The other day I listened to a pod cast billed along the lines of how to avoid a long job search. I thought it would have something new and remarkable to share, but as is so often the case in career related "news," it was more of the same.
I'm not criticizing; I honestly feel that a common sense, practical approach is safest and most effective. If the job hunter does something outlandish, like send his resume on a giant piece of paper, packaged neatly into many, many folds (that need to be unfolded many, many times), or that sends her resume along with a box of chocolates, these applicants receive no more credibility than those who use traditional methods. Certainly if the resume content sucks, the entire gambit gets a good chuckle in the office, and that's all.
(I know as I've seen this happen.)
I agreed with my competitor's presentation that focused on the tried and true: work hard, take it seriously, and apply strategy.
In a nutshell here's how to shorten the job search:
- to increase your odds, don't apply only to posted jobs where you are competing with hundreds if not thousands of candidates. Best bet? Source hiring managers and contact these directly - by phone.
- you must learn to sell yourself - skills, knowledge, reputation, abilities - on your resume, cover letter, LinkedIn profile, and in person. How? Approach this along the lines of a marketing brochure in which you use strategies that hold power, that is to quantify accomplishments. Dollars, percentages, and numbers quantify most accomplishments. For those who don't work in a commercial, profit-driven environment, it's about reputation, leadership, partnerships.
- prepare for each interview! And do take your interviewing skills seriously. I see that people query terms such as "interview coach" before they visit my site, but the numbers of visitors don't correspond to the numbers of inquiries I receive for interview services. Yes, there's an investment to be made, but without it? You may end up like the woman who had 100 interviews, no job offer, and still refused to accept that perhaps her interview skills could be improved. I provide practical ideas and actionable tactics to take mediocre interview skills into polished and prepared.
- prepare questions of your own. Intelligent questions that show you've researched the company and have critical thinking abilities!
- finally, follow up after the interview with a thank you.
Beyond the resume and cover letter, there are additional documents that you can create (or work with a professional if you're unsure about how, what, how long, what content is best, etc.) that will absolutely Wow! the interview team.
The job search has changed, yes - it's far more competitive. However the answer is not in pizzazz and hoopla, at least not for the vast majority of job-hunters, but in realizing the power of the well-written word.
- determined to take job search writing from mediocre to masterful, Stephanie