I received an email yesterday from a customer who wants to know if I have any job search tips. Unfortunately, he had recently been fired and was in the labor market. Talking to him got me thinking …What Really makes a job search successful?
The bad news is that there is no magic formula. The good news is that you do a number of very simple things can do to improve your marketability.
Here are four easy steps:
1. Update your resume as soon as possible
This may sound simple, but it is by far the most important (and first) step in finding a job. You need your CV ready for immediate use.
The way I see it, there are two types of job seekers. There is the job seeker who draws confidence from the preparation and then there are the kind of job seekers who are blinded by the unexpected. I know which kind I would rather be.
The best time to focus on your resume is when you don’t need it.
2. Find out who your resume is for
Is your resume for you or for potential employers? The resume may contain your information, experiences and achievements, but ultimately also the documents that make it up past the ATS Not only do they have the correct number of keywords, but they also show very clearly what the applicant can do to the the potential employer.
When writing your resume, keep an eye on potential employers. Make sure you quantify your experience, Skills and achievements. Give them a preview of the positive impact you could have on their organization if they hired you.
3. Realize that this is not about you
Really. It is not. The most successful job seekers understand that what you do for others is important, not what they can do for you.
This is a basic idea that hopefully will change for some Act of “networking” completely upside down. The most important thing in any interaction is to demonstrate “How can I help you?” It is the people who selflessly look out for those around them who open up opportunities. Here are some ideas to get you started:
What connections can you make? Ask open-ended questions. You can even treat the conversation like a conversation Information interview. What professional needs does the other party have and how can you meet them?
4. Determine your goal
This is such a simple concept, but it’s probably the biggest obstacle I see with a lot of my clients. You have to have a goal. As simple as that. How can you expect to meet the target of employment without getting a direct hit?
The first step is to clearly identify the job / occupation / industry that you are targeting. You might even have a company that you’ve always wanted to work for. (It’s always a good idea to have an interview bucket list – a list of companies that you are passionate about and would like to work for one day.)
Make sure your goal matches your experience. Then (and only then) are you free to come up with a plan reach your goal.
Here is an example:
I have an open house policy with my resume clients and watch them as they search for a job. Out of all the resumes and resume clients I’ve ever had, only one resume didn’t work. One. When I was writing the first resume, my client was targeting a retail sales position. Then one day, a few months after she was looking for a job, she called and wondered why she wasn’t getting any answers. I asked her to send me a sample of the jobs she was applying for and guess what? All of the online applications she completed related to personnel positions. No wonder your resume didn’t work!
After rewriting her resume, she found work relatively quickly and it just goes to show the importance of aiming before you pull the trigger.
Know your audience, be proactive, and remember, it’s not about you. If you apply these things to your job search, you will be hired in no time!
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This post was originally published earlier.
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