I was an Accounting & Finance candidate for nine years prior to a career change into recruitment, so I understand the frustrations that candidates face when trying to finding that ‘perfect’ job. However, for many, the strains of finding a job when either in a completely new country or not currently in work can be even harder. That’s why events like AskaRecruiter are so important so these people can overcome the barriers standing in their way and find jobs that are right for them.
There was some fantastic advice from the panel of recruiters I was part of last week and whilst I won’t be able to summarise it all, I would like to recount some of the best tips that could really make a difference to your career.
How Can an Introvert Show Character and Skills to People They’ve Only Just Met?
The answer to this question was spot on. It doesn’t matter if you are an introvert or extrovert. What matters is that you have prepared yourself enough so that you are confident in identifying and explaining your skillset, and how it stacks up in conjunction with your responsibilities and achievements. You want to be viewed as a candidate who will add value to your future employer.
Another great tip was to print off the job adverts you apply to before they are removed. This will enable you to go over your experiences and skills with the job advert in front of you and tailor your preparation so that you are ready to answer every question the interviewer will have on this specific role.
Raj Singh also provided a fantastic point. Don’t depend on the interviewer to ask the right questions for you to explain your relevant experiences. Prepare a few of your own questions in advance so that you can create a conversation that will enable you to ensure the interviewer gets the full picture on your background, including all your achievements and can see your full potential. There are few things worse than leaving an interview without highlighting that one example that would have convinced the interviewer that you are exactly the person they need to join their team.
What Are the Factors That Help You Decide to Hire Immigrants?
Ultimately, the fact that you’re an immigrant shouldn’t play a role in whether you’re hired. What is considered is your current work visa, skills and culture fit. The panel unanimously agreed that the number one reason immigrants are rejected is down to poor communication skills. Kevin Everett, who specialises in New Zealand construction and building recruitment, stated that it was even more crucial for his industry. Health and Safety is a primary focus of building sites across the country and if you can’t clearly understand what’s written on a safety notice, you would be putting yourself and others at risk.
Dasham Bebi from NZ Bus provided some practical tips on how candidates can improve their communication skills, quoting Toastmasters as a fantastic investment. Raj followed up with an alternative option stating that tuning in to iHeartRADIO’s NewstalkZB can really help you pick up on Kiwi colloquialisms and improve your speaking skills. My advice here was to also focus on your active listening skills as listening is equally as important as talking. Join community groups or sports teams and learn the culture, sense of humour and small talk. To get started, download Meetup and set a few interests and start attending these great events.
When it comes to your visa, it’s important to be targeted in your job search. If you’re on a one-year work visa, an employer will be hesitant to employ you for a long-term capacity. It can take six months plus for you to be trained and actively contributing to the company culture and fulfil the role requirements in a value-add capacity. If you leave due your work visa expiring early, the employer won’t be gaining a return on investment.
Instead, you should look for shorter temporary assignments or short fixed-term contracts. These assignments can not only provide you with ‘New Zealand experience’ but it can also provide you with the opportunity to start building your professional network and get some NZ references to back you going into your next role. If you work to the best of your ability during your first few contracts, the connections you make can really help secure you more work and opportunities in the future or potentially offer you an internal transfer into a permanent role.
Whilst we’re on the topic of applying for jobs, a common piece of advice was to be thoughtful when you are engaging with a recruiter. Contrary to what many candidates think, applying to multiple jobs with the same company or having multiple recruiters represent you can actually damage your brand and harm your chances of securing a role.
When you’re interviewing with a recruitment consultant, you should use that opportunity to interview them too. Ask yourself if you feel this Consultant will really have your best interests at heart and market you and your skills to the best of their ability? If you’re ever in doubt, search their employer in the RCSA’s directory of corporate members. Members of the RCSA have voluntarily agreed to abide by a strict code of conduct. So, by working with a corporate member, you’ll have the peace of mind that you are working with an ethical recruiter, and should they break this code, they can be held accountable.
All-in-all, this week’s event was an incredible opportunity for candidates to get a chance to ask recruiters some difficult questions and receive some open, honest and real feedback with some helpful advice in return. As a recruiter, I also learned a lot from the panel and the candidates that attended. So if you are facing difficulties in your career and are considering attending the next event, please do. You could be the next success story!
Find out more about AskaRecruiter here.