Two Tips for Tough Times

My client Irma* was applying for a position that was so incredibly suited to her and the passions she has in life that I thought the recruiter’s choice for the role would be an easy and simple choice – surely they would choose Irma!

But a lot has changed in the last 10 years and these days the job market in Australia is becoming more difficult and it is more common to hear of people job searching for longer than we used to.


So what must we do at tough times like these? At times like these we need to get ALL of our best ammunition out. We need to lose the fear, stride boldly and lay the cards on the interview table. We need to gain a strong attitude of “you either want me or you don’t.” The moment you cross that level of confidence in your mind, you WILL walk into that room with confidence.

But let’s backtrack to Irma: She did not even get an interview. She was advised however, that she had been in the top 5% of the list and that she might still be called the following week for an interview. In her own words, she came “So close… and yet so far.” I always say that when we have an interview lined up, we are 90% there. So what do we do when we haven’t even had a chance at striding into the interview room?

Like I said, at tough times like these, we need to get ALL of our ammo out.

Gather your armour of boldness and confidence because here is what we need to do at such tough times as these:-

  1. Never underestimate the power of good old-fashioned etiquette – Given that there is still a chance that Irma could be called for an interview next week, what could be a little game-changer would be to send a Thank You Letter in the mail to the Contact Person. In a world of email and social media, this might be a unique gesture that stands out to the potential employer – something for Irma to be remembered by. And wouldn’t she want that? old fashioned letter
  2. Keep your NAME top-of-mind – Right now Irma is in a delicate position. She could let it go and focus on applications for other jobs in the interim. OR she could gather her wits and ensure that her name is heard and seen and remains top-of-mind during this time. A Thank You note, a phone call, an email — yes all of them — would ensure to do just that. She would NOT be “a nuisance” to anybody – the fact is that the HR team are too busy to take the time to categorise candidates into “annoying” and “not so annoying”. They are also too busy to realise that your actions are engraving your name in their mind. Give it a go! You have nothing to lose!

Psychologically, we are drawn to that which is familiar. So if you can make your name familiar to their ears, by the time they see your application papers again, they won’t quite know WHY your name is familiar to them but it will be. (Better yet, use these tricks all throughout the application process!)

In hard times as these, where recruiters are sifting through potentially 1000’s of applications, you need to be the one that stands out. Standing out can go far beyond the skills you’ve listed on your Resume. This is where creativity DOES come into play. Don’t be afraid to use it! 

I will never forget the Cover Letter I wrote when I was at the end of my tether with job applications in my younger years. The recruiter was seeking a “friendly” personality. At the end of my Cover Letter I wrote something I wasn’t sure whether I should send or not:

“If you want to find out how friendly, bubbly and cheerful I am, well, you might just have to get me in for an interview!”

I did get an interview 🙂

With that, I leave you with your thoughts on how YOU can use YOUR creativity outside of the box of the Resume for your next job application!


*Pseudo name used.


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