Get Noticed and Get the Job: 14 Job Search Tips

by Staff - Original publish date: January 16, 2012

According to recent statistics put out by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 9.5% of all Americans are unemployed and looking for jobs. Add those who are looking for promotions or are simply exploring change, and it's probable that the jobs you apply for will be highly sought after.

How do you gain a competitive edge and stand out among other applicants? Follow these 14 tips:

1. Customize your resume for every job

Your resume must clearly outline how your skills, experience, and accomplishments will fit the needs of that particular employer.

When faced with hundreds -- sometimes thousands -- of resumes, hiring departments need a clearly defined reason to bring you in for an interview.

2. Be specific

Write a cover letter that is specific to the company and the position you are applying for.

It sounds like a no-brainer, and it is, but many, many organizations see generic, one-size-fits-all letters from harried job seekers.

3. Do your homework

Learn everything you can about the company before your interview. Devour the organization's website, Google it, and read any press you can on company happenings.

That way you'll be able to go into the interview and tell them how you can provide solutions to their particular problems.

4. Know what you offer

Know exactly what your skills and experience are, as well as how they pertain to the particular job you are interviewing for.

Explain how you, in particular, will be a perfect match for the company's needs.

5. Memorize your speech

Develop a 30-second "elevator speech" about your "soft skills." These important skills include brainstorming, forecasting, critical thinking, and problem solving.

Showing evidence of these skills can often put you above people who have more experience and education.

6. Build a critical skill

Focus on a skill that's in demand for the type of organizations and jobs you are applying for, and master it.

7. Build your social network profiles

Create and maintain a profile on LinkedIn, as well as on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. These sites give you exposure, and make it easy for employers to contact you.

Be sure that your pages focus on your professional, and not your personal, life.

Build your network by asking people you know to join, then branch out by asking for referrals and introductions.

8. Be an expert

Blog about your expertise online, write articles and ebooks, and produce podcasts and webinars. Show what you know.

9. Build an online presence

Register your name, or a variation if it isn't available, as a URL. Use this website as an enhancement to your resume. Include projects you have worked on, photographs, articles and ebooks you've written, and videos.

10. Volunteer

Sign up to help out a couple hours a week, whether it’s in your field or in an area that allows you to use the skills and experience needed in your field.

Not only does this show that you are the type of person who gives back, it also shows that you are passionate about what you do.

11. Keep in touch

Don't stop at the thank-you note after your interview. Don't even stop after the job has been awarded to someone else.

Ask if you can keep in touch with the person who interviewed you, then touch base every month or so to see if additional opportunities are available. Sometimes it takes two or three tries to land a job.

12. Optimize keywords

Make sure you have effective keywords in your resume if it appears anywhere online, such as on LinkedIn, on online job boards, or on your own website.

Recruiters, organizations, and hiring managers do search the web for resumes when looking for the right candidate. Be sure you are easy to find by using the right words and phrases.

13. Connect with contacts

Do you know people at organizations where you would like to work? Touch base and ask them to advocate for you.

Having someone in your corner not only helps you get your foot in the door, it can help you land the job.

14. Relax

Most people enter the job search stressed and nervous, which makes it difficult for them to put their best foot forward.

Be yourself and be relaxed, and you'll be sure to stand out!

Get Noticed and Get the Job

No doubt, today's job market is competitive. But with the right strategies and tactics, you can stand out in a sea of applicants.