Optimize Your Resume
The resume you used five years ago won’t make it through today’s electronic applicant screening process. These systems pick out keywords that are relevant to the position being advertised, and resumes with certain formatting are more likely to be forwarded for review by a person. If digital resumes are outside your expertise, leave this task to resume specialists.
Use Social Media to Expand Your Network
Letting your Facebook friends and Twitter followers know you are in the market for new opportunities is a good start, but the real action is on LinkedIn. Upload a professional photograph, solicit written recommendations from current and former colleagues, and establish yourself as an expert in your field through regular business-related posts.
Stand Out From the Crowd
While applying for jobs online is a critical part of your search, there is something to be said for old-fashioned calls and visits. When you see a help-wanted sign, stop in and say hello to the manager. If a contact number is listed for the position, call and introduce yourself. In today’s job market, the personal touch has been lost, so when you bring it back, you’ll quickly outshine your competition.
Talk Yourself Up
You never know who is hiring, and any number of people are aware of job openings in their own place of employment. Tell every person you talk to, from friends and family to the local bartender, that you are in search of a job. Attend business-related events and social gatherings to boost your chances of coming into contact with the right person at the right time.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Getting called for an interview is a massive compliment. With so many applicants applying to each position, recruiters are very selective about taking candidates to the next step. Don’t blow it. Ask friends and family to interview you, and get used to keeping a cheerful, confident demeanor no matter how nervous you are. If you can, hire a professional to work with you on fine-tuning your interview skills.
The job search process can feel like a roller coaster, but the bottom line is this: There are more positions available than there are qualified workers. Play your cards right, and you are sure to land a fantastic opportunity.