Experiencing Burn Out From Job Hunting? 2 Simple Questions To Ask Yourself.

Experiencing Burn Out From Job Hunting? 2 Simple Questions To Ask Yourself.

Have you been applying for jobs for what seems like a never-ending period of time and not getting any luck? Feeling fatigued from submitting countless applications that don’t seem to be progressing? You’re probably going through job-hunting fatigue. If you’re feeling like this, below are two simple questions you should ask yourself that might help re-energize you and steer your job hunting journey in a positive direction. 

1What is the problem? – Simple, right? Sure, the job market is narrow, so there are not enough opportunities, but also; could it be that you’re applying for jobs that don’t excite you? Is it because you’re not getting feedback from the applications you have submitted and are therefore starting to question your skills and abilities? Is it the process of constantly customizing your CV and application that is making you feel burned out? The sooner you can identify the root cause of the problem, the earlier you can find ways to solve it and hopefully strategize on the job hunting approach you’re using. For instance, have you consulted your friend who works in HR to find out if your CV is appealing to potential employers? Are you *actually* being intentional applying for these jobs or are you applying for every job you come across? Or, are you leaving application questions blank because you’re hoping the recruiter will overlook that? Being honest with ourselves about how we are approaching job hunting can help us reassess our habits and approaches and help turn things around. 

2. Are your job hunting goals realistic? – What are the goals you have set for yourself, and are they realistic? It’s easy to say, “I plan on being employed in three months” but what are the surrounding factors that influence that goal becoming a reality. What is the job market in your industry like? What is the current socio-political climate? And what about the economy? Right now, for instance, we’re facing a global pandemic that has rendered many people unemployed and further narrowed down the job market, what then does this mean for the goals we set for ourselves when we’re job hunting? When you set goals that are unrealistic, you set yourself up for failure, which means, it’s easy to get fatigued early on and blame yourself for not getting a job when *you* want, instead of considering how external factors influence your job hunting process. This is why it’s important to conduct due diligence; understand the current state of your industry, the kind of opportunities being advertised and at what level, and also, exploring what learning opportunities are available so that you can upskill and increase your chances of being successful. 

Find the above questions useful? What else did you discover was holding you back in job hunting before you finally succeeded at landing that job? Share with us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke, where you can also reach out to us for your career transitioning queries and needs. Here are 6 ways you can manage burn out during a long job search. Follow us on LinkedIn for similar content & to see new job opportunities we hire for.   

These 3 reference mistakes may be costing you a job offer letter!

These 3 reference mistakes may be costing you a job offer letter!

Ever gone through an entire selection process and made it to the reference check stage only to find out that you won’t be getting the offer letter? It can be quite heartbreaking, especially after you’ve put in a lot of effort and energy into the selection process trying to “sell” yourself. Ever then take time to reflect on whether you might have messed up in the last stages, AKA, the reference check stage? We highlight three mistakes you should avoid that may have cost you that offer letter.

1. Not informing your referee in advance – Simply, referees are meant to vouch for you. They are meant to provide your potential future employer with information about your past contributions, successes, and give an idea of whether or not you would be a good fit for the role you’re being assessed for. Failing to inform your referees early in advance that they will be approached by a certain organization about a role you applied for could lead to a bad reference check or even worse, no reference check at all. Unless you’re constantly in communication with your past supervisor(s), it’s possible that they may forget you, especially if you worked with them a long time ago or are relatively new in your career journey and were maybe one of the many interns they’ve managed over the years. Always make sure the referees you have provided are informed about your anticipated career moves and the roles you are applying for so they are prepared with relevant information for recruiters and hiring managers who may approach them.

2. Providing an irrelevant referee – Your parents/guardians, religious leader, your teacher from high school….you get where I’m going, are unfortunately not suited to be your professional referees, especially after a couple of years working. Sure, they may have nice things to say about who you are as a person, but your potential employer is looking to learn more about your skills, achievements, how you relate and collaborate with others in a work setting, etc. Unless otherwise asked, the best approach is to provide someone that you reported to directly because they have a good understanding of how you approach your work, how you receive and work on feedback, whether or not you’re a fast learner, etc.

3. Being dishonest – Here, being dishonest not only includes providing the wrong referee, such as, say, your friend, but also, colluding with said person to do the reference yourself! Where this is the case, it shows a lack of integrity on your part and calls to question how confident you are about your past experiences, contributions, and successes. Did you burn bridges? Were you not a good performer? Did you lie about your past achievements? These are some of the questions that come up when the hiring team discovers that the reference check is dishonest. It’s critical to always remember that your potential employer will be able to see the quality of work you produce and gauge it for themselves once you join the organization, therefore, providing references that are dishonest will most likely backfire because they may not match up to what you do once hired.

Job Hunting? Learn How To Align The Job Description To Your Profile

Job Hunting? Learn How To Align The Job Description To Your Profile

When hiring, many organizations take time creating job descriptions internally or through a recruiter. It is not just for the sake of it. This process helps them get the ideal profile they are looking for clear. The JD also acts as their guiding document during screening and making hiring decisions. Their ideal candidate could be you. However, many times, professionals fail to internalize the nitty-gritty of the job description and thus end up positioning themselves in a less compelling manner.

Which is why we advocate for job seekers to take the time needed to decipher said job descriptions to determine how their experiences and skills align with what the employer is looking for, prior to submitting their applications. We outline three things you should ALWAYS pay attention to when interpreting job descriptions. Get this right, and you might increase your chances of scoring yourself a job!

1. Match responsibilities with your skills & experiences – Don’t just go off by the title of the position; different titles mean different things in different industries. Avoid mere skimming through the document or posting and assuming it is similar to what you already know. Ask yourself –From the responsibilities shared; what can you do with your eyes half-closed?  Which areas may you need more support in if hired? Use this information to review your CV and see how laid out responsibilities measure up to your past and/or present role. Ideally, you should be able to carry out at least 70% of the responsibilities. Whereas certain organizations are willing to hire people less qualified and invest in their development, they’ll usually have this stated in the job description. Now, if you find yourself having more questions than answers about your understanding of the role’s responsibilities that may either indicate you are unfamiliar with the role or that the language is not clear for you. Should it be the latter, then it’s worth trying to reach out to the respective organization to understand the role a little bit further. Finally, always have a lookout for job descriptions that are fake! Here’s a guiding article on how.

2. Align the requirements with your qualifications – Organizations often list the qualifications as a must-have and preferred. For instance, if they require expertise in a certain skill or specialized qualifications such as a particular degree or certification or language, they will have that listed. ALWAYS pay attention to keywords when reading the qualifications – you should use this information to customize your CV and cover letter to clearly and precisely show how you are aligned to the role. Keep in mind that your application also goes through the Applicant Tracking System, which filters out certain keywords before a recruiter/hiring manager looks at your application. Learn more about customizing your application to beat the ATS here.

3. Gather information about the organization – Most job descriptions provide background information about the organization. This should be your starting point to conduct more research about the organization prior to any application.  Go to their website, their social media pages, see if there are any articles or YouTube videos about the organization that can help you see what kind of place it is to work in, the kind of culture they have, their vision and goals, the values they hold, etc. You can also check out Glassdoor to see if they have reviews from past employees to see how they treat their staff. If an organization has not included an ”Äbout us” section on the job description, use other means of research as indicated above to learn more about them. Here’s an article we wrote about the importance of assessing an organization’s culture when job hunting.

For further reading; wondering why you always make the shortlist but don’t get hired? This may be why.

3 Common E-Mail Mistakes To Avoid When Reaching Out To A Recruiter

3 Common E-Mail Mistakes To Avoid When Reaching Out To A Recruiter

Technology has made our ability to connect to people much easier. Gone are the days where the main method of applying for jobs was sending hardcopy job applications through the post office and not know whether they were received or not. Today, within a significantly short amount of time, you can gain adequate information about an organization’s work, its whole management team and if lucky, who is leading the hiring process by simply conducting a few customized google searches.

Access to recruiters and company official emails and social media pages makes it pretty easy to reach out, inquire, and share our thoughts about open roles. When sending out these emails/messages, the question is;

How can we professionally and clearly articulate our thoughts in a way that builds a strong virtual rapport with the person who eventually receives our message?

We outline three mistakes we have seen many professionals/job-seekers make when reaching out to us, to help you avoid falling into these traps;

1. No subject line – Because of the influx of emails we receive daily, subject lines are useful because they have the capability to draw in one’s attention and increase the opening rate, especially if the request is already indicated. When your email lacks a subject line, it makes it very easy for the receiver not to notice it, and/or, it may fall through the cracks. Think of an email subject line like you would when making a presentation, you have to highlight what you’ll be talking about first, right?

2. Grammar and spelling mistakes – Recruiters and hiring managers are looking to hire or recommend candidates who show effort.  Proofreading your email not only shows you put in the effort to be intentional but also reveals the level of your attention to detail, a skill that is a prerequisite for many organizations. Needless to say, written communication is just as important when job hunting. If you’re able to, we encourage you to download Grammarly, an app that proofreads your emails before you click send.

3. Lack of a clear call for action – So you have a great subject line and an error-free email, and maybe attachments, but what happens if your call to action is vague or absent? For instance, just attaching your CV with a blank email (another common mistake) may suggest that you’re job hunting, but it may also mean that you’d like the organization to update you with new opportunities in the future. It’s very important to not leave room for assumptions as this may limit your chances of getting a response. Before sending out that email, ask yourself; what do I want the receiver to do for me after they read my email? Based on my message, what immediate action can they take, that will help me get a little closer to what I want to achieve?

Find email templates here that you can use, depending on need. Have you been a culprit of any of the above? Wondering what other mistakes you could be making? Check out our Career Happiness Center for similar content and career resources.

For any questions about your career, reach out to us at happycareers@edgeperformance.co.ke to learn more about our career coaching services.
Position yourself as a great candidate with these 4 tips!

Position yourself as a great candidate with these 4 tips!

In our career coaching work, we are often asked by our clients how they can effectively position themselves to get the jobs they desire. This is especially an important skill one should have when they are looking to transition into a different career/industry. It’s a skill that one gets to refine over and over as they grow in their careers. So if you feel like you are not there yet, worry not, with practice comes clarity and confidence! In this blog post, we will be highlighting four ways you can “sell” yourself in an interview without coming off as conceited.

1. Provide real-life examples – We’ve often seen candidates get hung up on using buzzwords that they (assumably) feel employers want to hear; that they are a great team player, they are adaptive, work well under minimal supervision, and so forth. These are great and necessary skills to have today, however without concrete examples, one is unable to justify your ability to demonstrate them in your work. Tell short stories (using STAR method) about how you’ve shown great leadership skills, how you have adapted in the past, how you have taken initiative, how you’ve solved problems, and so on.

2. From shyness to shining! Let your successes speak your worth – There has never been a better situation to toot your own horn than in a job interview. Yes, we know humility is something we all struggle to let go of. Will I come off as a show-off? Our thoughts? It’s not bragging if you did it! And how often do we forget our great moments? Learn how to get comfortable talking about yourself and your accomplishments. Of course, without being egotistical. This is an opportunity to set yourself apart from the competition. Make sure this is part of your preparation and that you choose the most relevant accomplishments that align with the key requirements of the role.

3. Be authentic – Each and every candidate is unique in their own way. You are unique in your own way. Make sure you’re using the interview to talk about your individual strengths. The special ways you add value in workplaces. The unique feedback you have received in the past. Share what you struggle with, and how you overcame different challenges in the past. Employers understand no one is perfect, don’t try to be, it’s often evident.

4. Engage! – The world of work has quickly shifted to collaboration and relationship building as key ingredients for innovation. Employers are looking for individuals who are curious about their vision and goals, who ask interesting questions, seek clarification, who can confidently start a conversation about industry trends and world issues. Your body language and questions are a key indicator of your ability to engage others. Where a non-formal conversation comes up in the interview, don’t be afraid to participate in the conversation. Interviews are also a way of showcasing your personality and true self, outside of work. This gives interviewers a glimpse into how you fit in into the culture of the organization as well, so as mentioned in the previous point, be authentic 🙂

Wondering why you’re always shortlisted but don’t get hired? This may be why. Read our blog to learn about the four mistakes you may be making in job interviews.

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Recruiter Secrets: 3 pet peeves recruiters & hiring managers have.

Recruiter Secrets: 3 pet peeves recruiters & hiring managers have.

We’ve often talked about what job seekers should do to avoid being disqualified from the selection process by recruiters or hiring managers, which certainly hints at today’s topic; what pet peeves do recruiters and hiring managers to have? Read below to find out.

1. Bad communication – This could vary from badly formatted CVs and cover letters, application responses that are not systematic, emails that are not clear and concise, answers during the interview that are not direct to the questions asked, questions after/during interviews that are not related to the job or organization a candidate applied for, delayed communication that causes a delay in the selection process, etc. All these are habits that feed into your overall assessment, and if they remain consistent throughout the selection process, you risk being disqualified.

2. Not labeling your documents – Imagine a scenario where you have all the qualifications for a position and a brilliant CV and other documents, but chose to not label them with your name, and as a consequence, they fall through the cracks of the applicant tracking systems. The truth is, recruiters are often piling through a tonne of CVs, applications, and other documents, and giving them the extra work of renaming your CV/documents to your name can be tiresome. Always ensure your documents are renamed to your names and their identity when sending out applications, eg; Caroline Mwangi CV, Caroline Mwangi – Program Manager Case Study Responses, etc.

3. Unpreparedness – There’s a lot of effort that recruiters put in to arrive at a list of candidates that would be suitable for advertised positions, and that can proceed to the next steps in the selection process. Therefore, candidates not being prepared for interviews, or having insufficient answers to application form questions, especially when the JD was detailed and there are resources available to learn more about the organization such as a website and social media platforms, in addition to having ample time to do so, can seem ill-intended and may land you on the disqualified list.

Want to avoid falling into the above traps and missing out on your dream job? Our job hunt hustle section is full of resources that will prevent you from doing any of the above. We’re rooting for you!