Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Try Applying Lateral Thinking to the Search for a Job

Copyright (c) 2012 Alison Withers

The most recent statistics on the UK's labour market showed that unemployment had continued to defy gravity by falling further in the three months to June 2012 although some analysts have argued that this may be a short term consequence of the additional jobs created by the 2012 London Olympics.

There have also been questions as to how this continued reduction in unemployment could happen when the economy has gone back into recession.

Part of the answer may lie in the record numbers of people who have taken part time work, whether they wished to or not, and part may eventually be explained by the expectation that the economic data will be revised upwards as it generally is following the first publication of quarterly statistics on growth and GDP.

Although hopefully new jobs continue to become available as a new crop of school leavers and graduates embarks on the search for work the competition is likely to remain intense.

It is estimated that up to 80% of all vacancies are not formally advertised either because of the high costs or because employers have already received so many speculative CVs that they have no need to advertise.

There is a considerable amount of good advice and guidance for job seekers on preparing a CV to personal presentation and preparation for interviews. Most candidates will know, however, that they can increase their chances of finding a suitable role by thinking laterally and creatively.

There are some reasonably well-known examples of successful attempts at creative job searching.

One example was of good advice and guidance for job seekers on preparing a CV to personal presentation and preparation for interviews. The aspiring journalist analysed the content of the regional paper he was targeting, compared it with other local papers and did a small local sample survey of readers, then produced a report with suggestions for improvement and a sample article to illustrate this. The initiative won him an interview and an offer the next time the paper had a vacancy.

A second example concerns a candidate who wanted to work in the financial sector and then went to the car parks of those companies that were of interest, where he taped his CV to the windscreens of the luxury cars there. This demonstration of initiative won the candidate several interviews.

This second technique might also work for someone looking for a position as an executive PA or EA in a corporate environment, particularly because working in these roles for a senior executive often requires an ability to use one's initiative.

London 2012 successfully demonstrated considerable quirkiness and initiative in the UK and the aftermath could be a good time to capitalise on the new-found sense of confidence and open-mindedness that has been generated by demonstrating some imagination in pursuit of a position.

Candidates can take advantage of the new, positive post London 2012 mood and the openness to innovation by applying some creativity and lateral thinking to the job search. By Ali Withers.

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