How to help a candidate who:
– hasn’t been able to find a job for 9 months or longer?
– claims that “I haven’t received any job offer because of the pandemic”
– hears feedback like “… your competencies and experience are amazing, but not your age…”
– thinks about giving up, “I follow websites with job ads for hours, I’ve sent dozens or even hundreds of CVs and… nothing?!”
As part of our CSR initiatives, in May 2021, we started recruiting for a program following the “individual outplacement” formula, which aims at supporting people who have not been able to find a job for a long time. Initially, we assumed that we would recruit 3 people, but eventually we chose 4 people who started the job search process with us on June 7 (more about the recruitment criteria and detailed structure at the end).
Who became an active participant and how are they doing?
The recruitment process for the program lasted a week, and 65 people signed up for the event on LinkedIn. To participate, they had to fill in the application form, which 45 of them did. Of these, 27 people were qualified and given a task: to adjust their CV to ATS using our guide. We received the results from 16 people and these are the ones who we invited to individual meetings via Skype to get to know each other better and to explore their individual situation.
To be honest, some conversations broke our hearts, because the stories they told were touching and often very sad. We initially wanted to select 3 people, but we could not stay indifferent.
One of the selected participants had quit before the project even began, because she had received a job offer and, as she said herself, we brought her luck! And that’s the point too :) Ultimately, 4 participants started our intensive support program. As a reminder: they had to be able to spend 4-5 hours a day on this program.
Participant profiles and their progress
Job search purpose: Communications Manager
Years of experience: 20
Looking for a job since: June 2018
Program stage: The participant is after her 4th session and has a perfectly prepared CV and CV for ATS. She prepared a list of headhunters under our supervision and is currently completing a list of potential employers. She updated her profile on LinkedIn. During the last session, she had an interview simulation and now she is ready to start sending out emails.
Insights: “I feel real support coming from the mentors, which gives me the feeling that it makes sense and I believe that it will translate into my intended goal. My motivation to continue the job search has increased. I also see more opportunities for finding a job that fits me.
The program gives me the opportunity to look at my experience and qualifications from a different / new / fresh perspective, as well as look at them from the employer’s point of view, which is important for the final effect. My documents for the recruitment process now look more attractive for a potential employer.
During the process, I learned how to direct my experience, so I see more potential for further exploration. I understand better what job I am looking for and who – what people, companies, industries – may be interested in my competencies. I found out what ATS is and what it means.I am still learning to look at my CV, experience, competencies and success through the lens of a potential employer and headhunter. In the program, I was surprised how many different documents we create during the process.”
Job search purpose: Sales Development Manager
Years of experience: 28
Looking for a job since: June 2020
Program stage: The participant has had her third session and is approaching the final version of the CV and ATS CV. She is currently preparing a list of headhunters and potential employers. She has already completed an interview simulation. Soon, she will be able to start actively contacting!
“The program has definitely improved my efficiency in the phase of preparation for entering the job market. It increased my inner sense of discipline. I gained more faith in what the future holds. It made me sensitive to the constant search of information about the job market (internet), but also among friends and even neighbors. The program showed the difference in what my documents looked like before the consultation and at its final (WOW effect!) – this is the most important value that can distinguish us from other candidates.
So far, I learned how to pay attention to small (but important!) details in the preparation of documents that previously did not seem so important to me. I learned to appreciate the importance of reaching out to companies directly. I blamed the pandemic for the lack of any job offers, but now I understand that this is not quite the case. In the program, I was surprised by the amount of work hours that should be invested in tasks, gathering information. I have a lot of time now, so it even helped me feel like I used to feel at work (it was a nice discovery). I rate my previous efforts to find a job as highly “immature”, and although I had the feeling that I had done something, I did not achieve anything.“
Job search purpose: Lead Product Manager
Years of experience: 19
Looking for a job since: 2019
Program stage: The participant of our program has finished 4 out of 6 sessions. He has updated his application documents, including CV, ATS CV and LinkedIn profile. He has compiled a list of 65 headhunters and over 60 potential employers. With our help, he has developed email templates for direct contact. During his last session, he had an interview simulation, during which he implemented the tips received from his Career Angel. Now, we keep our fingers crossed for him and wish him good luck in the recruitment process!
“I am enjoying the program because of:
1. the structured approach to the job search process, that consists of creating a strategy based on the latest market trends. Contact with an experienced consultant / supervisor has a positive effect on the awareness that we cooperate in relation to my individual needs to achieve the goal
2. the dynamics of work, which, on the one hand, motivates the “(in)effective candidate” and, on the other hand, supports the self-analysis of the steps I have taken so far and what can be improved and done more effectively. The proposed approach allows you to independently analyze your career
3. the availability and support of my consultant who provides advice, assistance and is happy to dispel all doubts on an ongoing basis, if necessary
The biggest surprise for me was the new, (not) obvious approach to answering some of the questions that may come up during a job interview.”
Job search purpose: Plant Manager
Years of experience: 26
Looking for a job since: 2018
Program stage: The participant is halfway through the project and has just finished his third session. Currently, he is finalizing his CV that needs only cosmetic changes, and he is working on the ATS version of the CV. He prepared a list of 60 headhunters and a list of over 30 potential employers, which allows him to start sending emails. In addition, he is currently working with his Angel to improve his LinkedIn profile.
“What I like about the program? Certainly, the range of issues Career Angels deal with is very impressive. Starting from the preparation of a CV, CV for ATS, support in a preparation for an interview, up to the Hidden Job Market. Thanks to this, Angels have up-to-date knowledge, backed by data from the job market. I learned that CV is the basis, and preparing even a draft requires the author’s self-reflection. Working with Angels allows you to understand the importance of a systematic and process-based approach, also in the sense of building a network of professionals.
What shocked me:
– ATS: whether we like it or not, automation is entering our lives. And it is better to be aware of how to “beat” the system
– how a small amount of time the headhunter has to analyze the CV and, as a result, how important it is that the document he receives is perfect.”
From a “preparation perspective”, we are at about 50%. From the job search process perspective, our participants have completed approximately 30% of their journey. We are very happy, especially because of these thoughts:
- “I blamed the pandemic for the lack of any job offers, but now I understand that this is not quite the case.”
- “ATS: whether we like it or not, automation is entering our lives.”
- “The program showed me the difference between what my documents looked like before the consultation and at its final (electrifying effect) – this is the most important value that can distinguish us from other candidates.”
- “I rate my previous efforts to find a job as highly “immature”, and although I had the feeling that I had done something, I did not achieve anything.”
We keep our fingers crossed for all participants! They work systematically and according to the plan!
If you represent an organization and want to support your (future) former employees: ask us for an outplacement services offer by sending an email to Zadrozna.Anna@CareerAngels.eu.
If you are looking for support in the form of individual support: send an email to Bichl.Sandra@CareerAngels.eu who will personally match you with the most suitable career consultant. To save time: add your CV and availability for a Skype / Zoom call.
PS. More about the entire program for those who are interested
The program in the “individual outplacement” formula consists of 6 sessions, during which the “Career Angel” (dedicated consultant) works with the participant on an individual job search strategy and its implementation. It is based on the methodology that Career Angels has developed over the past years. The elements the participants are working on are:
– application documents – CV and CV for ATS
– list of headhunters and potential employers
– preparation for an interview
– online presence, incl. on LinkedIn
– networking skills, etc.
Before each session, the participant receives reading material and “homework”, and after each session, they know exactly what needs to be improved and what to do next. The program is very intensive, as it requires 4-5 hours a day to complete the tasks.