Have you been scouring online job boards, sending out resumés left, right and centre, but feeling like you’re hitting a wall in your job search? At these times it’s best to take a moment and go through your process to see if it can be improved. Here are some ways to help achieve better results.
Research and get involved. Although filling out and submitting an application may seem like enough effort when you’re faced with a pile of others to tackle, there’s a more effective way to reach employers. Start by looking at employers that have caught your attention. See what kind of events they may be attending, or where staff may be speaking. Then, try to get involved through volunteering, and look for ways to make direct contact at the event. The more an employer can get to know you personally, the higher you will be in their applicant rankings and the more they will trust you as a potential employee.
Tailor your resumé and cover letter. It’s easy for your resumé to land in the pile of rejects if the hiring manager doesn’t see the links between you and the position—i.e., why you’re a good fit for the job. No matter how great your skills are, if your resumé is outdated or lacks the key words from the job description, you could be passed up for another candidate. Take the time to learn the lingo, and apply it to describe yourself and your skills. Get someone you trust to take a critical look at your resumé and point out where you might need improvements. Sometimes, looking at the same thing over and over causes you to miss the big online casino picture.
Apply early. It’s easy to find a group of job postings, but then leave applying to the last moment. However, the later you apply to a job, thinking you need more time to perfect your application, the more you may be limiting your chances. Hiring managers can get overwhelmed with the number of applications they receive, so if your resumé is closer to the top, you stand a better chance of being noticed. As I mentioned in my last post You Never Know Who Can Lead You Down Your Career Path – Get Chatting, it sometimes comes down to the numbers.
Follow up. Whenever you go to a meeting or event, connect over LinkedIn, or submit an application, the follow-up should not be forgotten. Following up could be with a simple email or phone call (unless a job posting states that you shouldn’t). If you are fortunate enough to get an interview, remember to reinstate your interest verbally and through a thank-you email. This is the final piece of the puzzle that showcases your appreciation for the employer’s consideration and reiterates your interest. It can also be an area to highlight a point that you thought you may not have had a chance to explain, but make sure to make it short.