Job Hunting: Much Has Changed, But Here’s What Still Works Best
As a job seeker, you want to work with the most effective approach to securing your dream job opportunity. But, what is the most effective approach? There’s a lot of advice out there on how to go about a job hunt, from how to write the most effective resume, to how to find a job through networking, to what to say and what not to say during a job interview. What new advice do you listen to, and what tried and true methods still work today? Here, we reveal what still works when it comes to the resume, job hunting, and job interviewing.
A growing number of job seekers are now using LinkedIn to find job opportunities, but that doesn’t mean the LinkedIn profile has replaced the resume utterly. Most employers continue to request the resume. It’s also a tangible document that can be used during the job interview itself. Today’s employers may not necessarily go through every resume manually, but they rely on applicant tracking systems (ATS) instead. Here are the general rules to resume writing that have remained effective and true:
- It’s about the quality of content, not the quantity of content – job applicants should work to keep the resume brief, about 1- 2 pages (3 pages at most for senior-level executives with an extensive work history).
- If you’ve worked for a lesser known company, it helps to add a short description in about what the company does so that there is more context to your professional experience.
- Make sure only to send the resume when it is free of spelling and grammatical errors. Many hiring managers and recruiters have no tolerance for an unprofessional resume.
- Apply to the job sooner rather than later. Once the employer has a good round resumes from candidates to work with it’s unlikely they will add more candidates to the mix for review, unless necessary.
From the days of looking through the newspapers for job opportunities to finding everything you need online today, much has changed about the job hunt process. Even so, the most effective approaches to getting your foot in the door include:
- Referrals – you have a better shot of getting noticed by employers with a referral than trying to go it alone.
- Networking – it remains the most effective approach to a job hunt, as opposed to job boards and recruiters.
- Positive recommendations – a good recommendation or testimony from a third party, such as your former boss, clients, or someone respected in your industry, adds a powerful element to staying in the running and getting hired. Today’s other social proofs include testimonials and endorsements on your abilities on social networks like LinkedIn.
Getting the door to open for a job interview puts you one step closer to getting hired, but you must still impress in person as you’ve impressed on paper:
- Keep a positive attitude – even those with the right experience and skills can fail if they lack confidence and a drive for success.
- First impressions have a hard impact. Dress for success – come well-groomed in your best attire and present yourself using the right body language. For more tips, read: “How to Dress for the Interview” and “What Your Interview Body Language Reveals about You.”
- Keep to proper etiquette. This means showing up to the job interview on time and having a polite and professional manner in the way you communicate in person and over e-mail. Never put down your current or former boss/employer and remember to send a thank-you note within 24 hours after the job interview.
- Come off as likable – as basic as it sounds, being liked by others remains important to getting hired. At the job interview, others get a sense of your character and personality. Be genuine and show you share the same interests and desires for workplace success. Those who others feel comfortable working with will have a greater chance of getting hired.
The Internet may have changed the way employers find talent and how job seekers find job opportunities, but many of the basic elements to successful job hunting remain intact. Employers want candidates who display relevant experience and skills, and who can show proof of results that may benefit the employer on the job. As a job seeker, your best shot is still working with connections you already have to reach the decision maker.