With over twenty years of experience helping job seekers find great jobs, I am very concerned that many unemployed, underemployed and skilled educated people are not finding the best job matches for their career aspirations. High unemployment has played a role but hidden behind the scenes is the fact that many job seekers do a horrible job search today; and it's not really their fault.
Jobs exist. Getting them has changed because of technology and how each employer has changed their recruiting strategies (without telling the job seeker) to connect, screen and hire future employees. If you are a job seeker all you know is that you apply to numerous jobs never to hear back from the employer (you are in a black hole). It doesn't have to be this way. There is no silver bullet in a job search, but hopefully these four tips will help you better understand how employers hire so you can change your job search to showcase your skills, knowledge and value to targeted jobs the way employers want to screen you.
1. Great jobs reside online in many places. Job boards, social media, LinkedIn, job aggregators, corporate career sites, GlassDoor, Twitter, Facebook, blogs, RSS feeds and many other online sources are popping up all over the place. For job seekers, this can be overwhelming to figure out which resources to use to help your search. TIP: Don't worry about the source of the job. Your job search should be spent identifying companies in your city that have a need for your skill set. Start with keyword searches in Google and niche/regional job boards. Get a list of the top 100 companies in your town or career specialty and visit each company's career website directly to see if your skill set is needed. Great jobs reside at companies you know nothing about! Once you find companies that hire your skill set, use the above sites to do your career investigation. Companies are hiring SKILL SET MATCHES today. Spend your time finding matches for what you do and don't waste time with jobs you could do!
2. Applicant Tracking Systems must understand you. Many larger companies use applicant track systems that require you to answer their questions and submit your resume. In today's market place, you must have the skill set match to the job you are applying to and if your resume, objective and majority of experience doesn't support this, you most likely will not be considered for the job. If you are a claims adjuster and you apply for an underwriting job, you just entered the black hole. However, if you are a property claims adjuster and apply for a property claims position and your resume reads "property claims adjuster", if the job is open, you will be considered. What if you have a variety of skills? Believe it or not, this is a major issue. Your resume and skill set has to spend the majority of time on the skill set need to get the job. A disorganized and general resume is also a likely candidate for the black hole. TIP: Only apply to jobs that you can make a serious skill match via your online resume and application. If you spend more time identifying employers with jobs that match your background instead of just applying, you will have great success in your job search.
3. Professional Resume. Today's resume are much different than just five years ago. Not only does it have to be written in a way that allows it to talk to applicant track systems, it also needs to be the cornerstone of your online employment brand. Resume writers today know that human resources, in house recruiters and headhunters are searching Google, job board resume databases and LinkedIn to find talent directly. If you are in a job search and are a graphic designer in Orlando, will a potential employer find you? A well done resume translates extremely well to resume databases in job boards, LinkedIn and many other places. Sure, keywords will find you but what about the entire body of work? Do you include pictures, work examples and recommendations? Professional, certified resume writers can help and the investment is minimal. (Your neighbor is not a resume writer) TIP: I have three certified (and awesome) resume writers I use who will do a free evaluation for you if you have any interest. Just let me know.
4. Power Interviewing. Getting an interview is just the first step. Most of you are not professional interviewers and it shows. However, it is amazing how many of you are not prepared for the interview. Before the interview, do everything you can do to learn about the company. Just as employers can Google you, you can do the same to them. Many go to interviews not prepared and there just is no excuse for this. Dressing well, confidence, interest, energy, and knowing how YOU can add value to the company. Have real examples of past experiences that will showcase your ability to perform the job duties. If you know you can do the job, ask for the job in the interview so the company knows your interest level. TIP: View this document from interview expert Lisa Maile. Also, if you are in Central Florida, Lisa is doing a boot camp on interviewing that is one of the best in the business. (download boot camp information)
This is the real deal. The theme is simple. Stop wasting time applying to anything and everything... target your search! Once targeted, follow the rest of these tips and you will increase your chances of not only finding a job, but a really good job. Research is king!