Job Search Tips to Hit the Ground Running
Hi. I’m job search expert Rick Gillis. I’m new to Salary.com and very proud to be here. I do a number of live presentations annually and for many years have promoted Salary.com as one of the most useful sites to job seekers. That said let’s get to work.
While we'll delve deep into job search strategies and insider tips at some point in the future, it never hurts to cover the basics. So whether you're a new jobseeker just setting out on interviews or a grizzled job search veteran who could use a refresher, here are some job search basics that always true.
7. You're Only Looking for 1 Job
Job seekers frequently tell me how bad the economy is, how there just aren't any jobs, etc. Well, I’m not here to tell you the economy is in great shape, but I am here to tell you although you must be cognizant of economic conditions, always bear in mind that you -- and you alone -- are only looking for one job. You can't allow the negative chatter to impact your personal efforts.
6. Stop Looking for a Job, Start Looking for a Phone Call
Put out all the information about you that you can. Online, in-person, by phone. Yes, by phone. My view has always been that you should spend the first couple of hours a day hitting the job boards, and the rest trying to make contact with a real, human person. I know it’s not easy but it gets easier the more you do it.
As a sales guy (and you do know that job search is sales, right?) I know that if my phone is not ringing the reason is because I'm not calling anyone and giving them a reason to call me back.
5. Be Skeptical of Online Advice
I know this seems like the pot calling the kettle black, but bear with me.
When reviewing job search websites I am always concerned when they provide such "current" information as "watch out for typos in your resume." Really? Yes, that’s important. But if I have to remind you about typos in a resume you should probably be applying for a job somewhere where the only criteria is your ability to make your mark.
I also want to point out that anytime you receive unsolicited job search support (not like this article since you subscribe to the Salary.com newsletter), it is highly likely to be fraudulent. There are a lot of scammers out there sucking the last dollar out of desperate job seekers. Do not work with any organization that guarantees you a job. Nobody, unless they sign the paycheck, can guarantee you a job. Be very certain anytime you provide your Social Security (and never a bank account) number to anyone. Personally, I will provide confidential numbers by phone -- never via email.
4. Semantics Matter
Pay attention to how you say things when you are in job search mode.
The words you use are more critical than you might think. For instance my clients will say they are "seeking a new opportunity" rather than "I’m looking for a job." There is a distinct difference. Someone who is looking for a job (potentially) sounds desperate while a person seeking a new employment opportunity sounds less so.
Even though times are tough and this might seem trivial, keep in mind that no employer will hire your problems. They will only hire you. And every little advantage you retain could be the one that gets you hired.
3. Write the Resume for Hiring Managers, Not Yourself
I see SO many resumes that were obviously written to impress the writer. This is so wrong on countless levels.
Create your resume as if you were a journalist. Your contact information is the masthead of the website or newspaper. The headline is your first sentence, preferably a single line stating exactly the position for which you're applying. Your objective statement is the first paragraph of the article. Notice that when you are reading any article, if the writer does not grab your attention right away you scroll away looking for your next topic of interest. This also applies to recruiters.
Grab their attention at the outset by stating what you are going to do for them and the organization in that all-important first full paragraph.
2. Avoid the "Rewarding & Challenging" Mumbo-Jumbo
And to follow up on the previous point of grabbing your reader’s attention, do you really think you are doing so by "seeking a rewarding and challenging career?!" In this economy, when a business owner or department manager is concerned about even being in business at this time next year, you come out of the blue "seeking a rewarding and…"
Think about it. Not only is it unoriginal, it could be construed as borderline insulting.
1. Network, Network, Network
I know you have heard this time and time again, but there is so much truth in this statement.
The reality is 60 to 80 percent of all jobs are filled as a result of someone knowing someone who "would be perfect for that position." Not sure where to begin your networking? Well, your immediate circle is where you must begin. Friends, family, former/current co-workers, supervisors, professors, clergy, etc. For young people I always recommend they begin with the parents of their friends, and then grow that circle by asking to meet friends of your friend’s parents.
Also, always be prepared to drop 2 or 3 job search business cards with everyone you meet and always have several copies of your resume handy. I’m a big fan of carrying a copy of your resume in your cell phone/tablet, etc. Email is a wonderful thing!
I wish you Good Job Hunting and stay tuned for more upcoming articles in this space very soon.
Thank you for reading. As an added bonus, the Salary.com editorial team has compiled a recommended reading list regarding this topic. Enjoy:
- Job!: How to Find Your Next Job in 1 Day
- Get the Job You Want, Even When No One is Hiring: Take Charge of Your Career, Find the Job You Love, and Earn What You Deserve
- What Does Somebody Have to Do to Get a Job Around Here?: 44 Insider Secrets & Tips That Will Get You Hired
- "Headhunter" Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed Forever