Only when you have a clear picture of your own strengths and weaknesses and a clear career objective should you begin to implement it in the job market as part of an application campaign. Without a clear objective, you will already fail when creating a clear and concise CV, which is certainly the most important document in the context of an application campaign. Because only with a sharp profile you have a chance.
The importance of the resume cannot be overstated.
Before you enter the job market - whether by applying to a job ad or to the hidden job market - it is imperative that you can succinctly, concisely and accurately sum up yourself and your strengths and benefits to a potential employer in a maximum three-page resume (possibly + cover page). Often, in an initial screening, the resume is initially skimmed for only 30 seconds to sort an application into the "look again" or "reject right away" pile. So those 30 seconds of your resume will determine whether or not you get a chance.
We still advise a photo
Especially in large American companies, applications with a photo are often sorted out right from the start in order to avoid discrimination based on the photo. So if a job advertisement asks you to apply without a photo, then you should do so. However, only in this case, because a nice photo is still the central memory anchor for the people in the personnel department - who carry out the selection process - to remember a special employee profile. Your chances increase with a good photo, especially compared to applicants who want to be supposedly modern and apply without a photo.
Can your CV quickly reveal your profile?
Or is your CV so overcrowded that every seminar attended and every detail that seems important to you is presented on several pages? Concentrate on the essentials! Put yourself in the role of the personnel manager, what specialist knowledge will he have, what professional details are important to him? Avoid technical jargon, and focus only on the things that are highly relevant in the CV. The same applies to the oral self-presentation.
You should be able to convey your background within two minutes.
You will hardly have more time to convey your profile to a decision-maker on the phone in such a way that they would like to get to know you. Whether verbally or in writing, it is always important to make your strengths tangible and bring them to life. At KARENT we have developed the KAR method of self-presentation for this purpose. Based on a professional strengths profile, examples from your past are edited into short success stories that leave the listener no room for further interpretation, but simply convey the impression of professional performance. Furthermore, you should of course have several copies of your complete application documents at home, i.e. job references, university degree and, in the case of younger applicants, the school leaving certificate.
Leave a personal impression
Contact the company, the headhunter or whoever is named in a job advertisement beforehand and clarify questions, find out the background and then start your letter of application with "Dear Ms. Mustermann, I refer to our telephone conversation of...". A job ad often receives 100 or more applications, and which ones make the short list is at least partly a gut decision of the recruiter doing the initial screening. Set as a personal anchor by remaining in the phone in sympathetic memory.
Appear professional throughout
If you feel too insecure, practice the approach with employers who are less in your favor. However, avoid making calls for the sake of making calls; be well prepared with professional questions. For the letter of application you should use high-quality white business-like DIN A4 letter paper (80 to maximum 90 grams) - in no case high-quality handmade paper but please also no cheap paper from the hardware store. Use a good inkjet printer or laser printer, and use your own letterhead. In your word processing program, design a simple, no-frills letterhead that includes your name and address, as well as your email address and cell phone number. Both of these are important to make it easy to get in touch quickly. We provide our clients with a number of possible designs.
One page is enough!
The scope of the cover letter should be written in normal 11 or 12 point font and should not usually exceed the length of one page. In the text, you then elaborate on the strengths that are relevant to the position. Which are relevant, you take from the job advertisement and you have additionally clarified in your telephone conversation. Do not repeat your entire CV, but work with your success stories to clearly highlight your professional strengths. This is where the KAR method, which we at KARENT use in our consulting, can help you. Close your letter by asking for an interview, and if necessary, announce your follow-up call (which should be made).
Only apply to really suitable advertisements!
Job advertisements, whether on job boards or in daily newspapers, often attract 100 or more applicants. In order to get through successfully, you need to spend time and effort perfecting your application and optimally elaborating the required qualifications and characteristics in your application. If your profile does not meet the requirements of the advertisement by at least 90%, you can usually save yourself the trouble of applying and should better use your time for other job search strategies.
So take the chance of a first personal contact.
If you have any doubts about whether your application is worthwhile, use the initial telephone contact. Firstly, you will know afterwards whether the effort of applying is worthwhile and secondly, you can refer to your telephone call in your concise one-page cover letter, which increases your chances of being noticed. As a rule, a contact person is named in the job advertisement; this can be the personnel department or a headhunter who has been engaged. Be sure to clarify which requirements are particularly important and which fall more into the desirable category.
If you do not meet the profile: Don't apply.
You will save yourself work and the frustration of a rejection. If you do decide to write an application, do it right. Write down the required qualities on an extra sheet of paper and note behind it why you in particular have that quality or experience. Then incorporate them into your cover letter. Of course your CV should also reflect these elements, if you have to heavily revise your CV to do this then your profile probably won't fit the job advert. Beware of including any untruths in your CV. This will reflect negatively on you in the interview, or if you are unlucky, months or years down the line in your new job.
Only a few job boards are relevant for you as a professional and manager. The procedure for applying to advertisements in job boards is basically similar to the procedure for applying to a job advertisement. Many companies now only place their adverts on job boards as this enables them to find a sufficient number of suitable applicants. Again, if you have any doubts about whether you fit the profile they are looking for, you should call. This way you will know if it is worth the effort to create a tailor-made application.
If an email application is requested or required in the advertisement, you should also use this method. If it is not explicitly rejected, we recommend additionally sending a classic written application afterwards. E-mail applications can be quickly clicked away. A paper application already generates attention through its physical presence. For clients in career or outplacement counselling, we always create an online application portfolio. If you are looking for a job with an annual salary of 80,000 euros or more, you should also approach headhunters.
Meta job boards:
Due to the meta-search in several different job boards at the same time, the following portals consider many more positions than can be found in the classic single job boards.
General job boards:
Job boards for executives/management positions:
Job exchanges for career starters and young professionals:
Local Job Boards:
Newspaper job boards:
Marketing / Advertising / Media / PR:
Pharma /Natural Sciences:
Medical professions / health care:
Engineering Professions / Technology:
Public Service / Associations:
Contacting a headhunter can actually mean the decisive next step on the career ladder. However, you should bear in mind that recruitment consultants only work on behalf of employers and are usually only committed to them. It is unlikely that a single headhunter will have a vacancy that suits you. Nevertheless, it is worth contacting them.
Job seekers only interest the headhunter if you fit one of his search assignments.
A good headhunter usually has an industry specialization. He has often worked in this industry himself and therefore knows the requirements well. First, the headhunter tries to get an order from a client to fill a position. For this he usually receives a fee, which is measured by the salary of the position to be filled. The usual amount is about one third of the annual salary. One third of the fee is usually due when the order is placed, another third when suitable candidates are presented and the final third is due after the candidate has been hired and signed. As a rule, however, a personnel consultant only becomes active for positions above a certain annual salary. Depending on the provider, this sometimes starts at 60 T Euro, usually at around 100 T Euro, and some only look for senior executives with salaries from 150 T Euro and more.
Headhunters also work efficiently.
Once the headhunter has received the order and agreed the position profile with the employer, the usually quite time-consuming search for suitable candidates begins. For this purpose, he will first search his own database for candidates who are known to him in order to limit the effort. Usually the better-known headhunters also employ so-called researchers who look for target candidates in target companies. Should you be an interesting target candidate, you've certainly received a call, "We are the.... Recruitment Consultancy, can you speak without being disturbed?" It's a good idea to at least listen or make a phone appointment to talk at home in the evening.
Contact networking or "networking" has nothing to do with the vitamin B of old.
Contacts hardly provide you with personal advantages without any competence basis. Rather, networking means the targeted development and maintenance of contacts for mutual benefit - be it through the exchange of information, common professional interests or the procurement of further contacts through recommendation. Such contacts are invaluable in the event of job loss or the desire to change jobs. For those who have such contacts only on a small scale, it is worth making a greater effort to maintain and develop contact with current or former colleagues, clients, fellow students, neighbours or club members. But even if you're not one of those gifted relationship people with a developed network, don't underestimate the opportunities that come from your network of contacts.
You have more contacts than you think!
If you specifically go through the various stages of your life and professional career, you will come across a number of people with whom you can specifically re-establish contact. Of course, you should not open the door, but first find an innocuous topic of conversation and then, in the course of the conversation, you can go into your current situation and your desire to change. Often your contacts will not be able to help directly, but keep your situation in mind. If the opportunity arises, they can refer you. Also, think about what activities you can do to further expand your network of contacts. Maybe you've been wanting to learn to play golf or get involved in party politics or join the Junior Chamber of Commerce? Find a field where you can combine personal interest with the opportunity of professional contacts. Again, of course, it is important that you have a clear objective and can present yourself and your situation positively and accurately.