Before answering a job ad think about this :

Thousands of employers use classified ads as a means to advertise vacancies and even more people respond to these ads, but only a few applicants ever get a positive response. You may think, so why bother with these ads? If you consider the competition for one job, it may seem a futile operation, but there are a few secrets for responding to job ads and if you make use of these tips, your chances of landing the job increases tremendously.

Benefits responding to job ads
The job ads are the ideal place to find a comprehensive directory of businesses that are looking for employees. There are normally a bit of information about the company and the best of all - you get an idea of what the companies look for, what they expect, and in some cases, are willing to pay.

How to use the classified ads
Don't look for entry level jobs since these types of ads will be in the minority, rather scan the ads to find who is hiring and where possible, to find the names of the recruitment officers. Only then, should you try to get an entry level job at the company.

Step 1: Select the advertising vehicle
Subscribe or purchase newspapers that run job ads for the area where you would like to locate a job as well as any national papers or magazines that focus on your job industry. Make a list of Internet sites that run classified job ads and browse them regularly as well.

Step 2 The scanning process
Mark the entry level jobs and respond to them first. You should be prepared to be at the company first thing in the morning. You then also mark entry level openings in other job fields, since they may not directly apply to you, but still indicate that the enterprise is willing to employ at entry level.

Thirdly, scan the ads that indicate that experience and higher qualifications are needed. Even though you won't get the advertised job, you get valuable information such as who your manager will be; the name of the recruitment officer, and the types of job responsibilities that you can expect.

Step 3 Make the list
Before you start responding to job ads, you need to make a list of all the relevant hiring companies and the positions advertised.

Best time for responding to job ads
If you saw a job ad in a weekend paper, you should respond on Monday. Don't mail your CV since it will only arrive later in the week. Emails only get read around Tuesday or Wednesday, so you need to be at their offices on Monday before the rest of the applicants respond. If the ad doesn't say ?No calls? then you can make a phone call to enquire, but if it states that calls are not welcome, you should pay them a personal visit. Most employers urgently look for replacements and will be too happy not to deal with thousands of applicants and that is why you should help them out by responding on Monday. Don't call to get an interview or meeting, just arrive at their offices with your CV and well prepared for an interview.

When you get to the secretary, ask to speak to Mr. X or the recruitment officer since you have a package that needs to delivered in person. If the relevant person is in a meeting, you wait. If he is out, ask when he will be back and return at that time. When you meet the person, state that you were in close vicinity and thought you could deliver your CV in person. Thank the person for his time and request five minutes as an introduction. If he agrees, you have your first short interview; if not then ask for a meeting later. If he doesn't agree, you should leave it at that.

The benefit of this method is that you get personal contact with the recruiter; your CV arrives first, and is not just one of many. If you make a good impression during the first minute, you are half way through to the short list.

Continue to Part II