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Start a blog and land your next job!

Instead of spending ages designing and tailoring your CV to stand out in the pile, why not consider actually doing something that will make you different from all of the other job candidates? One of the best ways to show your passion for a particular industry and your knowledge of a specific area is to write a blog and believe it or not writing a blog may be just what you need to do to score your next job.

Start a blog and make your job application stand out for all the right reasons.

Start a blog and make your job application stand out for all the right reasons.

Not your average CV

Whilst pretty much every job seeker has a CV (or at least they should have) not everyone owns a blog. The great thing about writing and publishing blog posts is that it demonstrates the skills, knowledge and passion you claim to have on your CV. It shows that you are far more interested in the line of work than the other candidates and is sure to impress employers.

Improve your digital footprint

Today it is common for employers to vet potential employees by performing Google searches. If a prospective employer ‘Googles’ your name and finds your blog, they are going to be so much more impressed than if a drunken Facebook photo of you on your mate’s stag-do appears. Remember that everything you put online leaves a digital footprint and unless you make your social media pages private, they can be explored by employers and could do you a disservice.

Present yourself as an industry expert

One of the great things about writing a blog is that it shows you have in-depth knowledge of a particular subject. It will inform employers that you are up to date with the latest industry trends and news and know exactly what is going on. Writing an industry-relevant blog will help present you as an expert and show employers that you are much more valuable to them than the candidate next to you.

You’ll instantly become more interesting

If you think about how many CVs and job applications employers have to go through, you will understand why they get bored so quickly. By writing a blog and including the URL on your CV, you will instantly become more interesting to employers. Not only will it give them something else to look at, aside from yet another CV, but it will also give you something additional to talk about when you inevitably land an interview!

You’ll be surprised at how useful your blog is when it comes to answering interview questions and it will often be able to make up for a lack of experience elsewhere.

Employers have become increasingly interested in industry bloggers.

Employers have become increasingly interested in industry bloggers.

Setting up a blog

Setting up a blog could not be easier. There are plenty of free blogging platforms online, with two of the most popular being Blogger and WordPress. If you are just starting out and want to use your blog for job seeking purposes, you don’t necessarily need a fancy design or domain, just make sure your content is top notch!

Conclusion

With so many benefits, it’s a wonder that everyone hasn’t already jumped on the blogging bandwagon. If you are looking for a way to make yourself stand out from other candidates or simply want to show employers how passionate you are about the industry you work in; blogging is the way to do it.

If you have already got a blog and are ready to use it to land your next job role, be sure to check out YourJobList. Applying for jobs can be extremely time consuming, but having a dedicated tool to manage your job applications and assist your job hunt can make the process a whole lot easier.

 

Image credits: xioubin low & the tartanpodcast

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Job Search – Have you got the I.T. factor?

Latest figures show that the numbers of people employed in the UK are the highest since records began.  Forecasts, both short and long-term, show that the total is expected to remain on an upward curve, with the rate of unemployment quite stable at around 6%.  Freelancing and other forms of self-employment are also rising fast. So there is plenty of work out there, especially for people with the requisite skills, experience and qualifications.

Although some view this as unhealthy, London remains the powerhouse of the UK economy as evidenced by a recent report which found that the capital had ten times the number of job vacancies than other major UK cities. Job creation in London in recent years has been extremely positive, both in the public and private sectors and the expectation is that this will continue.  The situation nationally is patchier, with some regions seeing net job losses in both sectors. So London remains the place to be.

Hiring is currently buoyant within IT, in the Financial Services sector for example. One reason is the renewed confidence as the economic outlook is becoming more positive. An increase in data and software development projects has led to consistent demand for suitably qualified professionals. And of course, change is a constant feature of the IT industry; nothing stays the same for very long.

Job hunting can be hard work - use an online tool!

Job hunting can be hard work – use an online tool!

A CV is of course a vitally important tool for anyone applying for jobs, especially in IT. Effectively, it is your marketing brochure. It needs to be a comprehensive, sharp but concise and professional document.  Preparing a CV will also often help a candidate to identify gaps in their qualifications, gaps which they can set about filling.  Prospective employers will be impressed if they see you are adding to your qualifications.

Not surprisingly, given the nature of IT work, the most common method of job hunting in this sector is to use the internet, and in particular to apply for positions via online websites, such as YourJobList.com. This can be extremely useful in providing a one-stop solution to job searching and it also often contains helpful blogs dealing with numerous practical issues, for example how to handle gaps in your CV.

One important benefit to be found on YourJobList.com is that all the major recruitment agencies are listed in one convenient place and you can add more that are relevant to your circumstances. This is especially useful in the modern market as fewer and fewer companies advertise jobs directly.


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How To Get Noticed By Recruiters

Recruiters pride themselves on being able to find the best candidates. But what if they haven’t called ? Here’s how to get their attention.

Top-Secrets-to-Make-Recruiters-Find-You

Credit to the guys over at How to Write a CV for the original article.


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Being responsible, creative and motivated means you aren’t!

Your LinkedIn profile is not a beautiful or unique snowflake.

If you try to stand out from the crowd by describing yourself as “creative”, “motivated” or “responsible”, you’re actually making yourself look like you lack creativity and aren’t motivated enough to take responsibility for your career by penning a cliché-free LinkedIn Profile.

We make that assertion on the basis that LinkedIn’s annual list of buzzwords in its members’ profiles includes those three terms among the top eight words that members use to describe themselves.

First conducted two years ago, this year’s effort saw the seriously-social network comb through profiles penned by over 187 million members to find the most-used words. Entries in languages other than English were translated and the whole lot poured into a big data melting pot that spat out the following eight terms as the most-used:

  • Creative
  • Motivated
  • Multinational
  • Responsible
  • Experimental
  • Effective
  • Specialized
  • Analytical

LinkedIn argues that using those words in your profile makes you stand out from the crowd in the worst possible way – as someone who can’t articulate your values in anything other than words devalued by overuse, or lacking qualities that can be accurately described without resorting to blandishments.

There’s at least one piece of evidence out there to suggest employers already see through these words, as those of you who recall our story from early this year about a job ad for ‘mediocre developers’ may recall.

Check out the original article, by Simon Sharwood, over at The Register.


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10 things to consider before leaving IT for the end business

If you’re hoping to climb the ladder on the business side of your organization, be sure to ask yourself these questions before saying goodbye to IT.

If you are employed in any enterprise where IT is not the end business, you will find IT is a support function. There’s nothing wrong with making an IT career in companies like this — unless you aspire to be the CEO. Companies almost always look for someone with experience in sales or in a line of business to fill that role. That’s why many IT’ers who have enterprise CEO aspirations decide to leave IT for a functional area that is considered strategic to the business.

But not so fast. Before you make the decision to leave IT, here are 10 things you should ask yourself:

1: Am I going to like being on the business side?

Once you make the transition from IT to a business area, your workload is going to change. There isn’t as much difference between IT and the end business if you are making a transfer into engineering. But if your new area is a product line for a heavy equipment manufacturer or sales or marketing for a retailer or card services for a bank, the difference will be huge. If possible, you should gain as much familiarity with your “target area” of the business as you can before you make the leap. Talk to others who are in that business area and learn everything you can about it. Most important, think about that area of the business and yourself. Can you see yourself there — and do you think you will be happy?

2: Am I going to be able to leave IT alone?

Often, the first thing a welcoming business area does with a new employee from IT is to put that person in charge of technology for the department. This can be a good thing, because it allows you (as a new business employee) to establish a worth and a credibility in your new department. However, it can also be detrimental if you 1) find yourself “stuck” in departmental IT so that you don’t get to learn the end business like you wanted to or 2) find yourself naturally gravitating to all the department’s IT projects because deep down, you really like IT better. You won’t meet your business career objectives if you step into any of these sand traps.

3: Do I have the business savvy?

The best business people have a natural savvy about how successful businesses work, and they don’t get sidetracked by the many incidental things that can come up during the day. They can also see the big picture of what the business must accomplish. By nature, IT folks are highly analytical and detail-oriented. Before making an IT-to-end-business move, assess yourself and your natural talents. Will you be able to focus on the business first — even if this runs counter to IT thinking?

4: Will moving to the end business hurt my career if I decide to rejoin IT?

Not necessarily. If you develop in-depth expertise on the business side, you can often find a path back into IT as a business analyst (always in short supply). However, if your IT skillset is highly technical in nature, you will find it more difficult to reenter IT the longer you stay away from it. The rule of thumb here is: If you make a move to the end business and decide to switch back to IT, do it as quickly as you can. This leaves less time for your skills to erode, and it usually is understandable to both the business and IT if a relatively new assignment just doesn’t work out.

5: Am I a “cyclical” or a “project-oriented” person?

I remember once walking to work with an accountant friend. She told me that one of the things she really liked about her job was that she knew exactly what she was going to be doing every day of the week. There are many people like this. They want an office life that is predictable. But if you’re in IT, life is anything but predictable! A system can crash or there might be an immediate need to provision a new server. IT professionals thrive on change and a constant stream of new projects. How do you like to work? This is a crucial question to ask yourself, because if you like the constant change of projects in IT, a more cyclical function (like accounting) — where you repeatedly do the same things daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly — might not be able to contain you.

6: Do I have the communications, political, and people skills?

One of the nice things about IT or engineering is that the people who work in these disciplines tend to be “thing” oriented, and less political. The downside of this is that IT folks often come up short in interpersonal and communications skills. These skills (as well as the politics) are important in most end business areas. If you don’t feel that you can do well in these areas, you might be best served to remain in a discipline like IT or engineering.

7: Can I think non-logically?

Areas like engineering and IT rely on logical and deductive thought processes to solve what in many cases are mathematical problems. But if you’re in a business area like sales or marketing, the emotional content of what people are saying and thinking becomes highly important. Intuition and creativity also count. This is in sharp contrast to the way IT thinks and works-so it is a good idea to assess how strong you are in the alternate forms of thinking before making a career change.

8: Can I handle open-ended situations?

IT’ers like clearly defined situations where something either works or it doesn’t. This is natural when the majority of your work life is in projects with tight deadlines that require rapid problem resolution. However, this mode of work can be different in other business areas, where decision-making can take longer and the work is more cyclical in nature and less project (and goal) oriented. Some IT’ers find this difficult to adjust to. You should ask yourself how well you do in a less defined and decision-oriented environment before deciding to make a change.

9: How committed am I really to a career in business?

Many IT’ers find that they really miss IT after they leave it. Unless you have an arrangement with your company that you are going over to a business area for a specific period of time (to enhance your business background) and that you will return to IT, you should be absolutely confident that a long-term career in business is what you really want.

10: Does the company really have an opportunity for me?

If your primary reason for switching to the business side of the enterprise is for long-term career advancement in the company, do all your due diligence up front before you make the move. Several years ago, a colleague of mine who was managing IT wanted to transition to the business side of the community bank he was working at because his ultimate goal was to be the bank’s CEO. He spent time in the bank’s branch system and ran the loan department. Today, he is the CEO — but he had a clear-cut goal in mind and had met with other bank officials to discuss the feasibility of this career path.

Credit to the guys and girls at TechRepublic for the original article.