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6 minute read

Stuck at These Job Search Stages? A Recruiter’s Advice on Today’s Challenging Job Market

No matter which stage of your job hunt you are at, we will shed some light on valuable tips to guide you through your journey, with actionable suggestions to get you up and running.

These are the five most common stages that candidates are finding themselves stuck at right now. No matter where you are, we have some tips and insights on how to make it work for you, so do not give up just yet!

  1. I was shortlisted and interviewed, but have not heard back.
  2. I received an offer with a lower salary. Will taking this up impact my career progression?
  3. My offer got rescinded / The company I interviewed for told me they are no longer hiring. What can I do now?
  4. I am still hunting for jobs, but haven’t found one even after applying for 100+ jobs.
  5. I am considering giving up and waiting it out for the right opportunity. Should I do that?

Meet Cynthia – a passionate talent acquisition specialist with eight years of experience in digital recruiting across APAC for Oracle, American Express and Kelly Services. She is currently driving talent acquisition at Publicis Sapient, recruiting for SEA and Japan markets. Here is the advice that she gives to those who are stuck at each of these job search stages:

1. I was interviewed and am currently in the midst of the recruitment process, but I have not heard back.

It can feel frustrating to not hear back from a company especially if you’re halfway through the hiring process. However, as things evolve rapidly in these uncertain times, many companies are taking some time to get back about their recruitment plans and decisions. Still, Cynthia stresses the importance of expressing interest in a company.

Be proactive: Keep up to date with the company’s latest news, and reach out!

Keep yourself updated on the company’s latest updates and news, and touch base every one to two months to let recruiters know that you are still active in the market. If you are nervous and unsure about following up with recruiters, check out these tips. This helps recruiters remember you!

As Cynthia shares, “I would be more interested to talk to talents who proactively reach out to me. Two talents emailed me recently and asked me how things are going, and I remember them. This is the importance of being proactive.”

2. I received an offer with a lower salary. Should I take it up? How will this impact my career progression?

With the current economy, many jobseekers are being offered salaries that are either lower than their expectations (for fresh grads), or lower than their existing salaries (for working professionals).

A lower pay could be due to a skill gap from changing to a different role

First, it is important for jobseekers to try to understand the reasons behind a lower salary offer by their employers. Cynthia shares that the majority of employers try to at least match, or increase a candidate’s current pay. Hence, a lower pay may be a result of a skill gap arising from situations like shifting to a different role.

Negotiate for opportunities to grow in your new role to make up for the salary reduction

If you are contemplating taking on the offer despite the lower payscale, Cynthia stresses the importance of articulating to your employer your desire to grow.

“Tell your employer how you want to grow in the next two years. Even if they are unable to match your current pay, they can explore other areas to add value, such as by providing more international exposure or new skills to learn, so that it balances out the difference.”

Ultimately, the decision on whether to accept the role rests in your individual desires and motivations. Ask yourself: Can the difference in salary be balanced by other growth opportunities? If so, be sure to communicate this clearly to your employer!

Keep an eye out for more options as you job hunt. We have over 80,000 job opportunities daily for you. Apply for your next job role here!

3. My offer got rescinded. The company I was interviewing for told me they are no longer hiring. What can I do to remain competitive? How can I improve my resume?

It can be demoralising to go through weeks or months of the hiring process only to get your offer rescinded. However, before you scramble to apply for more jobs, take some time to improve your resume.

Show, not tell: Reframe your resume

Cynthia stresses on the most important thing she looks out for in resumes – the candidates’ ability  to articulate the outcomes of their work, rather than simply listing their job scope.

“I recently hired a fresh graduate who joined us in March this year. What I looked out for was her part-time and internship experiences. She was able to clearly articulate what she did, the projects she worked on, as well as the outcomes she achieved during her internship period. Rather than simply listing down what you did, the employer wants to know what you really achieved during your internship and part-time job.”

Demonstrate a desire to learn and upskill

When reviewing candidates, recruiters also look out for an indication of one’s desire to grow and learn. As Cynthia explains, “Have you upskilled yourself through the last couple of years? Have you gone for certain certification courses or attained certain accreditations?”

Don’t rush the process. Brushing up on existing skill sets or picking up relevant knowledge can help increase your competitiveness in the job market.

Need some personalised advice on upskilling or getting your resume to stand out? Register to speak to a WSG Career Coach today.

You’ll stand out if your LinkedIn profile isn’t just about work: recommendations, headline and personality

Cynthia shares that recruiters are increasingly looking at candidates’ LinkedIn profiles, especially in social recruiting. Here are some things she looks out for:

  • Recommendations: What others say about you gives recruiters an indication of your credibility.
  • Headline: Are you able to clearly articulate how you can value-add to an organisation?
  • Personality and Flavour: Tell recruiters a bit more about yourself. Who are you as a person? What are your interests and what do you believe in?

4. I am still searching for jobs but haven’t found one, even after applying for 100+ jobs.

Hiring freezes can indicate that companies care about protecting their current employees. Cynthia shares that from the organisation’s point of view, “the reason we have a hiring freeze is because we want to make sure that we come up with a plan to retain our own people first. Taking care of our people internally is so much more important because we don’t want a situation whereby we employ more people, and our staff end up not having enough work to do.”.

Read More: How and Why This Fitness Instructor Became a Financial Consultant

5. I am considering giving up and waiting it out for the right opportunity. Should I do this?

Many fresh graduates are torn between waiting until times are better, or taking on a job with lower salary or jobs that they are not interested in. Cynthia’s response to this dilemma is simple.

It depends on your financial situation, but you can make both options work

The obvious practical consideration is whether you are able to make ends meet and survive without a job for the next six months. Cynthia’s perspective on this is “if fresh graduates have a six-month window period, there is no harm waiting a little bit longer for the right opportunity.”

However, if this is not a financially sustainable option, short-term roles can offer you relevant and useful exposure as well. Cynthia’s tip is to “think of the long-term roles that you are intending to apply for, then look for related short-term roles to gain exposure first.” For example, if you are looking to pursue a marketing-related role in the future, look for part-time or short-term marketing opportunities, as this will increase your employability in the future.

This article is contributed by TalentTribe.

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