COVID Sucks – But You Don’t

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How Diamonds and Automation will get you a job during COVID

Are you sending dozens of job applications and getting rejection after rejection? Or worst still, are you getting nothing back at all? Let’s fix it…

There are two things to think about:

First – You’re not standing out from the crowd

Most people are busy, especially during COVID, and if they have 20 things to do and only time for 10 of them, they’re going to have to prioritise.

This applies to Hiring Managers, HR Business Partners, Recruiters and Talent Acquisition Specialists.

So how do you get them to prioritise you? Well, you’ll need to stand out (I said that), but what does that even mean?

If you see a job add that you’re interested in, what do you do?

You adjust your CV and cover letter then send it in via an online portal right?

Well, unfortunately that’s what everyone else does, so your Advanced Diploma of Leadership isn’t going to help you stand out.

And if you’re not standing out from the crowd (despite your sweet Advanced Diploma of Leadership), your application/cover letter/email isn’t getting read and you’re not getting the job.

A few years ago I was trying to hire a senior electrician with high-reliability infrastructure experience who needed to have a security clearance and work in a safety critical environment – The perfect job for a veteran sparkie.

So when I built the job add I put in the standard stuff:

  • Advanced Diploma of Electrotechnology
  • 6 years experience working in a safety critical environment
  • 4 years experience in a high-reliability environment
  • Ability to get an aviation security clearance
  • Ability to manage and prioritise a range of tasks
  • etc
  • etc

Two weeks later the HR team sent me a shortlist of 5 candidates (unfortunately no veterans, but no worries, civilians are real people too), so I picked the three most competitive and organised the interviews.

A few hours before the first interview I got a call from a random number. There was a young guy on the end of the phone who, although sounding a bit nervous, began to explain that he had been sent an email from the HR team telling him that, “Unfortunately at this time we’ve decided to proceed with another candidate etc etc” and that if I had time, he’d like to get some feedback on why he wasn’t competitive.

We had a quick chat and it was pretty clear that this guy didn’t have the infrastructure experience that I needed for the role. What he did have was a friendly and professional nature, a willingness to learn and most importantly, the drive to pick up the bloody phone.

After a brief chat, I had to tell him that unfortunately he wasn’t competitive for this role because of the specific requirements, but if something came up in the future I’d give him a call.

Now I wasn’t saying that to get him off the phone, he did seem like a nice guy that’d work well in the team, but I didn’t have a position to put him in so we left it at that and I didn’t think I’d ever speak to this guy again. But despite that he stood out!

2 weeks later I got called into the National Manager’s office and was told that our team would be working on a major electrical project, meaning I had a green light for extra headcount.

Have a guess who I called in for an interview the next day…?

Moral of the story, you’re in the flight if you stand out. You may not get the first or second job, but if you stand out you’re in with a shot. 

This guy didn’t even make the list of candidates from HR, but because he stood out he ended up getting a job ahead of other people who, on paper, might be more competitive.

The reason I didn’t call them…? They didn’t stand out.

Second – Make yourself a valuable commodity

Ever heard of supply and demand in economics?

It’s a basic rule that says that if something is in short supply relative to demand it’s valuable. Also, if something’s readily available and has relatively low demand, it’s not particularly valuable.

Let’s use the example of diamonds.

If you’ve ever been in the market for a diamond ring, you’ve likely discovered that diamonds aren’t as rare as people think, but because a few companies control the number of diamonds that are released into the market, the supply is always less than the demand, and this drives their value up.

Long story short, in the current job market, especially during COVID, you need to become a diamond… In demand!

Now don’t rush off to go and get regulated by a bunch of diamond companies – Be in demand by doing other things…

Learn a skill that companies need.

Find out which industries are growing.

Target roles that HR teams can’t fill.

Industries like Automation, Analytics, IT security, Healthcare, Energy and Construction are all booming and because many of them provide a service that meets a basic human or business need, they’re not going anywhere. Just like your job if you stay in demand.

In the last few months since COVID’s been giving us all the shits, some industries have been booming. Coles and Woolworths are seeing record sales, Zoom’s stock price is through the roof and medical manufacturing companies are busier than they’ve ever been. This is because they’re all in demand so their value has gone up.

If you learn a skill that companies need, you can be the Woolworths of COVID… IN DEMAND!

If you get yourself into a position where you’re in demand, your value will increase and you’ll find the job search a whole lot easier.

Hot tip – The RPA Course is a good place to start…

In short:

  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Get on the phone to the hiring manager
  • Find out what’s in demand
  • Make yourself a valuable commodity
  • Learn a skill that companies want
  • Do the WYWM RPA Course

Help out a mate

Help a friend kickstart their career through thought leading digital career content. Everything from Data Analytics through to Cyber Security. 

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