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So, what am I doing wrong?

 

A common complaint of job seekers is that after sending out many resumes/CVs for advertised positions in which they are qualified, almost never do they even get responses. What's the problem?

Sometimes the cause can be related to the CV itself. The Israeli format for a CV is quite different than what olim [immigrants] will be used to. Israeli CVs are short (1-2 pages), and very focused on the job being applied for. If targeting a variety of jobs, multiple CV versions are often recommended, each customized towards a different job title/sector. A person sending a CV should understand that their masterpiece will get approximately 20 seconds of the employer's time initially, and during this period the objective must be to show as best as possible why you exceptionally meet the requirements for the offered position. For those that are at least conversational in Hebrew, a Hebrew CV is certainly advisable. And of course, never send a CV without at least a short cover letter.

However, in many cases the CV itself is not the main reason for the lack of response. Rather, the problem is often how a person goes about seeking job opportunities. Many people concentrate on jobs advertised on the Internet or in newspapers. The advantage of using this approach is that it is simple; the disadvantage is identical: it is simple. If you can search through the job lists easily, so can (many, many) others, and thus the amount of CVs that arrive in response to such advertisements can be very high. Don't misunderstand me, regularly searching Internet-based jobs sites is a must in the 21st century and people absolutely do find jobs in this way, but websites should be only one component of your search, not the sole focus.

In order to broaden your search, it is critical to use multiple techniques to identify job opportunities. For instance, employment agencies are a source of jobs. There are a wide variety of such companies, each with a different emphasis, and there is no charge to a job seeker to use their services. Since some employers do not advertise on Internet sites or in newspapers, but rather use such placement companies exclusively, it is worthwhile to explore opportunities here. Keep in mind though that these agencies receive many CVs every day, so often you need to be the one to contact them regularly to make sure you get the attention that you deserve.

Without question though, the absolute best job search activity is networking. The industry rule of thumb is that approximately two-thirds of all jobs are never publicly advertised, neither on internet/newspaper nor via employment agencies. If you think of this from the employer's perspective, it makes prefect sense. A company prefers to hire people that are recommended/introduced by those that they trust, including current employees. So, the challenge and goal for job seekers is to be in contact with as many people as possible, and have others serve as their eyes and ears.

How to go about meeting people that know about these jobs? Networking is the term for this activity, and simply put, it means being in contact with as many people as possible, telling them about yourself professionally and getting information about your job type/sector(s) of interest, including details of the market/conditions in Israel, and suggestions about where to search and who else to speak with. Networking is a numbers game; the more people you communicate with, the better your chances to learn about job availabilities in as short a period of time as possible.

And who should you be networking with? Everyone you know! For instance, your friends and family in Israel are obvious initial contacts, even if they don't work in positions of interest to you; they know plenty of people that you don't, so quite possibly one or more of their contacts might be a good resource. In addition, don't forget the people from your previous life (before moving to Israel), as depending upon which circles you ran in, this route can lead to introductions to relevant people in Israel.

And finally, between online networking sites, local community discussion groups and trade/religious/immigrant organizations, a wide variety of options exist for a job seeker to proactively search for those that will be useful new networking contacts.

In the media, we only hear about people losing their jobs, not those that are finding work. Nonetheless, even in this tough market, and it is difficult with unemployment growing and companies cutting back on their recruitment activities, opportunities exist. Increasing your chances of finding suitable jobs by varying your employment search techniques will serve you well in this economic climate.

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