There is one thing you need to understand about getting a
job and that is, the simple fact that “Getting a job is a
full time job in itself”. Read that again, I did not say it
is a part time job, I said that it is a full time job.
The fact that you are reading this page means you are
serious about your future, you are serious about finding a
job and you are obviously willing to put in the time and
effort that is needed to get that job.
To help you I am going to talk straight and tough when I
need to, just to make sure that you think about what you
have been doing and what you need to do next. Please
understand that I am not attacking you, I am not
criticising what you have been doing, I am just trying to
get you thinking about alternative methods and approaches
that might work for you.
End of contract
Firstly, your last term of employment was terminated,
either by you or by your employer.
During the first few weeks or unemployment, there is a
psychological change that occurs, there is an emotional
change that occurs. Now I am not going to launch into any
psycho babble about this, I just want you to recognize that
this is normal. You have to acclimatize to being out of
work, you have to put aside the feelings of helplessness,
remorse, anger and disbelief that are associated with
dealing with circumstances beyond your control.
If you have been out of work for more than six months you
may have slipped into blaming others for the situation you
are in. Understand, if you are out of work for more than
three months then your approach to getting a job needs
to change to cope with this small gap.
Yes I said small gap. It may seem enormous to you and
also to some of the employers you will meet. But in the
long run, your working career (45 – 50 years), 3 – 6
months is nothing.
Why does your approach need to change? If you observed a
friend doing the same thing day in day out, for months on
end and every day he got a negative result, no positive
indicators at all, wouldn’t you tell your friend to try
You are where you are today because of the decisions you
made yesterday. Positive results come from good decisions.
It may be time to change your approach, time to move on,
time to make a fresh start.
Lets generate some positive results..
You may need to reword your covering letters, change your
resume slightly to make a more positive impact, you may
have to change the agencies you have been using etc.
Just do a quick check on the list below, how many of the
following do you utilize to locate vacancies?
Specialist Trade Publications
Local Government sponsored programs
Speculative approach (explained later)
Phone Directory Business Directories
The list above is not a conclusive list of places to find
job leads, but it is the main core of commonly used
reference. If you are not using all of these sources of job
leads then you need to change what you are doing.
Let me highlight a few of the less obvious ones and explain
the approach: –
Personal Contacts Let your friends know that you are
actively seeking work, ask them to pass any job leads they
hear of to you with some urgency. In Britain, it is known
as the “old boy network” or just Networking and it works.
Business Contacts People you used to work with in
previous jobs, these people know you and hopefully respect
your professional approach to work, they are in a position
to use their contacts to help you.
Speculative approach This approach to finding work
is highly under rated. Imaging you are an employer, if you
have a job vacancy it can cost you thousands of pounds to
advertise, short list, interview and eventually employ the
right person. It is a process that may have to be repeated
several times before the employer finds a suitable
candidate for the post.
Now imagine that as an employer you have a vacancy and
someone has just sent you their resume, they might be exactly
what you are looking for and it cost you nothing to find
them! If as an employer you do not have a vacancy to fill,
you may keep the resume on file for two or three months, just
From your point of view sending a resume and covering
letter to an employer who may or may not be going through
this process is a way of tracking down job vacancies
without the competition.
See one of our other reports on the Speculative Approach.
Phone Book & Business Directories Listed in the phone
book are hundred of businesses that employ people just like
you, they have jobs that you are trained to do, they may
not have a vacancy at the moment but you can use the
speculative approach to contact them and find out.
Local Library If you can’t afford to buy newspapers, or
if you don’t have a local phone book or business directory
then use the local library, because they have them all
under one roof.
Agencies Many people use an agency to help them locate
work, but in fact you need to use several agencies. You use
them like this; get your name on the books of at least 5
agencies and then rotate chasing them.
See our report on Using Agencies for more information.
Keep Focused it’s a numbers game Getting quality job leads
is the first step in what can be a long process, follow the
steps one by one on a daily basis working at getting a job
and you will succeed.
If you are a sales person then you will understand what I
am about to tell you, if you have never worked in sales
then you may not, either way it does not change the
following fact: –
The more rejection you meet, the closer you will be to
Or, if you prefer, the more no’s you get the closer you are
to a yes.
The more jobs leads you can find, the more jobs you can
apply for. The more jobs you apply for, the more rejections
you will meet but the more interviews you will be offered.
The more interviews you are offered the better at interviews
you become and the more chance you have of getting a job.
The Numbers Game
True, the quality of your application makes a big
difference, but we are about to look at applications and
then quality and quantity will work together.
Now, I said earlier that getting a job is a job in itself,
if you treat it as a job then you should put at least 5
days a week into getting yourself a job. You should aim at
making ten job applications a day, that’s 50 job
applications a week!
I know what you are thinking, how can I apply for 50 jobs a
Lets break this down.
In my own personal experience I used to apply for 10 jobs
every day of the week. That’s 70 jobs a week! I am
suggesting that should you only looked for work Monday to
Friday then you should look to make 10 applications a day.
Still too much?
OK, lets break this down further.
Using the advertised vacancies first, apply for as many as
you can find in the papers, trade publications, agencies
etc. You would usually expect to find two or three suitable
vacancies in this way.
Then chase the agencies, you should be looking for at least
Then use the speculative approach in fill in the extra’s.
Remember the speculative approach is a way of contacting
companies that employ people with your skills. This is one
of the biggest hidden job markets. More than 50% of the
thousands of people I have personally helped find new jobs
got them on the speculative approach. Don’t ignore this
vacancy gold mine.