With over 12 years of experience in this field, I have learned a lot about what it is employers really want from candidates. There will never be a 'sure fire' way to land a job (or hire a candidate)... But some simple truths hold true that all Job Seekers should keep in mind during their search:
- Your first impression now comes online. Before meetings, interviews and first handshakes, the majority of people go to LinkedIn or Google to search for each others online profiles. What does yours say about you? (Here is an article I wrote with tips for overall LinkedIn goodness).
- Your picture speaks a thousand words. Profiles with photos are 7x more likely to be viewed and/or reached out to. Profiles without pictures make people feel uncomfortable. Think about how you look and present yourself when you go on interviews or in to important meetings. That is how your picture should look- you (as you truly look today) at your best professional self. (I like this article's tips a lot. And here is an article I wrote on the importance of smiling in your picture). Smart Tip: google your name and make sure any photos visible online of you are the types of pictures you'd be okay with employers seeing ;)
- Market yourself in the role you WANT. Are you a career changer? Do you want a role the next level up? Think about all the traits and skills you have that make you qualified for that role and market THOSE skills. Think of projects with the most impressive results and show those (maybe with PDFs or videos). Employers want to hire the right person for the job- if you are that person, market your skills in a way that lets them know.
- Technology matters. Most everyone uses some sort of technology in their role- CRM systems, database softwares, Outlook, PPT, social media sites, payroll/HR systems, checkout/payment programs, electronic records systems... etc, etc, etc... Make sure to include any and ALL technologies on your resume and profile. Employers want to know if you have the know-how to help them get stuff done.
- Stand out from the crowd. No one really reads anymore, so keep information short, sweet and to the point. Be personal and approachable and use keywords or lists to highlight skill sets and technologies. Where possible, include samples of your work- portfolios, samples, pdfs, videos, etc. Employers want to know if you'll be a better fit than another candidate with a similar background- make their job easy!
- Not every job opening is listed online. When actively looking for work don't rely only on job boards or online searches. Most candidates don't realize that online posts cost money. Recruiting teams tend to use those slots to highlight their hard-to-fill roles. Visit the company's website and career sections to see all their openings.
- Over 80% of jobs are filled by internal connections. Once you find a company or role you are truly interested in, use LinkedIn and other social sites to see who you know who may know someone who works there. Get introduced in and increase your chances of getting called for an interview. Most companies have referral bonuses- so friends are usually willing to try and help!
Being a job seeker often feels overwhelming and stressful. And there is no end of information and suggestions available on what to do (and what NOT to do). BUT today is a CANDIDATE DRIVEN MARKET... so you are now in the drivers seat! Make sure you know what you need to know in order to get where you want to go.
To learn more, check out my class (with a great discount) here: http://goo.gl/PVnpkH.
Have other ideas or tips for Job Seekers? Leave your best job seeking tip below!!