Power Career Moves
The new year is here – budgets are fresh, positions are open and every statistic points to aggressive hiring. Here are 5 sure-fire steps that will get you a competitive edge and land you that job.
1). Get a professional resume done. Don’t even think about doing it yourself as the state of the art of resume writing has changed rather dramatically, and what used to work does not get noticed in today’s market. Gain the competitive advantage right up front by spending the few hundred dollars on the most important career document you need in your search. But be careful, as anyone can claim to be a resume writer and there are a lot of mediocre services out there.
2). Put yourself on the job boards. Not that they are not the most effective way to find a job, but get it out of your system and post your resume. There are over 4,000 job boards in the U.S. and the bigger ones are some of the least effective. So make sure you put yourself on the niche job boards specific to your industry.
Setup search agents that send you an email whenever a new position is posted that meets your criteria. That way you’ll be one of the first to respond. There are some good posting tools to get on the job boards.
Also when responding to an ad, try to avoid the HR pile by going directly to the decision maker (this is critical for career changers). I have some tips on how to do this on my blog (see Tips to Get Noticed) but essentially you will call the manager, get into a conversation and then send them the resume.
If you are at the appropriate level, use recruiters as every statistic shows that recruiters are struggling to find good talent. There are some good services that will email your resume to selected search firms in your field.
3). Tune up your elevator pitch. This is the 20-second statement that you’ll use when people want to know more about you. It is your value proposition designed to get someone to want to know more about you.
Example: “I have over 10 years experience leading highly visible projects where I have combined my PMP certification with industry best practices and tools to consistently deliver results on time. I’ve been told that my greatest strength is working with the various user communities to ensure that their needs and expectations are met”.
4). Network. Networking is still the most effective way to find a position. Networking is NOT telling everyone you know that you are looking and then giving them your resume. Do this and you lose control. Networking is expanding your contacts and asking for career advice and other people they know. Use Linkedin.com to expand your contacts and join organizations and chat groups. Identify and research your targeted companies and find people who work there. Use your elevator pitch to describe yourself and how you can be of value to the organization.
5). Ace the Interview. The purpose of the resume is to get an interview. The purpose of the interview is to get them TO LIKE YOU and want to work with you. So turn the interview from a question/answer session to a lively conversation. This way you will build rapport with the interviewer and get them to want you on their team. If necessary, find a career coach who can teach you how to interview well.
Follow these few power-tips and you will definitely shorten your job search and get noticed for the job you want.