Today’s job search can take longer than it did a decade ago. Furthermore, advancements in technology have moved the job search online, making it more difficult to get your resume into the right hands.
Tips for Getting Your Foot in the Door
Stay “job search strong”
If there’s any time that you need to put your best foot forward, it’s during your job search. Keep yourself healthy by exercising and eating a healthy diet. Use your support circle to help you get through tough times. Seek out free services in your community to keep your skills up to par. More importantly, stay positive. A job search can be quite discouraging, but focus on what you do have and be grateful.
Getting a job is a job
Structure your day to help you be productive. Start your day with purpose – get up and get dressed! Dedicate a space to your job search to help you stay focused. Set daily goals to keep you on track. For example, set a number of phone calls you will make or the number of resumes you’ll send out each day.
Remember to keep a log of all your activity to keep you organized. Track where you sent resumes, the contact name, phone numbers, and any follow-up activity you’ve done.
Use part of your day to keep current by reading industry journals, taking classes and reading articles and blogs.
Understand electronic resume screening, a.k.a. “the resume black hole”
Applicant tracking systems (ATS) are complex databases that track a job from posting date to fill date. Resumes go through numerous steps from prequalifying questions and categorization to analyzing your address and getting compared and ranked to other resumes. If your resume makes it through these 10+ steps, you may get a call from the hiring manager or recruiter to initiate the interview process.
Related: Optimize Your Resume for ATS
Setup and actively use social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn. Follow your target companies and try to make connections. Request LinkedIn introductions. Engage in Twitter conversations. These are fantastic ways to find and make connections.
Have a killer cover letter
Your cover letter should be all about what you can do for the company. What skills do you have that will help them solve its problems and keep competitive? Use words that are in the job description to showcase your experience. Be professional, but add some of your personality!
Work with agencies/recruiters
Make sure you’re working with a good one! Good agencies/recruiters have deep networks of business contacts across companies and industries. They have access to jobs that are not published on job boards or may not have even been announced. They can offer guidance on everything from answering tough interview questions to negotiating the best compensation package.
When working with an agency or a recruiter, be yourself! Also, be responsive to recruiters’ emails and phone calls. They could have the perfect opportunity waiting for you! Most importantly, be honest. Let the recruiter know if you don’t think a job is the right fit, and don’t lie to sound impressive; you could get caught in that lie later.
Become an Internal Referral
Referred candidates are twice as likely to land an interview as other applicants. For those who make it to the interview stage, referred candidates have a 40% better chance of being hired.
How do you become an internal referral? Networking! Start by building your target company list. Identify key people in your target companies and reach out to them. Set up an informational interview and then keep in touch.
A job search can sometimes seem monotonous and make you feel like you’re not making progress. Staying busy will keep you productive! Build your network, volunteer your skills, learn something new, join an organization related to your interests, build your personal brand or pursue a certification. These are just a few ways to keep you busy in your job search.
“Getting Your Foot in the Door!” is part of Advanced Resources’ complimentary job seeker webinar series. To watch the full presentation and to check out our past webinars, click here. To sign up for upcoming events, click here.