24 recruiter-tested Tips for Job-Seeking Success
A fortunate few never actually look for jobs: they’re recommended by superiors or recruited by former co-workers. For the rest of us, here’s a toolbox of best-practices to make job-hunting easier and more productive.
On your professional brand:
- DO have a recently-updated resume. Especially if you’re a leader, have it reviewed and reworked by an expert
- DO have a recently-updated LinkedIn profile with a clear, professional-looking head shot
- DO make sure the dates and titles on your LinkedIn profile match your resume
- DO ask for LinkedIn recommendations from people who know you and your work well
Michelle spotted a LinkedIn job posting that looked like a perfect next role. Wisely, she asked around and found a professional who could review and revise her resume + her LinkedIn profile. Feeling much more confident after the resulting profile update and resume had been delivered, she applied to the job.
On figuring out where to begin your search:
- DO pick 5-10 companies you admire and for whom you think you’d like to work
- DO your research on each company. Using LinkedIn, find a common connection and ask for an introduction
- DO invite people in these companies for a quick cup of coffee near their office. Say something like, “I’d love to hear what you like about working at X. Can I buy you a quick cup of coffee?”
- DO ask people you trust for a recruiter recommendation
- DO spread the word: let friends and family know you’re looking for a new company
- DO mingle: attend Meetups in your field of expertise (or ones that strike your fancy)
- DO look for and join LinkedIn groups in your profession
- DO expand your personal network by taking part in volunteer activities. Make sure to choose a cause that you truly care about
David is great at asking his LinkedIn connections for introductions. When he finds postings that fit his experience, he immediately looks to his network to see who can be an advocate. This has given him several opportunities to interview, as well as offering insights into these companies.
On applying to company websites:
- DON’T rely only on applying to jobs online, unless your skills are in high demand
- DON’T regurgitate your entire resume into your cover letter, if you’re using one. Keep it simple. Here’s a guideline.
- DO try to find an advocate inside the company as well as applying online
- DO tailor your resume to the job, highlighting the most-important skills
On staying the course:
- DO look for a job before you actually need one. 411 is easier than 911
- DON’T get impatient! Depending on your salary, it can take 6-10 months to find the right next position
- DO take consistent action so you feel empowered
- DO take good care of yourself physically and emotionally
Michael, who’d been off the job market for a couple of years, really enjoyed the networking aspect of his search. He took every opportunity to meet people. Along the way, he also made it his business to connect others and offer his help. His confidence, curiosity, and kindness added tremendous velocity to his search. Very quickly, he landed a great role with a Fortune 500 company and is now happily digging in.
On adding velocity to YOUR search:
- DO find ways to help others along the way.
- DO assume that things are working out for the best, keeping a positive outlook
- DO stay curious and open-minded. That job that doesn’t seem to be a fit could end up being best one in your career so far!
- DON’T allow yourself to get bitter, angry or desperate. These attitudes are repellent, and people pick up on them even when they can’t pinpoint what it is about you that is off-putting
Amy, who’s been job-hunting for 5+ months, is finding it hard to land one. It’s ironic, because the market in her city is hungry for people with her experience. She’s had phone interviews, but they never seem to result in face-to-face meetings. The problem? She’s tense and angry. The roles don’t pay what she expects to earn. Rather than adopting a curious and confident outlook, she’s bitter.
Your search can be a trial, or it can be an interesting and exhilarating adventure. By deciding to take the long view, asking for help along the way (+offering your help to others) and refining your job-hunting skills, you’ll be giving it the attention it deserves.
Happily, your results will reflect this.
Need some objective + experienced advice for your professional brand? I can help.
Here’s a link to my calendar to schedule a 15-minute, no-strings-attached call.