What happens at the Co-Working for jobseekers...



What happens at the Co-Working for jobseekers...

Geplaatst op 15/04/2024 door Nadia Kara

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...stays at the Co-Working for jobseekers! Every month, we organise a Co-Working where you can meet other jobseekers and help each other out, a little bit like colleagues would do at the office. Searching for a job can get lonely and frustrating, so why not do it together? Not only is it more fun, but connecting with other jobseekers can actually help you answer some lifesaving questions and get you out of a status-quo. This is the essence of what Co-Searching does, so don't be shy and come exchange with other interesting people from all different kinds of horizons.

To give you an idea of what was shared during our last edition, here are a few of the subjects that were raised in the group.

Optimise your CV to maximise your chances

You've applied to a bunch of jobs, but you don't get any response. How come?

This can be caused by the use of an Applicant Tracking System. An ATS is a tool used by recruiters to first sort through resumes and find the best matches to their job opening. This means your CV may have been rejected before it even reached human eyes, and as horrible as it is, as jobseekers we have to find ways to use this to our advantage. Usually, big companies use an ATS, since they can afford it and receive a lot of applications to their vacancies.

So, how to optimise your CV for this ATS? Luckily, some people in the group have interesting insights!

Tip #1: Repeat key words from the job vacancy in your CV. The ATS will give you a higher score as your CV will appear more relevant. Jobscan is a website that allows you to scan a job offer and see how your CV scores compared to it.

Tip #2: If you made your CV in Canva or another graphic design tool, beware of the way you export your file! Some exporting options flatten text, which means the ATS won't be able to search for key words and match your CV with their requirements. Before sending your resumé, test whether the search function works: open your PDF file on your computer, type Ctrl+F (Command+F for Apple users) and enter the keywords to see if your programme can find them.

Ask the right questions

You've made it to a face-to-face interview? Congratulations! Hopefully you can talk about yourself and show the recruiter you are the best candidate for the job. But what do you say when they ask you: "So, do you have any questions for us?"

Again, the group present during the Co-Working had great input to help the participant who was anxious about this typical step of the recruiting process. Here are a few ideas of things you can ask to a potential employer:

  • What does the onboarding process look like? Is there any specific training, a mentorship programme? What would your first weeks on the job be like?
  • Why is the position open?
  • Can you describe a typical week in this job?

Tips for smart and efficient networking

It's always great to have an "in" at a company you'd like to work for: not only can you ask them what it's like being employed there, but some companies even have a referral programme - which is how our volunteer Fakhteh landed her dream job (congrats, Fakhteh!). Unfortunately, building this kind of network isn't always easy, especially when you're a foreigner. So how do you get in touch with people who are already working at the company you have your eyes on?

Tip #1: Only reach out to someone on LinkedIn if you know them or if you have a shared connection (a connection from a connection).

Tip #2: If you don't know the person you'd like to contact, following them on LinkedIn and interacting with their content can be an alternative: use something you found interesting in one of their posts as an icebreaker when you contact them, they might reply even if they don't know you. As a general rule of thumb: people who are active on LinkedIn are more responsive to questions.

For more networking tips, read Magalie's inspiring blogpost!

During the Co-Working, we also talked about concrete opportunities in the fields of business management, IT, consultancy, engineering, social sciences and teaching. We exchanged tips on which platforms to consult to find interesting job openings and experiences with the integration process in Flanders. Wanna be there next time? Sign up, it's free! No matter what you're struggling with, you'll be able to interact with other jobseekers and help each other out to move forward.