[social_share]Cyprus is currently feeling the effects of this strange economical crisis that has hit the world. You can see it in the way business are cutting down on budgets, are weary of making risky decisions, and are letting people go, left, right and centre. Hard times. Harder especially for people looking for jobs and graduates returning from their studies, eagerly looking to enter the workforce.

We see lots of fresh young graduates come back to Cyprus with dreams and hopes, only to pack up and leave again because they are devoid of opportunity. This saddens us. We are all losing out on a lot of talent.

To have a competitive advantage in today’s market you have to try hard. You have to work harder in this economy and be more accommodating. Take the initiative to find jobs and open up doors for yourselves. There aren’t enough opportunities anymore. So, you have to create your own opportunities. No one will do it for you. You’ve got to knock on those doors. So what do you do? How do you find a job when the competition for a single position is so fierce that only the best get through the door or the most connected individuals land a job? 

[image src=”http://anopenbox.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/CyprusUnemployment.png” size=”one_fourth”]Unemployment in Cyprus, Statistics from Eurostat, 2012

Perhaps the responsibility, in these tough times, lies with the job seekers themselves. Instead of trying to change Cyprus, why not adapt to its complexities and try to differentiate yourself from the other job seekers out there? So, how do you do that?

1. Pick up the phone

Just think about this: if a company gets on average about 200 CVs for one job posting, you need to stand out, so give the recruiter a call. If you don’t get a response, demand one and follow-up with them.

2. Get yourself through the door at all costs

Call them up, speak to them, follow up, speak to them some more. No matter what you have to do, keep pushing forth and get your foot through the door. You only need one person to believe in you; you only need one job!

3. Don’t compromise with what is advertised on the market

Look for employment from companies not currently advertising by examining their websites, e-mailing them your CV, and most importantly, calling them up to arrange a meeting/interview. Look for companies that you didn’t know existed, don’t just apply to the big companies that you and your friends know, open the yellow pages and research.

4. Customise your resume

Our advice: never have one resume; have custom-made ones for different jobs you apply for. If you’ve decided to work a job outside you field, customise your resume. Show that you’re willing to work outside your field.

5. Keep a spreadsheet

Put down all the information of your job search on this spreadsheet; companies contacted, their information, companies met, follow up dates, and so on. As a bare minimum, keep a spreadsheet of where you apply to; the worst thing for en employer is them calling up and you not knowing which job you applied for. Don’t be caught off-guard!

6. Know the company before talking to or meeting them

Do your research. Check out their website, their current news, Google their company for more information, ask around about them. And when you finally get to meet them, impress them with your knowledge; make them feel like they’re the only company you are interested in working for.

7. Your education is your weakest asset; it’s not your strongest

Everybody has a degree. Don’t think that a degree is enough nowadays; you need more, sell your personality. These people will work with you so make them want to work with you. Sell yourself and not your academic qualifications. If you have experience, put that first on your CV, rather than your education.

8. If you’re unemployed, the only job you have is to find a job!

Act like it’s a job; wake up in the morning, shave, start searching, keep your spreadsheet, call companies, and so on. Why not also put the employer’s contact number in your phone, so when they call, you can answer it and know exactly who’s calling. It’s a detail that they will appreciate.

9. Be nice to the receptionist

Bear in mind, that you’re being judged from the moment you enter the door, so be nice to the receptionist. She/he is more important than you think.

10. Be professional

Always shake hands, make eye contact with everyone, smile, be professionally dressed; these people are not your parents. Send a follow up e-mail after you leave, thanking them for their time. Go the extra mile to impress in your professionalism and manners.

11. Stay the course and fight on

On average, if an interview lasts less than 15 minutes, they probably don’t want you to work for them. So take the hint, and do some magic, glow in the interview as much as you can. Ask questions. Show that you’re interested by asking questions of them that will make an impression. Start interviewing them. Even if they don’t give you the job, you always learn something.