In a job market where 1800 people recently chased 25 jobs there’s a need to make your application stand out from the rest. It’s not just younger people leaving school and university but also people with a good employment record whose jobs no longer exist and who need to look for something more.

Denise Taylor, Chartered Psychologist with Amazing People and author of ‘How to Get a Job in a Recession’  has found her client base has increased dramatically with people who had never been unemployed before and are now struggling to get a new job.

People such as Kim, who had worked in conveyancing but with the downturn in the housing market her firm of solicitors went down the redundancy route and she was out of a job.  Also Andrew who had worked in retail, but the company went bust and he too was out of a job.

Denise advises that when there are few jobs in your industry you need to look for something new. Reviewing your work experience, considering your skills, strengths, interests and longer term goals can lead to potential new career paths but what happens when you don’t have specific work experience?

‘An increasing number of people are seeing the benefits of work experience for being successful in job hunting. From young people who are looking for their first job to experienced people like Kim and Andrew seeking out some unpaid work experience can help you get the paid work you seek. When I first discuss this with people they don’t usually relish working for free, but when we look at the longer term benefits they can see how it can help. Dean was working in a pub at night but really wanted an admin job – after applying for over 80 jobs he needed to do something different as his CV was weak on admin experience. Working as a volunteer at a local charity shop, working on their database of books for selling online gave him some proper work experience to put on his CV, he is now being shortlisted so shouldn’t be too long till he gets the role he wants.’

‘It’s also working for people who want a career change. Chris wanted to move into green energy from teaching – quite a change! Getting a qualification was not as important as actual experience so she found out potential employers and asked to go and see them for fact-finding interviews. She’d done her research and could see how her teaching skills could help on the educational outreach. After meeting up she put forward a proposal of how she could help the company and that she’d be willing to work a couple of days a week for 2-3 months to implement the plan. She also wanted to be able to shadow people in different departments and this was agreed. She may be offered a paid job by them at the end of this but even if not it’s going to look great on her CV’.

‘If you are open to any work – you’ve got to get a job to pay the bills, then don’t turn up your nose at entry level low paid jobs. Some people feel they are ‘too good’ for this sort of job but if you work hard and show some initiative it can lead on to other things, many of the fast food managers started out by flipping burgers.’

5 top tips for being hired

  1. Talk to people – get out there and let as many people as you can know what you are looking for and why you will be great at a job, talk with people who are doing the job to learn more about what’s involved and to build contacts.
  2. Go beyond a great CV, have a blog/personal web site to demonstrate how great you are with examples of work, testimonials and anything else that might be relevant.  The examples can be from voluntary work and university projects not just paid employment.
  3. Gain any work experience if your CV is looking a bit empty – either from volunteering or taking an entry level job. Working in a fast food restaurant can give you lots of transferable skills – team working, dealing with awkward customers etc.
  4. Be clear why you want the job you are applying for.  Read up as much as you can on what the job involves and look for examples from hobbies, voluntary experience and holiday jobs and include these in your CV and letter.
  5. Research the company – find out as much as you can about the company, the industry, any potential challenges, it helps you stand out as your application can be targeted at the company and not appear like a generalised application.

And this is an extra one!

  1. Get feedback on your CV, application form, do a practice interview and get some honest feedback on how you can improve.

Brought to you by: Denise Taylor, award winning career coach and author of ‘How to get a job in a recession’ and ‘Now you’ve been shortlisted’. Not sure what you want to do? Sign up for the complimentary copy of 10 Steps to a Job you Love from

Published On: September 13th, 2013 / Categories: Job Search / Tags: , , , , /

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