I recently met with a group of job seekers, many who had been out of work for quite some time. We discussed their current job search strategies and it quickly became apparent to me why they were having trouble landing interviews.
1. Their resumes were not selling them as the ideal candidate or contained elements that are not compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems.
2. They were spending hours upon hours every day in front of their computers searching for open positions on the large paid-for-post job boards, and quickly applying to as many jobs as they could find. One person told me that he had applied to more than 600 postings in the last few months!
3. They were either not a member of LinkedIn, or they were not using its full capabilities to accelerate their job search.
Fortunately, all these things are easily correctable!
Your resume is a powerful marketing document that needs to target a specific job. A generic resume will not sell you well, nor will it compel the reader to want to get to know you. Your resume should highlight the value you offer a prospective employer, not simply include the tasks you completed at each of your prior jobs. Show how each of your previous employers have benefited from you doing your job so well, with quantified achievements. In addition, make sure that your resume is compatible with the Applicant Tracking Systems used by most employers today. Here is a FREE e-book that lists formatting errors to avoid.
Spending many hours every day in front of your computer scouring the large paid-for-post job boards is a very inefficient way to find a job. Most jobs are not posted externally these days, and if they are they are probably not on one of the large job boards. Today, many employers prefer to post their open positions internally and ask for employee referrals. Most companies post their openings on their own website and some use niche job boards. Online searching is considered passive job searching and should only take up 20% of your time. When you do search online, the www.linkup.com job search engine, which captures fresh data from more than 50K website daily, offers thousands of current job postings.
The most effective job search strategy continues to be a combination of face-to-face and online networking on LinkedIn. I have found that many people who have been out of work for an extended period of time are not utilizing the power of the #1 job search tool out there today — LinkedIn. The free LinkedIn membership enables you to grow your network and attract the attention of hiring managers and recruiters with a customized user profile. In addition to posting jobs on LinkedIn , an increasing number of employers are conducting their own searches for passive candidates on LinkedIn, yet another reason all serious job seekers should be active LinkedIn users. If you would like some tips on how to use LinkedIn in your job search, here are some useful resources.
Because I want to eliminate job seekers’ frustration and help get people back to work, I will be offering a series of free evening workshops at the Simsbury Public Library over the next few months. The schedule will be listed soon on the library website. I hope to see you there!
Trish Thomas founded The Resume Resource in 2009 to help people develop the tools, strategies and confidence to build satisfying careers. As a Career Counselor and Professional Resume Writer, she helps her clients articulate their unique value to stand out from the competition, and guides them through the job search process to make it less overwhelming and more successful. Contact her to see how she can help you build a more rewarding career. www.the-resume-resource.com