“This is the first time I’ve ever needed a resume.”
“It’s not like it was 10 years ago when I was able to put my resume on Monster and have job offers roll in.”
These are two of the most common statements I hear from my clients who’ve been out of the job search market for a while, and let’s face it, times are changing.
The Reality of Today’s Job Search Market
Everyone from executives to construction workers are facing a troubled market. Gone are the days when job boards were so effective that it’s all you really needed. According to statistics, your chances of being called for an interview from a resume on a job board are 1 out of 100. Let’s just let that sink in… For every 100 jobs you submit your resume and recruiters who view your resume, only 1 will call you for an interview. That number is overwhelming.
How to Tackle the Job Search of Today
When it comes to landing a job in today’s market you must employ an aggressive, multi-faceted strategy that incorporates all the tools available for being found and standing out. Just focusing on one or a few approaches and strategies is not enough.
For example, when it comes to your resume, you’ll want to be sure you’ve mastered the art of keywords in order to significantly improve your chances of getting past an ATS and landing an interview. If you aren’t familiar with keywords and ATS’s you may want to recruit the help of a Certified Professional Resume Writer. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account with a sharp portfolio, please do yourself a favor and start one now. Join online networking groups and spend time every day involving yourself in discussions in these groups.
Another non-negotiable job search tool in today’s market is Linkedin. If you don’t have a LinkedIn account with a sharp portfolio, please do yourself a favor and start one now.
So what happens when you’ve mastered the resume, cover letter/value-add letter and Linkedin profile?
That’s simple. NETWORK! Sure you’ve heard this a million times, but did you know that more than 70% of jobs are obtained through networking?
If it’s been a while since your networking days and you’re feeling unsure about where to start, here are a few tips on where to start your networking strategy:
1. Join Professional Networking Groups
Joining professional networking groups is a networking must. You’ll also want to keep business cards and a few resumes on you AT ALL TIMES. You never know when someone may know someone who… A simple google search should yield a plethora of networking groups in your town but if you’re still not able to find anything of interest, Meetup groups are also a great way to start connecting live.
2. Cold Calling
Cold calling is another great way to spark the conversation with decision makers at your target company. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and call companies for which you would be interested in working. Aim for speaking with somebody as high up as possible. If cold calling isn’t your thing, try starting with, “Hi, my name is ___ and I would love to send you my resume. What email address should I use?”
3. Schedule Informational Interviews
Another strategy behind cold calling and cold email outreach is that of establishing a relationship. The informational interview is a great way to do this. While the person on the line may not have a position available this very moment, you never know when something will open up. When something does, you’ll be top of mind!
4. Work the Room in Your Linkedin Groups
LinkedIn is where it’s at so much so that the above advice is worth repeating. After you have an impressive profile (and only after you have an impressive profile), join as many relevant groups as possible and participate in discussions. This will help you to stand out and become a group influencer. It will also keep you top of mind in the right circles and spread your industry reach. If you’re new to LinkedIn or in need of quick guidance for setting up that stellar profile, you’ll want to get up to speed asap and here’s a great way to do so.
5. Establish Your Presence on Twitter
Yes, I said it. Some people love it, and others don’t but the fact remains: Twitter can be a very useful tool in sharing your subject matter expertise with the rest of the world, or maybe just a selected few depending on whatever the case may be. You never know who’s interest you will suddenly peak.
6. Start a Blog
As mentioned above, showing your subject matter expertise will really give you a leg up from the competition. When your resume peaks the interest of the hiring manager, they’ll naturally do their own online research. Having blogs posted under your name is a terrific way to get your name established and can quite possibly give you a great reputation in whatever industry you are seeking.
Before you start blogging (or setting up any kind of online real estate for that matter) it’s important to know that your online reputation works three ways: it can make you, break you, or be indifferent. Keep your head up in the online world as the digital paper train will last a lifetime. I recommend keeping all of your settings to private and yet still be super careful about what you say and who your online “friends” are. You really just never know.
The Bottom Line
The job search has become increasingly complex and competitive and it’s important that you roll with the times. Don’t overlook the available channels for connecting and branding your way to your next job.