When searching for a new role in the financial sector, job seekers could send out a few resumes and cover letters. They could respond to ads in the local paper. They might even talk to a few friends, hoping that they know someone
who is hiring.
Or they could take an entirely different approach and go directly to a prospective employer. "Don't look for a job," advised Andrei Knight, hedge fund expert, founder, and Senior Currency Strategist at fxKnight.com. "Create yourself as the best candidate for the job. Then I think you might even have people coming to you."
How, exactly? "My cousin is a business consultant," Knight told StreetID. "He's an MBA. He's done this his whole life. He has never filled a job opening. Every job he has gotten he has gotten by submitting a proposal to the company. He finds out what they do, he finds their inefficiencies, and then he writes them a proposal on how he can make their life easier or make them more profitable if they hired him. The cost of hiring him is often less than the amount of money they're losing through the inefficiency."
Knight said that job seekers need to realize that we "live in different times." Now that the world has changed, "we have to change our approach a little bit."
Despite the many challenges ahead, Knight has some positive news.
"If anything, I don't think I've seen a slowdown [in hiring], I think I've seen a pickup in the last couple months," he said. "What I'm hearing from a lot of hiring managers is not that they don't have jobs, it's that they're having trouble finding qualified talent."
Knight said that if he were to offer a piece of advice to the unemployed, "I'd say that the jobs are out there, what you have to do is get creative and get out there and get some new skills."
"Don't keep trying to do the things that worked for you 10 years ago," Knight advised. "We're in a different economic reality. The jobs are out there if you have the right skill set."
When asked about the skills that a job seeker should obtain, Knight noted some common differences. "A trader's job has very different requirements and skill sets from an analyst's job," he said. "If you're selling funds, that's a totally different area entirely. Whatever position you're seeking, you have to research it. "A job search traditionally has been a very passive approach. 'Let me see what ads are out there. Let me send my resume and cover letter and hope I'm the guy to fill it.' I think we have to shift to [a] more active job search role. 'What does this company traditionally do? What is the role within that company? What skill sets are required for that role? Okay, let me get work on acquiring exactly that skill set. Let me write a proposal to the company -- how I can improve the business and help them make more money.'"
A little optimism couldn't hurt, either. "If you're depressed, if you're defeated, you're gonna radiate that energy and nobody's gonna hire you," Knight warned. "Even if you have been unemployed for eight months. Even if you have been rejected half a dozen or a dozen times. You walk into each new interview full of confidence, full of optimism, full of positive energy. I think aside from having the right skill set, [optimism] goes a long, long way."
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