I've sent out hundreds of resumes over my career, applying for just about every kind…
We all hear about what you must do in a job search but how often do you hear what NOT to do? Here are five job search tips that should push your quest in a new direction.
Do NOT…Show negativity and disengagement.
We can quickly sense people who are down, either by tone of voice or body language. After many interviews and numerous rejections, it can be difficult to hold your head high, rise to the occasion and make a memorable first impression when people are judging you as a potential employee. Yes a job search can be lonely and not something you wish to repeat in your life. The top two reasons which often spiral people into discouragement and negativity are: a) frustration in not all telephone calls being returned and b) believing you’re not going to win each interview.
There are several factors which can help you sustain a level of optimism and engagement. Maintain a good work and life balance (remember, a job search IS work!). Focus on healthy eating, planned relaxation and stay connected with friends letting them be cheerleaders during your time of career transition. Uncover and schedule active participation at networking events within your community and industry. Join organizations such as Toastmasters to advance your communication skills and confidence presenting to a diverse audience of strangers. These activities will help you think more objectively, keep you motivated and engaged in your job search.
Do NOT…Ignore the power of networking
Don’t believe anyone who tells you networking doesn’t work and pay dividends! Network, network and network some more; the return on your investment is massive. The hidden job market across Canada and the US is considerable touching 80% of all available jobs. Fearlessly embrace online and in-person networking and make it the major component of your job search. Be active in professional groups specific to your industry and network with key decision makers at companies on your target employer list. Never miss out on an opportunity to expand your network of influence.
Do NOT…Mismanage your social profile
You’re committing career suicide if you’re not on LinkedIn OR if you’re posting inappropriate information on any of the social media platforms. Social recruiting is not going away. Every year the number of recruiters and companies embracing digital recruitment expands. Results from Jobvite’s 2014 Social Recruiting Survey show 93% of recruiters uncover or vet potential hires by perusing their LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook profiles.
The caliber of content posted on your social profiles, and the social profiles of your references, play a significant role in determining your cultural fit with an organization. Postings containing profanity, spelling and grammar mistakes, references to illegal drugs and alcohol leave a negative impression with hiring leaders and ultimately may cause them to reconsider your candidacy at any point during the hiring process.
Do NOT…Use an outdated resume or send the same resume for each job
Resume trends continually evolve, with the most recent changes spanning personal branding, keywords and Applicant Tracking Systems. Gone are the days of an Objective statement replaced instead with a personal brand statement identifying your unique promise of value – what’s so special about you that would cause a potential employer to pick up the phone?
Applicant tracking systems are the robots reading your resume, making the initial Yes/No decision by scanning the resume you electronically submitted. The design and format of your resume is critical to pass the scanning technology; features to avoid include graphics, text boxes, underlines, columns, headers and footers.
Keywords are the words and phrases programmed into the ATS software which the robot uses as criteria in assessing all applicant resumes. You can find those keywords by reading the job posting and employer website. Keywords can also be those buzz words pertinent to your degree and industry. Your resume is toast if it hasn’t been updated to include the required keywords for each job you apply to.
Do NOT…Use one job search strategy
The idea of a job search is to make an impact at different levels and across multiple platforms so your name and personal brand constantly resonate with people. Search for opportunities prudently and vigorously through online and in-person networking, which should be the emphasis of your search. Build and maintain relationships with Executive Recruiters but understand they can only work with you if they have a project from a client that meets your skills and career level. Create your own digital search strategy spanning job boards, aggregators and corporate web sites. Remember there are jobs to be found on LinkedIn, Facebook, and yes – even Twitter.
In essence, don’t restrict your search to one sector or one method; use them all – Networking, Recruiters and the Web.