Most people will agree that starting a job search can be a job within itself. Just like any other endeavor, there are ways to make your job search much more effective and continuously rewarding. Don’t let yourself get “tricked” by common mistakes, instead set yourself up to win your dream job along with the many “treats” left over from getting yourself ready to land a new position with a top company.
Below we will walk you through some of the “tricks” and “treats” of the job search.
Trick: Write a Resume Geared to Each Job You are Applying For.
A resume is often considered as step one of searching for a job. While it is true that many companies are moving towards social media as a way to learn about a candidate, resumes are still often used as the initial impression to a hiring manager. One of the biggest mistakes job searchers can make is to use a general resume for jobs that are asking for specific things. Instead, why not craft a new resume for each job you apply for?
This ensures you use the language of the job description and that the experiences and accomplishments you list align with the opportunity.
You can make sure you have done this properly by pasting your resume into a word-cloud app, like TagCrowd. The app will generate a cloud of the top used words in your resume. The more frequently you use certain words, the bigger they are in the cloud. This way you can literally see what your resume looks like in a glance, which is how the hiring manager will see it when it first comes across their desk.
Treat: Start Networking Through Giving.
Networking can be very intimidating, especially when you are in the market for a new job. Many job seekers worry that networking is one-sided and people in their network will know that they need something from them. That is why it is essential that you stop treating networking as a means to get what you want and focus more on what you can do for your network. Soon you will establish credibility and trust, create opportunities to turn chance encounters into long-term one-on-one relationships, and put yourself on equal footing with potential employers or referrers.
Figure out your skill by looking at what attracts you to the job positions you apply to?
Re-read the last 3-5 jobs you applied to that you really wanted. What are the specific skills that you have that matched their wants?
What problems are these skills needed to solve? Think about how you can package these unique skills into an offer at a networking event or informational interview.
When the niche skill is well matched to a networking contact’s needs, it gives job seekers a natural way to transform a one-time encounter into a long-term relationship. Plus, skills-based networking shows instead of tells your value to an individual or company, which could lead to job opportunities or referrals for years to come.
Trick: Find a Way to Connect with the Hiring Manager.
A personalized cover letter is a fantastic opportunity to make you stand out from your competitors. However, you need a edge to really catch the attention of the person scanning resumes. Social media makes it possible today to research not only the company you are applying to, but the person that will be interviewing you at that company.
You may have graduated from the same college or belong to the same professional association. Or, see if he or she has been cited in a news article so you can mention it in your cover letter or at your interview.
If the recruiter’s name is cited in a job ad, use LinkedIn.com to determine how you might be connected to them. Other sites useful for uncovering connections include Ryze.com, ZoomInfo.com and Google.
Bear in mind that you might not always be successful, but it won’t hurt to check.
This “trick” could be the thing that lands you the job!
Treat: Subscribe to Job Alerts and RSS Feeds.
On most job boards, you can register to receive emails alerting you to new postings that meet your criteria, such as location or keyword. Searching for a job in San Antonio in the apartment industry? You can easily set up alerts that match your desired jobs to see what’s out there. Most also allow you to select their frequency, such as daily or weekly.
Also consider signing up for RSS feeds. RSS is short for really simple syndication, which is an automated electronic information-sharing system that allows you to receive content in an easy-to-read format. You can sign up for RSS feeds for postings from many job boards.
Another option is to download a news aggregator or reader software to your computer. New job postings that match the criteria you choose will be delivered to you automatically, typically the same day or the following.
Even if you are happily employed, you will always know what opportunities are out there so you can be sure you are right where you want to be.
Learning how to job search does not have to be scary. Avoid the tricks, set yourself up for the treats, and enjoy the adventure of finding your perfect career home!
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