It’s been a buyer’s employment market since 2008. For every job posted there are sometimes hundreds of applicants. For that reason, modern job seekers as sellers, need to be increasingly savvy in their job searches.
Here are five MUST DO TIPS for the modern job seeker to increase chances of closing the deal:
Before you start looking for a job, use the internet to learn about which industries are in growth mode and which are hiring. Determine what types of jobs companies are posting and which qualifications they seek. Then decide whether you need to obtain a certification or take a course or re-word your resume to fit the job needs. If you are looking for a job that gives preference to certifications, consider whether you should get certified. But, you might find you don’t want it enough.
For example, a financial analyst who had also been working as a project manager decided to look for a new job. He soon realized that if he wanted to find a job as a project manager in a large financial institution, he would need a PMP certification. He remained at his job and studied for the certification. Then, with the PMP certification on his resume, he pursued suitable positions with a new level of confidence.
Once you have a direction, you must develop a brief, cogent elevator speech and practice it before you reach out to build your referral network. If you speak with people before you have clarity, you may sound uncertain and lacking in confidence or direction. You only get one shot to make an impression. How do you build a job hunting network? Make a chart listing your friends, relatives, and people you’ve dealt with in business. Determine which ones you trust to keep your job search confidential, to give you honest advice, and to make appropriate introductions. If you are an experienced professional, that list should be between 50 and 250 people. Email or call them one-by-one and ask them for their help. Make notes about the date and content of the conversation and establish a time that you will follow up. Ask key individuals to review and comment on your resume. Ask them to introduce you to others. Follow up on every lead you are given and go on every informational or courtesy interview you are offered. You will find some people will help you more than others. Follow up with the people who sincerely reach out to you.
Study the qualifications listed in each job posting. Does your resume show that your skills meet those requirements? If not, rework your resume to let the readers know right away that your skills are “on all fours” with the applicant they seek. If you are an experienced professional, you likely will add a brief summary at the top with core competencies mirroring the job requirements just below the summary. Present results, achievements, or impacts of your work to SHOW prospective employers how you will be able to solve their problems. And, to make it to the top of the pile, your resume must look clean, organized, and be error-free. Ask people you respect to read and comment on your resume.