Yes, it’s a strong job market for applicants. But, even if you’re “the one”, you’ll forever be competing with less qualified applicants. It’s a bit like you’re the top-seeded team playing the first round of a tournament. Your goal is to avoid the upset! Think about it; you’re the most experienced applicant but still miss that slam dunk job due to a resume oversight or an interview gaff.
To avoid these missed opportunities, check out my steps for hitting those job hunting slam dunks.
1. Write your resume as if the person reading will have no clue what you do.
- Focus on your accomplishments and how they benefited your employers: Include ROI, size and scope of projects, and the like.
- Stick to your past three-five years: I love one-page resumes and so do most managers who don’t want to spend too long reviewing resumes. Whatever you can lose (pointless details, cliché words and phrases, etc.) lose.
- Figure out who you really are and what you really want. Build the resume from there.
- Don’t treat the resume as if it’s ever really finished: It will be a work in progress from day to day.
2. Target your search carefully
- Don’t just apply everywhere: Make sure you only apply where you want to, and carefully keep records for where you applied to. You don’t want to get a call and not have any clue who is calling you from where or why.
- Remember those who might be advertising for openings might not really be hiring and those who aren’t advertising might be hiring.
- Be able to tell people in a specific company why YOU should be hired: Don’t just say: “I need a job.”
- Keep in mind that LinkedIn and Indeed aren’t the only places on the web to mine.
3. Network and actually meet people
- Get proactive in terms of learning new things, meeting new people, and showing your face simply because a lot of people DON’T do these things anymore.
- Attempt to meet the people you want to work for.
- Going to an event? Learn who will be there there and target them.
- Don’t get discouraged: There is an association for anything and everything, including your industry.
4. Kill the interview
- Be prepared beforehand: research the company, know what it does, check out its latest press clipping(s), and so on.
- Don’t take an interview for a company you aren’t interested in – you are wasting your time and wasting the interviewer’s time. Bad blood can develop.
- Never lie, but don’t always tell the WHOLE truth. Prepare some vanilla answers to potentially awkward questions. For instance: really think about how to concisely explain why you are leaving your current job, and if need be, practice your answers.
- Pausing before you respond is never a bad idea when in an interview.
- Pretend you are talking to the CEO every time.
- Don’t change your story as your interviews progress and you meet with various people: It will look like you are making it up.
5. Beef up your social presence
- The online world is fragmented. So take some time and review all applicable social media platforms and resources, such as job boards, AI recruitment tools, etc.
- Today, LinkedIn profiles function oftentimes as the new resume.
- Anything you post on Twitter, in Facebook, etc. basically, will last forever. You may want to police your presence.
- Be professional without being stuffy: And if you are going to get political, remember that carries risk.
Finally, believe in yourself and know that failing during the job hunt builds grit! However, if after applying these steps you’re still losing to the competition, reach out to me and I’ll get you back in the game.
- Evaluate your current recruiting process with our 60-Second Assessment Tool.
- Contact Chris Miller to learn more about our creative services.
- Subscribe to stay informed on recruiting metrics or other industry topics.