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Archive for the ‘General Career Advice’ Category

Dec
10

Lloyd DicksIt sounds like it could be the title to Mel Gibson’s next movie.  What employers want!  It is the million-dollar question, and if you can find the answer, and provide the solution, you are hired.  It is as simple as that!

So what do employers want?  What every employer wants is a solution to their problems.  If they are recruiting – then they have a problem – they have a job that either isn’t being done, or it is overloading the rest of their staff, or they are expanding and therefore they have a new job to fill.

As a jobseeker to that company, it is your mission to find out what that company’s problems are, and then to show them that by hiring you, you can solve these problems for them.

So how do you do this?  Here are three steps to follow.  Lets take it that you have heard that a particular company is looking to appoint someone in your field of expertise.  

1)      First know yourself.   You would think that this is obvious, but you would be surprised how few candidates have really spent the time getting to know themselves.  What are your strengths, what are weaknesses?   Think of your skills and figure out how they will be a benefit to your employer.  (See “People don’t buy things").

2)      Do your homework on the company.  Look on the Internet, scan the business publications, and find out everything you can about the company.  First find out about the company itself.  What does it do, what business is it in.  Then learn about the industry they are in.  What products do they use?  Who are their competitors?  Find the name of someone who works there, and phone them and ask them some questions.  Find out about the job they have vacant.  What does this job entail, and what else would be a nice to have.

3)      Lastly, put all this information together.  Make a list of what you have to offer this company – what will make you valuable to them.  What are your differentiating factors, and what’s in it for them.  Where are you a perfect match, where do you fall short, and what extras do you have to offer.  

Once you know yourself, you know the company, and you truly believe that you can add value to the company, call and apply for the job.  You will be amazed at how much "quiet self-confidence" you will have in your ability.  It shows, it really does.

Lloyd Dicks


Founder of the JobFishing website.  After many years contracting in IT roles, in South Africa and abroad, Lloyd has spent the last 12 years in the recruitment and selection business.  He is currently Sales Director of Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd.  While very much involved in the recruitment of top it staff, Lloyd is also a Job Coach and Trainer. 

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Jun
15

Lloyd DicksWe have all heard it before.  It is written in every sales or marketing book ever written.  People don’t buy things they buy what those things can do for them.  A man shopping for a  50mm bit for his drill, really doesn’t want a drill bit, what he wants is a 50mm hole.

This should be at the top of our minds when looking for a new job.  Your job, as the candidate, is to show the prospective employer, that you are the solution to his/her problems.  Think about it as if you were sitting on the hiring side of the desk.  What would you want to know about the person you were interviewing?  

If you were recruiting for a receptionist you would want a well-groomed individual, who spoke well, and would enhance your companies image.  The person would need exceptional people skills, a pleasant disposition, and the ability to work in an often-stressful environment when it gets busy.   The person will need to be efficient and accurate, you wouldn’t want them to take down the wrong number when taking a message.

When you think of it like this (from the hiring side of the desk), it is easy to identify what characteristics the interviewer is looking for in you, the candidate.  They want to know that you are presentable (so include a small photo of yourself in business attire in the CV and make sure you dress well for the interview).  They want to know that you enjoy people, so include examples of opportunities you have had in dealing with people.  They want to know that you are efficient and accurate, even under stressful environments, so make sure you demonstrate that you have handled this before.  

Before you start looking for a new job, sit for a while and imagine that you were on the hiring side of the desk.  What characteristics would you be looking for?  Write these down on a piece of paper.  Then decide how your personality and skills can solve these problems for the employer, and make sure that your CV shows this.  When you are interviewed, emphasise these abilities to the prospective employer.  You will be surprised how you suddenly understand why interviewers ask the questions they do.

It is all about making the interviewers decision to hire you, as easy as possible.  It is your job as the candidate to show them that you are the solution that they have been looking for.

Lloyd Dicks


Lloyd Dicks – Founder of the JobFishing website.  After many years contracting in IT roles, in South Africa and abroad, Lloyd has spent the last 12 years in the recruitment and selection business.  He is currently Sales Director of Star Personnel Recruitment (Pty) Ltd.  While very much involved in the recruitment of top IT staff, Lloyd is also a Job Coach and Trainer. 

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Jun
11

Ray DicksMet byna veertig persent van die potensiële werkersmag van Suid-Afrika sonder werk, is daar nog nooit 'n meer geleë tyd vir enige werknemer om hierdie belangrike saak in oënskou te neem nie.

Voordat jy opgewonde begin raak oor die moontlikheid van 'n nuwe of beter werk, moet jy jouself 'n belangrike vraag afvra…..kan my huidige werk na 'n goeie werk verander word?

Soms lyk weivelde aan die ander kant wel groener, maar deeglike ondersoek bewys dikwels die teendeel. Onthou die verhaal van die "akkers met diamante besaai" — van hoe 'n Suid-Afrikaanse boer 'n soektog op tou gesit het na diamante en hoe hy brandarm en na 'n leeftyd se soeke en frustrasie homself uiteindelik in 'n rivier gewerp het om te verdrink. 'n Paar jaar na sy dood ontdek hulle toe 'n paar diamante op sy plaas en hoe langer hulle gesoek het hoe meer diamante het hulle daar ontdek totdat daar bevind is dat die plaas akkers vol diamante kan lewer. Betreurenswaardig is die feit dat die diamante al die tyd daar verskuil gelê het. Al wat die boer moes doen om die waardevolle edelstene te vind en ontsaglik ryk te word was om te grawe. Laat my toe om jou te vra…het jy al jou akker vol diamante ontgin, of is jy soos die boer wat oral elders kyk in die hoop dat jy eendag die geluk sal tref?

Voordat jy van werk verander (met die aanname dat jy een het), of van baas, loopbaanrigting, plek of die mense met wie jy saamwerk verander, moet jy moontlik eers JOUSELF verander!…. en dan in die besonder jou gesindheid jeens jou werk. Sodoende vind jy soms dat allerhande nuwe en opwindende dinge begin gebeur.

Die meeste maatskappye vandag werk volgens 'n begroting en soek geleenthede om hul personeel op te lei, maar die individue moet self die inisiatief neem. JY moet gesien word as een wat die ekstra myl loop en begerig is om jou vaardighede te ontwikkel, en om sodoende waarde aan jou maatskappy toe te voeg.

Ongelukkig dink baie werknemers vandag dat hulle vir 'n leë kaggel kan sê "maak my eers warm, dan stook ek jou met hout", maar die lewe en die arbeidsmark werk nie so nie. Ons moet eers die hout verskaf en dan kan ons die hitte geniet. Maak eers erns met jou werk en jy mag verbaas staan oor die resultate.

Een van belangrikste eienskappe waarmee jy die arbeidsmark kan betree is 'n positiewe ingesteldheid. Soms dra 'n positiewe ingesteldheid meer gewig as die diploma teen die muur. Ek sê nie 'n diploma is nie voordelig nie! In wese sê ek dis soms belangriker….jou gevoel omtrent dit wat jy weet, eerder as jou kennis self. Liewer minder kennis en goed oor jouself voel….met stille vertroue.

Soos wat 'n werknemer 'n paar jaar gelede aan my gesê het, "jy kan 'n sekretaresse aanstel wat 92 woorde per minuut tik maar 'n swak gesindheid openbaar en jy sit met hope probleme, of jy stel 'n sekretaresse aan wat 60 woorde per minuut tik en 'n goeie gesindheid openbaar, gewillig om te leer, en daar het jy 'n absolute STER". Dink 'n oomblik na, wat sal jy verkies indien jy die werkgewer is?

Dus….voor jy impulsief van werk, baas of loopbaanrigting verander, beskou jou huidige situasie, is dit werklik so sleg? Is daar iets wat jy kan doen om die situasie positief te verander? Is daar geleentheid vir jou as individu om 'n skuif binne die maatskappy te maak?

Werkgewers vandag wil nie die ongerief van personeelvervanging ervaar nie. Dit kan baie frustrerend en duur wees en tot allerhande komplikasies aanleiding gee!

Nou goed…..wat nou as jy wel alles probeer het, maar sonder sukses, of jou reeds tussen een werk en 'n ander bevind, of deur afdanking in die gesig gestaar word na jare by dieselfde firma? Wel, daar is besliste maniere waarop mens 'n goeie werk soek en dit vind. Besoek gerus “Current Jobs” www.linxpersonnel.co.za 

Ray Dicks.


Ray Dicks, Founder of Star Personnel and the Linx Personnel Group, has spent nearly 20 years in the recruitment industry.  He has interviewed and placed a countless number of candidates in all industries and diciplines.  He is now sharing his knowlege with JobSeekers.