Sunday, September 21, 2008

What makes landing a job you want difficult? My two cents

Alright, so I am at the crossroads of life now. The transitional period, so to speak. Hence, the issue of job search naturally comes to mind. The economy is bad, everyone knows it, I know it too, but none of us can help it...except do our best in the things we are in control of. Recently, I went to a couple of career talks held within my school and the hiring rates were, as expected, not good. Not good at all...even for renowned MNCs. Which makes things even harder, with ever increasing number of graduates and ever diminishing number of vacancies.

I shan't go into techniques of writing resumes and such...those, I believe, are already very well-documented. What makes securing a job that you want difficult is, I feel, the intricacies that are involved within each and every facet of the process before the confirmation:

1). The search

The big search is on, and you eagerly collect information from a variety of sources, such as from friends, career advisers, the internet, newspapers, etc. The number of choices look dazzlingly kaleidoscopic, and you are undecided.

Some of the packages seem very tempting, but things are not always what they seem.

2). Resumes

Deciding what to write, and what not to write. You don't want to sound like a broken record. You have to try and magnify whatever contributions you have had in the past to demonstrate your qualities without sounding unreliable and boastful. It's even harder if the things you did somehow seemed less 'significant' than others.

Oh, and not to mention, your resumes must not look like they have been photocopied.

Always a tough one.

3). Psychological roller-coaster

So, after some effort, you have finally sent out copies of resumes...and you wait. And wait. And wait. Good for you if you manage to get a call or mail for further clarification, or an interview. But if you don''s back to square one again. The anxiety from the expectations and anticipation can really wear a person down by a lot, especially if it has dragged on for months.

Brace yourself!

4). Matching

Matching can mean a lot of things. Matching between the company's goal/vision and yours. The compatibility of your personality, qualifications and experiences with what's required of the job. The list goes on and on...

And I personally feel that matching of the 'software' (e.g. personality, goal and vision) is tougher than those of 'hardware' (e.g. qualifications) as they are often more covert, so to speak.

5). Politics and relations every part of the world, such things can either make or break a deal...regardless of how complete your matching process is. I shan't go further.

The bottom line is: humans are overly complicated. Sometimes, too much for our own good.

6). Interviews

Now that you have been shortlisted, the battle is on! It's a chance for you to shine, but things can turn out really badly if you are not prepared...just imagine getting bombarded with the most prying, difficult type of questions by a panel of judges, with your every action and word analyzed.

I have undergone a 1.5 hour interview before. Trust me, I was already 50% brain-dead around halfway through the interview. I was amazed even myself that I had enough energy to board the MRT later on...

7). Negotiation

Finally, you are one of the fortunate few that passed through numerous acid tests and they have invited you for contract negotiation. But it's not done and dusted yet...there are still a few traps to look out for. Failing those could send you out before the last hurdle.

I am sure my turn to experience all these are fast arriving, so I have to be prepared for the battles ahead. But I will not shirk the challenge. All the best to me!!

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