Job seeking sucks, of course. But, a well-prepared job seeker is more likely to find the process less painful.
Looking for work isn’t rocket science, however, several different factors come into play in conducting a job search in today’s hiring market. Everyone will be happier to know about certain job search strategies from the very outset. For stance...
Limiting yourself to online applications could prolong your job search.
Let’s start with something that may be out of your control. More and more positions are getting filled without being advertised. The fact is, many companies recruit in-house or within the networks of their talent today. You want to accelerate this thing?! Think outside of the box: attend networking events, build a network on social media, latch on to a good recruiter, use your network, etc. Study the field and endear yourself to some people that could help you get your foot in the door.
Unfortunately, in today's market, we can't only focus on the old ways of looking for a job - you have to get out, get to know people, and treat every interaction as a potential opportunity! Remember that 4th of July cookout you got invited to? Perhaps someone might know of an opening that would fit your skill set.
You can't fall in love with leads.
Too often, I’ve seen job seekers go from feeling like they’ve conquered the world 1 minute – to losing all their hope and confidence after receiving adverse news about an opportunity that was a “sure” yes. The best advice I could give you is - never stop looking until you get a formal, written offer from a company. Things do happen. Positions are put on hold, better fit candidates arise, etc. Try not to get distracted by interviews (even successful ones), recruiters, or friends who say they could hook you up, either.
Recruiters make excellent resources. You should consider them as such.
Some people hate recruiters because most commonly, they can’t get with the nature of the business. When working with a recruiter, things could fall through the cracks for several different reasons. It’s great to start thinking of recruiters as resources and not intensify the relationship with heavy expectations. Even still, things are sometimes beyond their control.
LinkedIn is critical to your search.
If you want to build your career, Linkedin is the place to do it. When used correctly, LinkedIn could really advance your search. But, you must use LinkedIn...not just lurk or browse the site. Heck, don’t even bother to obsess over a ‘killer’ profile if you don't plan to engage any, as search engine optimization will only get you so far. The more active you are on LinkedIn, the higher you'll increase your visibility and ranking in the search database. You could simply share, ‘like’ or comment on posts once or twice a day, and that alone will generate more network requests, profile views, and headhunters stalking your profile.
Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) exist.
ATS assists with the electronic handling of recruitment needs so that companies could more quickly source for candidates using certain on keywords, qualifications, etc. Research is key when constructing your resume because you’ll need to anticipate the keywords recruiters will be looking to find in the database of resumes. Some resumes never make it through ATS due to formatting errors. For example, PDFs are compatible with many ATS systems, but not all. So, it’s best to submit in a Word format each time. Also, avoid using formatting with tables, images or graphics – and use a clean, free-hand format to ensure you pass ATS.
~ Once you’re setting interviews, you can bring copies of something more visually appealing along =) ~
It isn’t personal.
The final thing that’s helpful to know, and probably the most important, is that it’s not personal. It’s very hard not to get discouraged when you’ve gone on hundreds of interviews, sent out thousands of resumes, and wait for the call. You’re not alone – and the truth is that it only takes one. For every rejection, remember it’s just not the right fit. Somewhere... a hiring manager is looking for someone just like you.
Now, I'd love to hear how this blog has helped changed your perspective on job searching.
Simply hit 'reply' for any follow-up questions, or leave a comment. Feel free to pass along this info to your network!
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