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Changing your Look to get a Job?

Does it appear to you lately that no matter how much you put into it, your knowledge, abilities and efforts never seem to be enough to get the job? What is that certain something you are missing then? As the competition for a smaller number of jobs is getting fiercer, some job seekers are taking further action to improve their chances. They alter their everyday appearances in the hopes of making a stronger impression with future employers.

The figures speak for themselves: According to a recent survey of more than 1,000 workers across Europe conducted by CareerBuilder, nearly half of the workers in Europe who were laid off from full-time jobs in the last year reported they have changed something about their appearance to make themselves more attractive to employers.

Efforts to alter appearances included:
– Eighteen percent have dressed up more or dressed to appear younger or older
– Ten percent have lost weight
– Six percent have changed their hair color or hair style
– Six percent have enhanced facial features by wearing more makeup or whitening their teeth

More drastic measures such as cosmetic injections, plastic surgery and tattoo removal were also cited. One-third (33 percent) of European job seekers have changed their online persona, making adjustments to their social networking profiles to appear more professional to employers.

Expanding Career Options

European job seekers who were laid off in the last year were also asked how they bridge the time gap without an income. Half of them said they have already begun spending their long-term savings as they look for new employment opportunities. Another one-in-four (25 percent) reported they didn’t have long-term savings to fall back on when they lost their jobs. For those people that means a new job is in dire need. Faced with one of the toughest job markets in European history, job seekers are considering new career options and applying for jobs they may not have considered before the economic crisis.

– 75 percent have applied for jobs for which they are over-qualified.
– 74 percent would be willing to take a job with less pay to help make ends meet.
– 64 percent would be willing to relocate to another city or country to find a job.

“Today’s workers are dealing with record unemployment rates and longer job searches,” said Tony Roy, president of CareerBuilder EMEA. “To stay competitive in the long run, employers will be looking to add jobs in areas that drive revenue, customer retention and innovation first. Keeping this in mind, see how you can make your background relevant to these areas and expand your job search to new industries and professions.”

Tips for Job Hunting in Today’s Economy

Repackage your skills – Write different versions of your CV to appeal to a broader range of employers. Keep in mind that skills in communications, project management, customer service, etc are universal across industries and transferrable to new fields.
Get involved - a great way to build up your CV and make new contacts is through volunteering. The majority of employers consider volunteering to qualify as relevant experience.
Stock your CV with keywords – Employers use electronic scanners to rank the job applications they receive. Make sure to include keywords from the employer’s job postings in your CV as it pertains to your experience, so your application is ranked toward the top of the pile.
Leverage social media - Promote your personal brand and skills on different social networking sites. Make sure to remove any content or photos that may not convey a professional image to employers.

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