It’s no secret that job search advice is rampant on Google. But when you start looking what should you focus on?
What are the current trends for job searching?
And probably the most important, when there is conflicting advice, who do you trust?
When everyone has a piece of wisdom they claim will help land you a job, it can easily overwhelm.
Something I live by is this, most all advice is good advice; the challenge is to take it and tweak it to your specific situation.
The fact is there is no single, perfect formula to make sure you get interview offers, but you can arrange your resume, cover letter, and job applications to help position you the very best in the process.
When you can really focus on the strategy as a whole picture, it can help alleviate stress and frustration. You have to make sure your online professional appearance is strong.
I know what you are thinking. How do I decide on the most important elements that can ensure job search success that leads to an interview?
Here are my 4 favorite ways to make sure your job search is going the right way when you look at the Resume, Applicant Tracking Systems, LinkedIn Profiles & Interview Strategies.
1.) Don’t Let Your Resume Be Boring
I know this may sound hard, but it doesn’t have to be.
What is boring?
Do me a favor- print out your resume and see if you want to read it.
Go on- do it! 😉
Not fun to read right?
Even if you don’t hire a professional resume writing service to help you, you can take the steps necessary yourself to make sure your resume stands out like it should.
Treat your resume like a ‘live’ document. You should never apply with an old resume, or anything outdated, and definitely, do not apply with a resume you have just added onto over the years. It is a huge red flag that you do not care about the position you are applying for.
Make sure your resume is new, fresh and up to date with terminology and in format too.
A quick Google search can also help you find the best tips, and there are also many helpful tidbits here.
2.) Are You a Fit For The Job?
Obviously, your resume and your background need to be a perfect fit. But it is obvious on your resume?
Applicant Tracking Systems are the initial screening process that your resume will get judged with when you first apply for a job. So first and foremost, your resume needs to make sure it has the appropriate keywords to fit the position you apply for.
And a lot of people ask should they keyword stuff on their resume.
The answer is a resounding no.
ATS scanners are very intelligent and will know if you are trying too hard.
The best thing to do is look at the job description you are applying for and make sure your resume has each qualification they are looking for mentioned within the resume document itself.
3.) Your LinkedIn Should NOT be a Carbon Copy of Your Resume
Ok, GREAT! Your resume rocked, and you applied for that job, and even got past the Applicant Tracking Systems. So now, it is very likely that the first human eyes in the form of recruiters and Human Resources will take a look at your resume, and look into what you have to offer. This is where it may get tricky. Remember when I said you need to make sure your presence online has to WOW- dun dun duuuun… Your LinkedIn Profile.
Many people fill out the profile by just copy pasting their resume. That isn’t very effective.
You need to harness the power of social media within your LinkedIn. This is such a crucial resource for your job search, even if you aren’t looking for jobs on LinkedIn and applying through this platform. (If you aren’t, you should.)
Your profile should position you as a strong candidate in your field and industry.
Make sure your LinkedIn profile is well developed, especially the headline, summary, and skills.
Think of it as a sales tool.
4.) Rock The Interview
How’s your Interview strategy? Don’t have one? Regardless of whether interviews make you nervous or you are pretty confident, there are a few things you MUST do to really make an impression. You have gotten past the ATS scanners and they are genuinely interested in your skills. Now, I want you to really wow them!
Study The Company
This is easy. Google it. Know the mission, values, growth opportunities, head of the company, and the overview of the department you are applying to work within.
Know Your Resume
Most people have their resume written by a professional writer. This is a great idea (I may be totally biased, but it really is!) You STILL have to know all the accomplishments that have been highlighted on the resume. Also know your dates pretty well so you can go over it all with the recruiter when asked.
Almost MEMORIZE the Job Description
You need to know exactly what they are looking for in a candidate. Remember to reiterate their requirements as you speak. Don’t make it awkward or obvious- but if you know the job description, you can translate your accomplishments and background into their job description and qualifications they seek.
Display Your Skills as Accomplishments.
Same thing as above. Skills are boring when listed. But when you can explain how your skill set was utilized to achieve growth, sales, negotiation, management, etc… it can really wow. This also helps the recruiters and interviewer see how tangible your skills are to fit in with their needs.
There are so many aspects of a successful job search, and if you can implement these top 4 tips, your chances will skyrocket!
P.S. With your LinkedIn Profile – I also recommend turning off activity broadcasts so you don’t alert colleagues or your employer that you are job seeking.