Everyone’s looking for a quick formula to help them get hired. There is no shortage of advice on social media platforms and on websites that promise to help you with hundreds of leads and quick resume development.
Do not be fooled.
Finding a job is more work than it appears.
It requires job seekers to convey their fitness for the desired roles. It demands that job hunters know how to match their value to the employers’ needs, and be able to explain it, in writing and in person.
When you take the time to show your qualifications, and then back those up with proof in the form of achievements you can showcase, you will improve the odds that you will stand out to hiring managers.
Here are some tips that can help you in your search:
- Make sure your resume is results focused. This means you need to know what the employer requires, and then show you can deliver. Don’t just write what you were assigned to do in your various roles. Also write what problems you solved and how things turned out.
- Make your resume simple and easy to read. This means keeping it relevant, adding white space, and avoiding huge blocks of text. Use key words relevant to the industry and the company. Add to it anything that distinguishes you from your competition.
- Do research to help you learn more about the company and more about the type of work you want to do, so you can be prepared to market yourself—and to answer interview questions. Some great ways to do this include scheduling informational interviews with people in your chosen field, talking to company insiders, and reading the company website and articles you find online.
- When you apply for jobs, include a cover letter. This gives you additional space to match your successes and skills to the specific requirements of that job. It also gives you a place to explain anything concerning about your background, or that sets you apart from other candidates.
- Make sure you have a LinkedIn profile and that it’s up to date. These days, employers will look at your profile! It may be among the first things they check. So, make sure it tells them the story they need to see: What you do for employers, and why you are ideal for that type of role. Recruiters live on LinkedIn! They are constantly searching for key words that will help them narrow the field. You want to be one of the people they find and contact!
- Customize your resume as you go. This means tweaking it for each job you apply for. Study the job description, determine how your skills match the requirements, and update some of your content to reflect this. You want to person who reads it, including the hiring manager, to read yours and quickly realize you have what they need.
- Network. Contact and connect with people you have worked with and for over the years, but also develop new professional contacts online and in person. Start conversations with them. Let them know you’re looking for a job or want to work in a certain industry. They might have connections or advice that can help you in your job search. Through your conversation, you might also uncover unlisted job openings, and get recommended for future opportunities. We call this the “hidden job market,” and it’s sizeable.
- Practice interviewing skills! You can’t spend too much time reviewing how you will talk about yourself and how you will selectively tell stories about your career success and career resilience through illustrative stories. Many people tell me, “I’m great at interviewing.” But the truth is that they ramble and tend to be underprepared for behavioral questions.
- Don’t give up. Make a schedule. Do a few things each day to advance your search. Track your progress! Use a spreadsheet to write down contacts, application processes, and results. Get adequate sleep and exercise! Did you know that movement helps your thought processes? (It’s been studied and proven.)
- Get help from a coach in the career industry if you are having trouble. They are trained to help you think through the process and can help you practice your interviewing. Professional, certified resume writers can help you craft materials for your personal branding campaign.
I am one of those people, and I would love to talk with you about your concerns.