The job application process: Superficial and Superfluous?
The prospect of a career change is always a challenge for many and for some a fright to make a move. In the mist of family life, the end of the month financials and job satisfaction lays a road often explored by those who are young and less taken by those who find themselves in a rat race and don’t know how to get out.
Whether it is the comfort of life or its adventure, many of the professional careers are buzzing with jobs for those who have technical skills or are able to deploy and develop a new set of skills and acquire new knowledge. Competition is fierce and often the ability to put to paper ones knowledge and experience is the first and only way to present who we are and what we are capable of doing.
The job is not easy! Persistence and preparation is key to not losing the nerve of sending many job applications and not hearing back or getting back feedback that is as useful as “ten thousands spoons when all you need is a knife”. – Sorry but we had a very strong pool of candidates. – We recognise you were a very strong candidate. – Unfortunately on this occasion we have decided not pursue your application.
Many of us have either heard or read these pointless and less fundamental critical sentences without a drop of specific feedback that may contribute to a better understanding of a process that usually hides its hand. – Have employers fully read and appreciated the detail of your application, completing due process?, or on the other hand, - Has their judgment been superficial and on the basis of a book cover? – Well, if the first, then readily available feedback should be provided at no extra time involved than that of thoroughly considering a candidate.
But let’s content ourselves, in the UK many employers present us with a person and a job description and their vacancy application process is time bound. In other markets vacancies are kept open until filled, candidates never get a reply nor a hint of yes or no.
Candidates often gamble and try all tricks under their hats to try and secure a positive reply. From sending CVs with letters of introduction to unadvertised vacancies, the so called open application, to making phone calls asking if there is anything available to proposing to work voluntarily to enable a potential employer to get to know them, all is possible, within limits – of course, in this quest to either move to a better career or to land the first rung of the job ladder.
For many the art of writing and their self-confidence is what holds them back. However freely available support can often be found in social networks and internet resources.
Such resources can be ever so useful in presenting written statements for a job application and in preparing for interviews but to make full use of them one has to be determined to succeed and not be held back by the first or subsequent no! An increasing organisation and training industry and social responsibility from educational providers is more than ever geared up to support students through their employability.
But what if you have left education a long time ago? Perhaps you never considered enrolling yourself into Continuous Professional Development programmes. These are often a good indication to the employer that you are serious about developing yourself and very useful to distinguish candidates from the traditional university qualifications.
After all if the conduct of the employers is superficial and superfluous you have better add something to your CV and application statement that catches their eye!
Eur. Ing. João Ponciano