A few days ago, I began a post on strategies you can implement that will get you ahead in the job search game. This is part 2 of that entry. What many don’t realize during their job search is that the majority of the competition will use “middle-of-the-road effort and tactics” to secure employment. Honestly, this is why most searches take as long as they do. When looking at the employment landscape on the aggregate, yes, the “average” job search can be lengthy in an economy such as ours. But the question is “WHY DOES YOUR JOB SEARCH NEED TO FALL WITHIN THE AVERAGE”? In this and the previous post, I highlight areas of the employment search that many job seekers fail to address (at least thoroughly) to fully optimize search and shorten the length.
Tailoring your resume to the available position
When your resume has 20 seconds or less to communicate to a reader why they should call you in for an interview, you don’t want to take a chance that hiring managers will see where the value is on your resume just because “it appears on there somewhere”. A well designed resume takes into account the key skills, training and experience that employers are looking for in each target position, and optimize its layout, formatting, and content placement accordingly. In fact, depending upon your background and experience mix, applying to separate targets can mean completely restructuring the order of sections within the resume. When your reader is a tired and weary-eyed middle manager that has been given the mandate by his supervisor of going through 95 resumes to find 15 interview candidates by the end of business, you don’t want to take a chance on their missing anything important.
Submitting your resume to companies that have not (yet) posted job openings
Here is something that most job seekers don’t know: more than half of available jobs are filled BEFORE they are even made known to the public. Yes, when you are combing indeed.com, monster.com and other boards, you are accessing less than half of the available opportunities. Now, what does that mean for you? You need to add a cold resume submission strategy to your job search mix. Research companies that hire professionals with your skill set and send in your resume. Your resume may come in at a time when the HR Department is preparing to begin a search for someone with your exact skill set. I can tell you I personally landed a position in this manner. Also, use LinkedIn to connect with those who may already be employed at those companies and see what kind of inside information you can acquire. Looking to get on with Coca-Cola, create a relationship with someone already employed there and ask about the company’s culture and short/long-range plans.
Feeding your psyche with positive motivation
Never, ever underestimate the power of maintaining a positive mindset during what can be a very stressful situation. Being in the right frame of mind allows you to see opportunity where you otherwise may not. It can be the difference between sending in that one last resume that results in landing your dream job and perhaps quitting right before that happens. Find a few of your favorite motivational quotes and make them easily accessible throughout the day. Create a file on your Smartphone or print them out. You can also read books on those who have overcome adversity. Whatever gets you thinking positive thoughts and carries you through the rough patches of resume submissions and interview preparation, you need to do it.