under when the search for an initial position after graduation, or for a job when unemployed or even for the next step on the career ladder is likely to be an extended one.
The impact of the inevitable rejections or, worse, absolutely no response to applications can be demoralising, can be a blow to the self confidence and lead to depression and to a candidate questioning their self worth and abilities.
However, there is also such a thing as being too perfect as this anecdote reveals.
A corporate organisation had completed the recruitment process for a vacancy and by the end one particular candidate had been identified. Their qualifications, CV and interview had fulfilled all the company's requirements but they were not offered the job.
When asked why the recruiter said that despite the candidate's near-perfect performance there were still questions, not that they doubted the truth of the information that had been given or the quality of the person involved.
Their question was how this person would deal with any problem or setback that might come up.
No business runs smoothly all the time and to this company it was plainly important that the person who eventually got the position was able to deal with challenges, disappointments or problems that might arise.
Hopefully this provides some comfort to candidates but also some more advice. It would be helpful to come prepared at interview or to include in the CV a short description of a situation that had posed a challenge and to be able to demonstrate a positive and constructive way in which they had risen to the challenge or handled the disappointment.
Although candidates and job seekers should follow the advice on proper preparation it is perhaps of some comfort to know that employers do not always appoint the most perfect candidate for a vacancy. By Ali Withers. http://www.rmsrecruitment.com
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