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Web Exclusive: Getting a job during the slowdown

Web Exclusive: Getting a job during the slowdown
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First Published: Fri, Apr 24 2009. 11 36 AM IST

Updated: Fri, Apr 24 2009. 11 36 AM IST
Last month I was in the corporate office of a large MNC for a meeting with one our prospective clients. One of my old buddies AB works in the same office. I decided to call him to see if we could meet up while I was in their office.
AB: Hey Tarun!
TM: Hey... What’s up? I am in your office in Noida. Let’s catch up, if you are not too busy right now.
AB: I don’t work there anymore.
TM: Oh...Ok…. Did you switch jobs? Where are you these days?
AB: I am looking for a job these days. I got laid off 4 month back.
TM: 4 months is a long time. Do you have any offers at hand?
AB: Nothing so far. The job market is really bad these days.
TM: You should have told me earlier. We had a position open in our office. We filled it last month. You would have been a much better fit for that job
AB: hmm…
I’ve known AB for years. He graduated from top schools (IIT-IIM), worked with a large MNC for around 7 years and often, over performed most of his peers. Any organisation would be fortunate to have people like him on their payrolls. He doesn’t deserve to be jobless for four months.
Campus placements are a reasonably efficient process. Everybody in the batch has equal information about companies visiting the campus. More often than not, they have a transparent compensation package for everyone. Every student gets an equal opportunity to try and get a dream job.
Unfortunately, life isn’t fair outside the business school campuses. According to some estimates over 60% of the jobs are never advertised and are only available through network. People with better networking skills have better chances of landing a good job and/or getting higher salaries. It’s like making a sale or being an entrepreneur.
Here are some of the things one must do to increase their chances of getting a better job.
Create a high impact resume – Most people never give enough importance to writing their resume. The quality of resume determines the number interview calls, offers and salary you get at the end of the process. Stronger resume leads to more interview calls and higher chances of getting a good job.
In today’s job market, recruiters get hundreds of resume for every position that is advertised. The only way to stand out is to have a high impact resume that highlights your strengths, skill-sets and background.
Tell everyone that you are looking for a job – There is no shame in losing a job. It is not a reflection on your capabilities or potential. More people lose jobs because of corporate restructuring than their individual reasons like incompetence, integrity issues, etc.
Most jobs are never advertised on portals. They are only known to a section of employees. There would be tens of opportunities in companies where your friends work. In addition, hiring managers tend to hire candidates who come with a personal recommendation from somebody in their teams.
Go out and send a copy of your resume to everyone you know – batch mates, colleagues from previous jobs, friends, family, everyone.
Apply, Apply, Apply – Getting a job is like closing a sale. It is a numbers game. The more you prospect, the higher your chances of closing a sale. Similarly, the more you apply, more interviews you attend, higher the chances of getting a job
Identify top portals in your job category. Sometimes niche portals like iimjobs.com, vasjobs.com, sutrajobs.com, etc could be more effective than the big job sites
Create a personal brand – A vast majority of hiring managers try to get more information about the candidates from the web – google search, Linkedin, etc. Use that to your advantage. Make sure you have a Linkedin profile that highlights your strengths and background. Ask friends, colleagues, managers to write recommendations for you on Linkedin.
Launch a personal blog around the industry/sector of choice. Project yourself as a thought leader in your space. It helps grow your network and can open up a plethora of opportunities for you.
Relax – Don’t worry too much. You’ll not stay jobless for very long. Take it as a god sent opportunity to do things that you could never take out time to do earlier. Start a hobby; spend more time with family; catch-up on your reading, etc
The list isn’t exhaustive. These are things that have worked for me in the past. If there is anything you’d like to add, please comment.
Tarun Matta is the founder of iimjobs.com – an exclusive job portal for MBAs from IIMs and other premier business schools in India.
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First Published: Fri, Apr 24 2009. 11 36 AM IST
More Topics: Jobs | slowdown | networking | contacts | resume |