Job Hunting 101

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Tailor Your Resume

Your resume is the most important tool during a job search. Potential employers use resumes to whittle down applications to a few potential candidates to invite for interviews. Are you sending hundreds of resumes without getting call backs? Maybe your resume is too general and that won’t do! To be successful, carefully tailor your resume to the job you are applying for. You don’t want your shoddy resume to be the reason you never even get a foot in the door. To improve chances of being invited for interviews, tailor your resume and cover letter to match the primary requirements of the job. Share experiences and accomplishments that would show your potential employer that you can excel in that specific position. You don’t have to use the same old boring chronological resume style: feel free to organise your information in the way that sells you best. If applying for an artsy job, an artistic resume might have more impact. Instead of sending out the same resume to different companies, contact fewer companies with a more focused and compelling message.

Have Great References

A great CV isn’t complete without a kickass reference list. After all, especially when it comes to job hunting, what others say about you is far more important than what you say about yourself. According to Jeff Shane, executive vice president of Allison & Taylor, “Prospective employers really take into consideration what job references say about a candidate. You’re only going to say good things about yourself, and personal references are only going to offer positive remarks, but professional references are more detached and will be more candid, loose-lipped and revealing.” Make sure your chosen references list would paint a pretty picture of you – one that is consistent with your glowing resume. The best people to ask for references are supervisors, former colleagues and professors. Make sure that your referrers have great reputations, and are in positions of authority and credibility. Keep your references in the loop about your job hunt and discuss with them the past responsibilities and achievements you want to highlight for your potential employers. If you get the job, don’t forget to send thankyou emails or gifts to your references.

Get Professional Help

Many people dismiss professional recruiters and headhunters, declaring they can get a job all by themselves. However, if you are having little success, it might be time to bring in a professional. Corporate staffing companies have access to job openings you might not know about which suit your skills and needs. They might even help you revamp your resume and interview skills to catch the eye of your next employer!

Clean Up Online

What do potential employers find when they Google your name? To find out, Google yourself to determine that your online persona is squeaky clean and most importantly, is consistent with the image presented in your resume. You don’t want your possible future boss finding videos and pictures of you partying wildly… unless it’s part of the job. A great way to improve your online image is to showcase your expertise by publishing on a blog, writing for noteworthy websites, publishing professional papers and books, and updating your LinkedIn profile. While at it, also clean up your social media profiles so they portray a more professional image.

Work Your Network

It’s true that most people get their jobs not through traditional job applications, but through personal connections. Literally, anyone can lead you to your next job, so take care of your current contacts and strive to make more. Let your contacts know that you are looking for a job. They might not have a job to offer right there and then, but they will have you in mind if something you might be interested in comes up. To find great contacts, attend networking events and participate in professional organisations in your field. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself to people and making small talk. Every new acquaintance you make enlarges your network.

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