Over the last few months, I've had a lot of people ask me for feedback and advice on job hunting. Many people I know who are looking for a new career opportunity are frustrated with the lack of response they receive when they apply for jobs.
During my career, I've spent a lot of time on the opposite end of the job hunt. I've sifted through countless resumes, conducted hundreds of interviews and hired a lot of people. Hiring is not an easy thing and it's even more challenging for those who are applying for those jobs.
In many cases, there are numerous people competing for the same position. You have to find ways to stand out and differentiate yourself. If you don't, you'll be another resume that ends up in the “maybe pile.”
People search for advice on interview techniques, creating a compelling resume and other ways to stand out in a competitive job market. Whenever I get asked for my thoughts, I always start with the same piece of advice. While it's possible to land a job by applying through traditional means, your odds of finding the job you really want are much higher if you utilize your network and leverage the people you already know.
Here are some additional pieces of advice for those looking to find a new career opportunity.
LinkedIn (www.LinkedIn.com) has become one of the most effective ways to showcase your experience and talents and take advantage of the network of people you know and have worked with throughout your career.
Polish up your LinkedIn profile so it maximizes your experience and success and post a professional profile picture. Reach out to people in your network and ask them for references to post on your LinkedIn profile. When researching people on LinkedIn,
I always find recommendations made by others extremely compelling.
Be careful of your social media image
If you think potential employers won't Google you and check you out on Facebook, you're living in the dark ages. It's one of the first things I do when I am considering someone for a job. If you're not smart enough to block your information so only friends can see it, wake up and do it.
Most people don't post anything on Facebook that would jeopardize a job, but you'd be surprised. People judge and you never know how someone will interpret information they see.
Invest in your resume
In most cases, your resume is what creates the first impression potential employers have of you. I have seen a lot of very experienced and qualified people with resumes that compare to the pages in a journal of a third-grader.
always suggest investing in having a professional write your resume for you. Get advice and feedback and invest the time to make your resume stand out from the hundreds of other resumes recruiters and hiring managers see every day.
Make a YouTube video
Do you really want to stand out? Try this. Make a YouTube video about your background, experience and qualifications. It's basically you talking through your resume and selling yourself.
Take the time to rehearse what you want to say and if possible, customize it for the company you are applying for. Send the video to the recruiter and hiring manager along with your standard written resume.
I can guarantee that you will stand out and see your response rates double. Trust me on this one.
Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org) writes Closing the Deal weekly for the Sunday News.