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No direction
posted on Thursday, 17 November 2011 10:43

I’m a 30-year-old woman with a degree in language. Here are my job experience: one job in merchandising for more than 2 years; another job in merchandising for half a year, and another job (general business) for more than 2 years. Now I’m unemployed. Except that half-year job, which I was laid off due to poor market situation, I left the other two jobs on my own accord. And I know my experience isn’t solid.

I’m now looking for a job in merchandising or secretarial/administration.

For merchandising, as I have some experience in merchandising, ppl don’t consider me to take jobs in entry levels. But for senior level jobs, my experience isn’t solid enough. So I’m somewhere in between. Besides, as I left the industry for more than two years, is it still possible to re-enter the industry? As for secretarial or administration jobs, I know for entry level jobs, ppl may not have much requirement for your experience, and I’m willing to take on entry level jobs. However, many jobs also require 2 to 3 years of experience, if I’m new to this industry, there is no way I could get those experience without a job. I know this is a newbie’s question. But please bear with me.

I have sent out many application letters and got some interviews from both industries. But I still can’t get any offer. There were one or two interviews during which the employer seemed to like me, but they asked me to wait in the end of the interview. And you know the rest, they are gone forever. I wonder whether it’s a problem of my experience or job interview skills or the time (year-end isn’t considered to be a good time for job hunting). Can you offer some suggestion? Thanks.

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Louisa Yeung - Career Doctor's picture
Louisa Yeung - Career Doctor  
Posted Friday, 20 January 2012 02:55 PM

Hi An,

I think it is great that you are actively seeking new job opportunities with your experience in merchandising. If you focus on a career in this area, you will be more likely to find a job that suits the skills you have and this will allow you to progress in your career. The beginning of the year is also a good time to think about new employment prospects as companies are looking for new talent to drive their businesses forward.

Merchandising is a growing field in Hong Kong so your skills will be valuable to companies seeking talent in this area. You can re-enter the industry after not being employed for a period of time because you still have some good experience, however you will need to update your skills to acquire a mid-level or senior position in merchandising. You can do this by completing a training course or work experience in the industry. Also, focus on developing your transferable skills (in leadership, communication or technology for example) to broaden your employment prospects. It is also a good idea to network with people in the industry to keep abreast of job vacancies and what employers in the merchandising market are looking for. To secure an administrative position, the same actions will apply.

For the best chance of getting an interview that will lead to a job offer, your CV must stand out among other candidates’. You can do this by updating it to include your skills and references, as well as applying for positions that match the abilities and experience that you have. Also, clearly demonstrate how you meet the employer’s needs in your application by referencing the requirements of the job advertisement. To be more successful in proceeding through the interview stages, you need to sell yourself and your current skills. Also demonstrate your soft skills such as team work and self management, as well as your willingness to learn and develop on the job.

It is important to remember that the recruitment process takes time and you need to be patient while you do your best to ensure you find the most suitable role and employer for you.

Good luck with your job search!

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