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Earlier this week I had a new client, he came into my office completely frustrated by his job search experience. Lost and flabbergasted he found my website, liked my stuff and scheduled an appointment. First words out of his mouth are “I have applied to over 300 jobs and have heard nothing back”. These words are not uncommon in my office. Inevitably my next question is “What type of jobs are you applying for?” and inevitably comes the answer “Oh, I don’t know…whatever I can find that sounds appealing”.
Upon further discussion it was revealed that he was spending hours a day sitting in front of his computer applying to various jobs using Monster, CraigsList and CareerBuilder and getting nowhere. He is not alone, MOST of my clients who are looking for a new job start their search by spending hours if not days in front of the computer searching and applying for jobs, to no avail.
In some ways technology is a wonderful thing. At our fingertips we have access to countless resources, vast amounts of information and overwhelming opportunities. Over the past few years job searching has changed dramatically. Gone are the days of buying the Sunday paper and circling in big red ink the jobs that sound appealing. Now in a matter of minutes we can have access to 100s if not 1000s of jobs. It can be overwhelming and mind blowing. But in reality the job search process hasn’t changed that much. We still have one or two HR people who are responsible for hiring for the all open positions. While job searchers may have greater access to the job possibilities the HR folk are still left with sorting through countless resumes on top of their already full plates of doing their jobs.
Job searching is exhausting, time consuming, ego bruising work. So for all of you job searchers out there, today I am going to ask you to pause your internet surfing (after reading this of course) and try some new (maybe just tried and true) job search ideas.
Be Specific: Know What you Want to Do. Know the type of job you are applying for and tailor your resume to fit that job. You may have an accounting degree and know you want to be working in that field but what SPECIFICALLY do you want to be doing? What type of environment do you want to be working in? The more specific you can get on where you want to be and what you want to be doing the easier it is to tailor your resume.
Resume=Skimmable: Number one thing I tell clients when they come in for a resume review–you have 10 seconds to make an impression so it better be skimmable. That means, use bold and italics strategically, use bullet statements and make sure your resume fits the job posting. If I am reading your resume I should know in 10 seconds if you are qualified for my job opening or not.
Apply Through the Company Site When you Can: I admit we live in a computerized world so you need to use the computer for some of your job search. Craigslist, Monster and CareerBuilder are great for finding jobs but when you can apply on the company website do it. Not only will it allow you to learn more about the company but when you are networking (see number 4) and the individual asks if you applied on the company website you can say yes!
Network, Network, Network: This is tried and true advice which still holds true. Whether you are just trying to figure out what you want to do or trying to get a specific career you HAVE to network. You have to get away from your computer, out of your house and interact with the world! Yes, Linked-In is a great way to meet people it is a fabulous way to connect AND THEN ask to meet people face to face in person!!
Bottom line job searching is about knowing what you want, fine tuning your resume to show your talents, applying for jobs and then strategically meeting people who can help you.