You’ve applied to what feels like a million jobs and haven’t heard back from any employers (or very few). You are discouraged and feel like you’ll never land a job. Funds are running dry and you aren’t seeing any sign that things are getting better. Baby boomers are working at McDonald’s and 20-somethings have a 16+% unemployment rate.
That was the negative…and likely how you have been feeling. You aren’t alone…but you can get yourself out of the rut. A successful job search requires effort, dedication, and time…leverage your resources and land the job you deserve (and need).
Here are seven critical components to your job search and how to use them to land a job:
1. Your Resume:
Your resume is your first impression. Employers are using Applicant Tracking Systems to filter through the resumes – your resume must have keywords. Also, your resume should be up-to-date with today’s standards. Most templates online are not up-to-date and won’t get you far. The look of the resume isn’t everything – the content is just as important…and the words within that content are even more important.
2. Your Social Circle:
Your friends and family can be an excellent asset in your job search. Make sure to remind them that you are searching for a job. If they are employed, ask if their company has any openings. Referrals are a great way to get your foot in the door. If they aren’t hiring, ask for the contact in their human resources department and what challenges their company may be experiencing. Send a letter to the human resources department and address how you may be able to help fix the challenges they are facing. Also mention that if they are not hiring now to keep you in mind for when they are.
3. Social Media:
Are your social media sites filled with unprofessional pictures, statuses, or comments? Make sure to change the privacy settings on your profile and pictures to ‘only friends’. Also, change your profile picture to a professional picture when searching for a job. Even if the employer can’t see your statuses or other pictures, they can see that one. Do not mention political views or any other sensitive topics.
4. Job Boards:
Posting your resume on a job board and waiting for a call back is one of the biggest mistakes I see. It is important to post your resume on a job board, but it won’t do the work for you. Make sure you are applying for jobs yourself. You can use various sites, including Indeed, LinkUp, Monster, CareerBuilder, and LinkedIn to search for jobs.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, I highly suggest that you make one. LinkedIn is an excellent networking resource. Utilize the platform to obtain recommendations and endorsements, connect with others, network, etc. You should also join groups. Your profile should be complete and include a strong headline. Do not include your date of birth or any personal information and include a professional picture. Your picture should not include any other individuals (only you).
6. Your Mindset:
If you think you aren’t going to get anywhere, you will likely stall. You won’t be applying to as many jobs (even though it seems like you are), you’ll give yourself less credit than you deserve, and you’ll put yourself in a state of depression that will be very hard to climb out of. Remember, you will find a job. There is a job out there that is waiting just for you.
Are you aiming too high? It’s always great to aim high, but when you fall flat, you aren’t doing yourself any good. Apply to positions within your skill set. You can also apply to other positions, but it is best to stay within your skill set – especially if you are desperate. If you are a Financial Analyst, do not expect to hear back when you apply to a CFO position.
Always remember to use professional language when communicating with a prospective employer (online, on the phone, or in person). It has become a habit to communicate in “text” language, but that will almost always get you eliminated from the running. Also, be sure to use a professional email on your resume and in your communications with an employer. The email address should include your name – preferably your first and last name only. Your email address can be a deciding factor for an employer. Take action and get hired!
Marissa Letendre Here are seven critical components to your job search and how to use them to land a job is the owner of Resumes by Marissa. She is a professional resume writer and job search strategist, as well as a former Human Resources Manager.
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Category: Personal Branding