Today’s job market is a whirlwind of wonderfully skilled and qualified people, resumes and job leads that seem to go on into forever. The job market evolves and changes often, as does the skills required in certain careers; and as people themselves evolve and move to careers that fit their skills, abilities and lifestyle, a job search can sometimes become a full time job in itself! Anyone who has looked for a job has likely run the gamut of job search rituals. From poring over your resume to practicing interview etiquette, sometimes it feels like there’s nothing left to do but offer a prayer to the gods and hope that someone gives you a call!
You probably know your resume by heart. You want your resume to be a good showcase of your talents and abilities so each potential employer can see that you are the right person for the job. But then, so does everyone else. What can you truly do during your job search to get your resume on top of the pile- or even onto the right desk? First you need to slip into the shoes of the person who is doing the hiring.
How many resumes do you think this person is seeing for the same position? Lots! So your best bet is to keep your resume and cover letter short and sweet! Too much information could mean you will get passed over simply because there isn’t enough time to read it all!
It’s good that you were captain of your sports team in high school or in charge of office supplies at your last job but the person doing the hiring is wondering what’s in it for them if they hire you. During your job search, study up on the requirements for the position you are applying for and adjust the skills on your resume to fit perfectly with the position. Do not exaggerate your skills. Simply use the skills that are there.
Avoid the Scams
Online job search sites are a blessing and a curse for those in the job search market. Where there is a wealth of information and opportunity available there are also the predators that look to take advantage of numerous hopefuls who are just trying to find employment.
This can involve everything from ‘Work from Home!’ ruses that amount to nothing to actual phishing and identity theft. Avoid ‘cold call emails’ (emails from ‘companies’ that contact you even though you did not send them your resume) that ask you to click on a link taking you to another site and asking for personal information.
Do your own investigation by entering the company’s name into your browser instead and visit their website. Contact the company and if they are still asking for personal information right off the bat- such as your social security number- step away. Predators also will send fake emails that look as though they come from legitimate job search sites asking for credit card information. Legitimate and reputable job search sites such as Monster will never send an email asking for that type of valuable information because they know this is how the scammers work.
Just the Facts: Researching a Potential Employer
It’s been said before and rightly so: knowledge is power. Companies spend lots of time and money on research and development to give them the competitive edge over their competition; and to make your job search a success, you should, too.
The good news is, you don’t have to spend millions or an extensive amount of time just to find out what industry the company is in or the names of the senior executives (including the one in charge of hiring). Most of that information can be found on the company’s website. Do a little background reading on the company and find out who its big name clients are, for example, or even if it has had any financial or legal problems of late.
Should you be given an interview, then it is a good idea to do get into a more detailed search about the company. When the prospective employer asks what you know about the company or the position, you’ll be able to give an intelligent answer. You will also be able to ask intelligent questions. Employers like that.
Keeping Yourself in the Loop
When up to 80% of jobs never get advertised because the positions are usually filled by ‘someone who knows someone’ who is currently in their own job search, you know networking is a great way to find a job. Even though it helps to an extent, you don’t necessarily have to sign up for a program that blasts your name through a network or attend every job search fair. Just talking to others is a reliable way to keep your job search going in the right direction. Giving the heads up to others as well when you find information that might be useful makes networking a two way street that will benefit you in the long run.
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