The latest unemployment rate for April 2014 was 6.3%. Not sure about you, but many who are looking for jobs (whether unemployed or underemployed) are still having a tough time reeling in a great position. One of the reasons many are struggling in their job search is because since the end for the great recession, the actual job search process has really changed. Right now, employers are hiring only candidates that match the exact skills that are required to get the job. Also changing is the technology employers are using to screen resumes and applications. Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are identifying the resumes that have the exact “skill” match automatically. In addition, job seekers using social media are gaining an edge on the competition by connecting with companies via their Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
1. Social Media Presence: If you apply to a job that really matches your background, this is a great time to use social media to let the potential employer know. Employers that have Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook accounts are “putting themselves” out there to be social. Once you apply to the company, use one of these methods that you are comfortable with and let the employer know you just applied and have a big interest in working with their company. They will automatically look at your social profile, and if your profile rocks and you qualify for the position, they will put you on top of the resume pile. Remember, social is really social, so don’t fear trying to communicate this way.
2. Resume Remodeling: Today’s resume is really a keyword party that must easily convey your skills and value to bring to an employer. I have seen over 300 resumes this year already and only about 20% of them were extremely clear and on point to the jobs we had open. If your resume is full of phrases like “excellent time management skills” or “multitasker” or “energetic” it is time to see a professional resume writer. Your resume has to be able to let the employer know exactly what job you are applying to and have the keywords and employment track record (via key words and accomplishments) to support your job objective. (Also needs to be LinkedIn formatted.)
3. Business Journals and Newspapers: What? Have we lost our minds? Not at all. Print media is still an outstanding lead source for great jobs. Sure, gone are the Sunday classifieds, but in its place are pages of business stories featuring up and coming companies, growth companies and stories on local executives. It is a great place to get names of companies that you never heard of, go to their websites (career sections) and see if they are hiring. You may find jobs that are not on a single job board! You also may be able to find a brand new company with tremendous funding and opportunity.
4. Let Your Network Know: It’s hard to talk about your job search to friends, family and your 2nd and 3rd degree connections on social media sites. But that is exactly what you have to do and do it more than once. One thing is for sure; people like to help their fellow citizens. Think about it. If you see a Facebook post from an acquaintance that says they are an insurance claims adjuster looking for job, if you have any way you can help, you would. Let those in your church, clubs, network and neighborhood know that you are in job seeking mode. Be very specific about what type of job you are looking to find.