Sunday, October 9, 2011

Job Search Tips for a Dynamic Job Market

If you, as a job seeker, thought it was tough to get a job before, watch out!  Now that the economy is showing signs of improvement, both the unemployed and active members of the workforce are beginning to compete more and more for the same positions.   As an active job seeker, you do have an edge over others who are currently employed, so you need to take the time to capitalize on that advantage while you still can.

Job Search Tip # 1 - Network


It is difficult to find a new opportunity if your can’t network openly.  Unlike your employed counterparts, job seekers do not have to worry about who knows that they are looking for a new opportunity.LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter are considered to be the Big 3 when it comes to online networking.  As Google+ is still in its infancy, job seekers also need to find a way to get an invitation to join.  Once an invitation  has been secured, take advantage of the opportunity to connect with 5000 ‘acquaintances’.  The easiest way to do this is to send out an ‘Update’ on your LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter profile to let the people you know that you are happy to send them an invitation upon request.  Once the invitation has been sent and received, you can add them to your ‘circle’ with the click of a mouse.

Job Search Tip # 2  - Follow-up on all leads

Conduct a search on LinkedIn to identify the names of people who work for the companies where you wish to be employed.  Ask your contact for the contact information of the departments wherein you want to work and contact those people directly.

Job Search Tip # 3  - Set and forget

Take the time to post your résumé on all of the job boards you can think of and be sure to make your résumé ‘searchable’.

Job Search Tip # 4 - Use job agents

Many job boards have tools that will deliver suitable openings right into the candidate’s inbox as soon as they are posted.  HINT: Act fast as companies will often limit the number of responses they want to receive by shortening the timeline for applications to be received.

Job Search Tip # 5  - Connect with recruiters

Not all recruiters work in all industries, however, it is still in the best interest of the job seeker to connect with as many recruiters as they can.  Remember that recruiters work for those who have a position that needs to be filled  and NOT the job seekers themselves. 

Job Search Tip # 6 - Customize all correspondence

Know that a résumé that is sent to a hiring manger is not the same as a résumé that is sent to a recruiter.  While a hiring manager will often take the time to scrutinize all of the pages included in the documentation received, a recruiter will either take advantage of the Applicant Tracking Software [ATS] to screen the incoming documents or only view the first page or two of a job applicant’s submission.     

Job Search Tip # 7 - Optimize your documents

Salt both résumés and cover letters with keywords used in the industry.  HINT: Use tools like the following to help identify keywords:
Word It Out (http://worditout.com/)
TagCloudGenerator – (http://www.tag-cloud.de/)

Job Search Tip # 8 - Optimize your social media profiles

Use the tools used to identify industry keywords [see above] and use those keywords in all of your social media profiles.

Job Search Tip # 9 - Clean up your social media profiles

Take the time to do an Internet search on your name as well as review your privacy settings.  UNWRITTEN RULE: If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see it, take it down!

Job Search Tip # 10 - Track progress
Find and use an EASY system to track your job search.  The basic needs for an effective job search system include the following:  Application Date, Job Title, Original Advertisement, Contact Information, Follow-up date, Customized Application Cover Letter, and Customized Résumé


Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. All Rights Reserved. Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Copyright © 2011, Career Matters. Reprinted by permission of the author, Mary Salvino. “Career Matters” is a blog hosted by Mary Salvino, Senior Consultant for SMART Career Planning.com. This blog is dedicated to those who are seeking advice on managing their career and future job opportunities. We welcome readers to share their experiences, post their comments or ask questions about career related matters. For any questions or comments that are better addressed privately, please feel free to e-mail Mary directly at Mary.Salvino@shaw.ca