The Importance of Your Voice in The Job Market

Are you Mercury?

Are you Mercury? Those who know me well, know that I am a bit more than just a fan of Mythology- especially Roman, Greek, Norse and Egyptian. You don’t have to believe in their mythical gods to like them, it’s like digging the X-Men. I’m a particular fan of Roman mythology, and one of my favourite “characters” is Mercury – the winged messenger and patron god of wealth and poetry, among other things. Having a voice that people listen to- a voice that can influence life, must be awesome! Are you Mercury? Do you have a way with words? When you speak, do people listen? I believe whole heartedly that anyone can be Mercury, especially when it comes to job hunting, and here’s how/why:

Noise, noise and more noise…

Because I’m part of Career Junction Ltd and Jobzdojo, I see hundreds of job seekers in a year, which gives my team and I pretty good data to analyse relating to peoples job search strategies and processes. It’s amazing to me how the majority of job seekers still use job boards and job adverts as their first port of call when applying for jobs. It’s astounding, as job ads and job boards generate the most noise around a candidate, which drowns out his/her voice and hides their differentiation. It’s the area where there is the most amount of competition, and least amount of human interaction.

  • You often don’t receive confirmation that you CV has been received

  • You seldom know where your CV ends up- does the hiring manager have it in front of him/her?

  • You often receive automated rejection emails, which were probably generated automatically by an ATS

  • The ads on job boards are sometimes used to build a recruiter’s database

  • There might be 10 ads on the job board for the same job, just advertised by 10 different agencies

Find your voice

Before you strap on those wings and become the messenger of the gods, you need to identify your ultimate value to the market. You need to know 100% what differentiates you from your competition, and you need to know how to sell that- you almost need an elevator pitch. The way we normally help people get that sussed through our Jobzdojo program is by getting them to do a proper SWOT analysis on themselves. Having stories to back up your strengths and weaknesses helps to build and fortify the confidence you need to be heard, and believed, when you speak. You find your voice by finding your value, and this goes for everyone from introverts to extroverts.

Find your audience

So, you’re a skilled professional and you are looking for a new job- who do you need to speak with to make it happen?

  • Do you meet with a few recruiters and ask them to look out for some opportunities for you?

  • Well, you can, but do you really want to give the control away to someone that are not incentivised to help you look for a job? Clients pay recruiters to fill jobs that have been allocated to them, not for sending unsolicited CVs through.

  • Do you post on social media like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to say that you are looking?

  • It’s worth doing, yes, but it shouldn’t be a “fire and wait” situation. The more proactive you are in your job hunting, the quicker you will come across opportunities.

  • Do you use LinkedIn, and LinkedIn groups to find your peers and communicate with them?

  • Yes, yes you do. Your peers could be strangers, but you will have at least one thing in common, and that is “a common profession”, which will make it easier to build a professional relationship with them. These relationships are key to getting recommended for opportunities that come up. Our “Networking Effectively” course will show you how to do this, so have a look 😉

  • Do you find line managers at companies you would like to work at, and communicate your intention to them directly?

  • Absolutely yes! Line managers want to spend as little time as possible to recruit for people, but they have to do it, so if you come onto the scene with a pulse, a likable manner and skills to boot, then you will make their recruitment “job” so much easier – be Mercury!

Talk sense

Once you’ve found your audience, it’s time to get the conversations going. If you want to be heard and believed, then you better know what you are talking about, so make sure that you’ve done your research and that you are “with it”

  • If you are going to talk with your peers through LinkedIn, make sure that you do some digging on their profiles to look for common interests, previous companies they worked for, technologies they’ve worked with, etc., before you have that conversation. This will allow you to steer the conversation a bit through NLP 😉

  • If you are going to communicate with a line manager, do your research first. Learn about the company through media and press releases and by speaking with some existing employees. Find out what they are doing that might be related to experience you have. Find out who their competitors are and how they compete. The more research you do, the better you will be prepared for the chat. One thing that works like a charm is related project experience.

  • Here’s an example:

  • You find out that the company is busy implementing a new process for increasing the safety and efficiency of their teleportation device. This is good, because three years ago, you were involved in exactly the same type of project for ACME, and you have seem some crazy stuff happen that ACME didn’t anticipate. Now you can communicate this to the line manager, and you can ask him/her if he/she has seen this crazy stuff happen in their project yet. The line manager will instantly think of you as a great source of information and not just another “candidate”. Be Mercury!

So, are you Mercury?