This is the question I found myself asking this morning when discussing an individual who had applied to work for my organisation. The individual in question had failed to return my phone calls, failed to return my emails and then failed to turn up for a pre arranged meeting with me. This was an individual who was in a temporary position and allegedly desperate to move and push their career on to the next level. Again I find myself asking – Does he actually want a job?

Upon reflection I then realised this was something I have found myself asking time and time again!

Given I own a business that specialises in Recruitment and HR Consultancy, I’m in a good position to comment on this subject. Day after day we are inundated with CVs – something which should in theory make our job easier. But the reality of that theory is far different. I honestly feel that we have a small section of job seekers that either feel they are owed a living, or they just don’t want a job and don’t care. This reality deeply saddens me given the headline news this morning that ‘UK unemployment continues to climb.’

I’m passionate about this subject so please don’t get me wrong, I am not for one second suggesting that this is the majority of job seekers but unfortunately there are a number of people out there that just don’t think!

So how do we tackle this issue? Well I think the first small steps are to realise some of the basic mistakes people make when applying for positions and to learn from them. Please make sure these basic errors do not apply to you:

·         If you apply for a vacancy – take it seriously. Return the phone call of the company, answer any emails quickly. Good communication is vital.

·         If you are invited to interview – take it seriously. For one – attend the interview! I ran an assessment centre recently and we had a number of no shows despite the individuals having been spoken with and having email confirmations sent to them. Do they really want a job?

·         Sending your CV – take it seriously. Sending an application from an email address that is either ludicrous or quite inappropriate is not professional. Any company worth their salt will not be impressed when they receive an application from ‘[email protected]’. What impression does this give? Would they want you working in their business?

·         Deciding on the jobs you apply for – take it seriously. Applying for a job when quite clearly the role requires a somewhat different skill set to the one that the applicant possesses. With all the respect in the world – if you are a highly skilled mechanic, you are not going to be successful in applying for a Qualified Accounts position. It’s appreciated and acknowledged that skill sets are transferable, but doing your own accounts yearly is not the same as becoming the Financial Director of a PLC. You will set yourself up for disappointment time after time.

·         At the interview – take it seriously. First impressions count and if you are going to be working in a professional environment make sure you attend the interview in a suit. This does not need to be a new suit or an expensive suit – it just needs to look professional.

·         The power of accuracy – take it seriously. Here is an excellent overview of what this entails from the point of view of a Certified Recruitment Practitioner.

Please remember that the actions of an individual are VERY important. If you say you will call at a certain time then call at that time. If you say you will attend an interview, then attend the interview.

The job market is a very competitive place where you must ensure you stand out from the crowd – and I mean stand out from the crowd for the right reasons!

Overall, please, please, please…don’t be the subject of a conversation that starts ‘Does he actually want a job?’

Mark Ions, Managing Director