Revealed: 10 ways to get the job

University may not prepare you for what is in store, so a few job-search tips may help.

Deen Sheikh October 27, 2010
For the last six months now, I have been working full time as a human resource manager.

One thing I can certainly say is that at university, they certainly do not prepare you enough for what is in store for you when you join the field.

The reality of being of a human resource manager in Pakistan bites.

The socio-economic climate prevailing in the country does not help and the lack of common courtesy makes things a lot worse. As a human resource manager, I can offer valuable suggestions to prospective employees, with regard to where they should try their best and what they should refrain from doing. Some of them are as follows:

1.      Only send in your application if you meet the required criteria in terms of qualifications, work experience, age, etc. I cannot stress this enough. When a vacancy is advertised, HR managers get hundreds if not thousands of applications; most of them don’t meet the right criteria. Show common courtesy and spare the manager the hassle of reading an extra application.

2.      Do not send emails to the HR manager randomly asking him/her to go through your qualifications and assign you to an appropriate position in the organisation, which may or may not be available. HR

3.      Come prepared to interviews. Be ready for unexpected questions, which can range from previous job experience, to lessons learnt in the past, to personal hobbies. HR managers like to determine whether the applicant's personality is compatible with others in the organisation.

4.      Create a good first impression. It is important to be well-dressed.

5.      Have positive body language when you meet prospective employers.

6.      Do not come across as needy. Don’t imply that you desperately need the job that is being offered, or that you are just eager to leave your current organisation. This gives the impression that the candidate is not motivated enough for the position, or is someone who has trouble adjusting and sticking to a job.

7.      Show the individual(s) recruiting you how you stand out. If you are able to differentiate yourself, it can set you apart from the clutter of applicants. At the same time, avoid acting overconfident, and strictly avoid bragging about yourself. Simply being a foreign graduate is not sufficient criteria to make you perfect for a post.

8.      Only provide references and academic documentation if asked for them. The last thing an HR manager needs is a big pile of paper on his or her desk.

9.      If someone gives you a personal business card, avoid contacting him/her on that number. It is recommended that you try contacting them through the office operator. Applicants can adversely affect their chances of a career at the organisation if they reach the manager at a bad time

10.  Don't panic if you don't hear back from them right away. If the Human Resource department takes a long time getting back to you, it could stem from a lot of reasons, including a sudden hiring freeze due to declining profits. Just stay positive and keep applying proactively until something turns up. They say good things come to those that wait.
Deen Sheikh A Karachi-based human resource and marketing manager who also runs a family-owned business in the consumer goods industry. He is a graduate of King's College London and the University of Sydney.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Deen Sheikh | 13 years ago | Reply Thanks for the kind words Sarah, yes I do realise job gaurantees do not exist, but we all try to do all what we can, you know it would not be such a bad idea, if we did pre-planning at university prior to entering the job market, try to socially network, build contacts with the HR manager or the company we are trying to get recruited into, who knows that might help. Value addition activities might not be such a bad idea, be mindful HR Managers receive 100s if not 1000s of CVs and at times, they have to cave into departmental heads if they like one of the short listed candidates over another.
Saraah | 13 years ago | Reply Good suggestions Deen! to comment on Sifarish or parchee system..i would like to say that....Yes..unfortunately it's thr....a good word of mouth can make u reach for the interview if u r eligible for the same....but sorry it doesn't guarantee a job..may be HR manager would call 1 out of 10 applicants on sifarish of the senior management..but at the end of the day company would hire a competent person..even some companies discourage hiring of employee relatives for their better internal controls.
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