This isn’t the normal sort of topic for us. We don’t really “do” job-hunting process, and instead concentrate on career training. But we were recently asked to write a guest blog for mystudentventure (a great service to match growing companies with students keen for experience). This was a question they asked a selection of guest editors, and here’s our response.
The best advice I can give in answer to this question is this……… have something to sell to the employer.
At the risk of sounding obvious, organisations hire people to fill a need. Typically that need relates to a desire to improve the organisation’s performance in some way, maybe making more product or completing a process more efficiently. Getting a job is the process by which you sell yourself as the solution to that need.
This is terrible news for anyone who doesn’t think they want to do any selling in life.
The great news is that there’s a universal truth about all employers and all jobs. It’s something that you can be certain of as you prepare for any job application and interview process. Therefore knowing this universal truth (and having the skills to address it) will improve your chances of getting that dream job.
The universal truth is this: Every organisation and every job is, to some extent, governed by a “commercial reality”. There are certain resources available to complete any task or operation, and the organisation and individual need to maximise the efficient use of those resources in order to exist.
I keep using the word organisation because this universal truth applies to all types of employer……… charities, Governments, Non-Profits as well as profit-making companies.
This universal truth is terrible news for anyone who doesn’t know anything about “Commercial Awareness”……. how do you learn something that isn’t taught in the education system? (Bizenko helps you to resolve this problem!)
Bizenko spend hours talking to employers, and they analyse lots of different surveys and reports about employment and how organisations recruit. A common complaint from employers is the lack of work-readiness and the lack of commercial awareness amongst job-applicants.
You wouldn’t attempt an academic task without first researching the pertinent background detail, so why would you apply to work for a company without first researching and understanding the employer and their world?
The (Confederation of British Industry) CBI / Pearson report in 2014 reported that 72% of employers were not satisfied with levels of business awareness in school and college leavers. The “not-satisfied” figure for Graduates was 53%. The British Chambers of Commerce survey of 2013 said something similar, 9 out of 10 employers did not think that school leavers were ready for employment.
If this is such a big deal for employers, it makes sense to “skill up” in this area to improve your chances of getting that dream job. Again, Bizenko can help you do this!
We hear from many employers that attitude and enthusiasm are critical for them when hiring. Exam grades and CV content are important, but they are only used as a filter to manage the hiring process. These details are not what you are selling in order to solve an employer’s problem, but your attitude, your enthusiasm and your business awareness should be central to your sales pitch.
Exam grades and a well written CV might determine if you get invited to interview, business awareness and attitude are what determine if you get the job offer.