7 Ways to Revitalize Your Job SearchApr 05, 2023
In this season of change and growth, nothing is more important than the annual spring cleaning – especially for your job search.
Spring cleaning involves looking hard at the corners that have gotten dusty from lack of use while sprucing up the tools you use every day.
1. Revitalize Your Resume
Are you consistently landing 1-3 initial interviews for every 10 applications you submit? If not, you must give your resume a good, hard look.
Resumes are the ultimate "short attention span" document. Often, recruiters and managers only spend 6 seconds reading your resume. You won't be considered for that dream job if you don't make a strong first impression.
What are they looking for?
- Relevant work experience and education
- Targeted skills
- Quantifiable achievements, results, or scope of responsibilities
- A highly readable format
A modern resume needs to look good, read well, and above all, be relevant for the job you want. Note that looking good doesn't mean a complex, trendy-looking document. Avoid the infographic-style resume unless it is sent directly to a human being. The visuals on a graphic resume will always make the online applications and screening computers choke, rendering your resume unreadable to the people who count.
2. Get Past the Screening Computers
Regardless of how well-written your resume is, it will be screened by a computer before it reaches a human being. Computers don't care about the quality of the writing at all – they only react to keywords. In fact, your resume needs a mix of both "smart" and "stupid" keywords.
Smart keywords relate to the actual job and can vary depending on the role. For example, smart keywords for a salesperson might be "prospecting, negotiations, and account management." On the other hand, an executive assistant must emphasize "corporate communications, travel arrangements, and Microsoft Office."
Stupid keywords are those phrases that don't really mean anything, like "excellent communication skills and detail-oriented." While we know these cliches are boring writing, if HR puts these phrases in the job description, they MUST appear in your resume.
Here's the harsh reality: Your resume must match 60-70% of the keywords, or the computers will kick you out. NOTE: That is just the keywords, not the qualifications. Don't hold back on applying to jobs just because you don't have 100% of the qualifications.
3. Update Your LinkedIn Profile
90% of employers will look at your LinkedIn profile before calling you in for an interview (Source: LinkedIn, 2016). With that staggering statistic, you better be considering what you put online. Copying and pasting your resume into your profile will not give employers the additional information they want.
Plus, keywords on LinkedIn work differently than on the resume. On LinkedIn, you want to sprinkle high-value keywords throughout your profile to drive recruiters to your page.
4. Review Your Job Search Website Settings
When did you last review your profile settings on job sites like Indeed.com, ZipRecruiter.com, and CareerBuilder.com? Did you know that every time you apply to these sites, it automatically sends that information with it? Unfortunately, these sites don't prompt you to check their settings, such as desired salary ranges, before you apply. If you aren't paying attention, you can really lowball your efforts.
Other ways to increase your efficiency:
- Check your privacy settings. By posting your resume as "Private," you will not be hounded by a ton of spam jobs or 100% commission sales positions.
- Tweak your job alerts or automatic emails. Make sure you are getting notices for the jobs that meet your criteria.
5. Connect with Your Network
Part of managing your network is connecting with them regularly. Spring is a great time to reach out to your contacts. Be sincere and genuine, asking about how they are doing in their personal and professional lives. You will get a chance to mention your job search but emphasize building a solid relationship before asking for favors.
6. Follow Up on Past Job Leads
How long has it been since you followed up on an application or interview? How about researching companies for an opportunity in the hidden job market? If you aren't sure, make it a best practice to track all your activities and put follow-up communications in your calendar to ensure you don't forget about a hot prospect.
7. Stop Using Ineffective Job Search Tactics
The most important spring cleaning activity that most job seekers fail to do is review their strategies. What has yielded the most results? What has brought nothing but dead ends? Can you improve the numbers by contacting hiring managers directly?
It is said that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results. If what you are doing isn't working, it's time to mix it up.
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Wondering how effective your job search is? Schedule a complimentary 30-minute consultation with one of our career coaches, Donna Shannon or Dia Kline