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Searching for a new job is hard work. So much so, that even getting an interview can seem like a full-time job in itself. And, usually, the higher the position and pay, the longer it takes to secure the right one. Even though you consistently send out resumes, it doesn’t mean that you will land your dream job in a timely manner. I happen to believe there are some key things you must do if you want to get what you want. Here are my top 4 strategies to help you get hired sooner.
Get Hired Sooner Strategy #1: Know What You Want
So, have you had another soul-crushing day in your current job? I get it. It’s time to move on, but you aren’t quite sure how to find and land the best new job for you. Relax. Breathe. Take your time to figure out exactly what you hate about your current position and what you like about it. After doing that, you can then think about what other things you want in a job. This exercise will help you to pinpoint what type of position you want, the company culture, and even the area you most desire. Additionally, decide what is negotiable and what is not before you send one resume out there.
I recommend that you write out all of these desires in a “job-hunting” notebook or keep a file on your computer. This will help you stay organized and always attuned to what is important to you as you go forward. You can keep track of the various positions you apply for and how close they match your “dream job” list.
Get Hired Sooner Strategy #2: Have a Superior Resume
First things first…when was the last time you updated your resume? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Don’t feel bad, most people don’t update it until they need to. If it’s been some years, you likely will want to redesign it, as well as update the content. Resume trends have changed over the years…drastically. Things like video resumes and one-page personal websites bring job-hunting to a whole new level. Though all these bells and whistles aren’t necessary to land a job, you should see what people are currently doing in your industry.
The most important aspect of a quality resume is accurate content. Get all of your dates, stats, and descriptive copy just the way you want it. Then you can tackle the design part. If you have some savvy graphic design skills, you should be able to come up with something attractive and stand out. However, if you are design-challenged, you may want to hire someone to do it or create a resume online with a professional company.
Get Hired Sooner Strategy #3: Customize Your Resume To Match Each Job Description
One effective trick to winning over even the most discriminating hiring managers and HR reps is customizing your resume. Every position has a specific set of qualifications and experience level that is ideal. This is similar to your list of things that you want in a job. Consider it a fun challenge to see how closely you can match these two things.
You should tailor each resume you send to match keywords and phrases in the actual ad. This is not just a psychological trick but a necessity. Most modern companies have adopted software or apps to weed out applicants by the number of keywords they hit. In other words, if you don’t make it through this automated screening, your resume won’t even get read. That’s a tough reality!
Stay on the side of honesty always as you work on mirroring these ads. Never exaggerate or lie about anything on your resume. Dishonesty will always bite you in the ass later. Yes, you can be creative and interesting. Go the extra mile to research each company that you really see yourself working for. Having an understanding of their culture up front helps you do design a superior resume. My husband even added a color scheme once to match a specific company’s colors.
Get Hired Sooner Strategy #4: Rock Your References
Though personal endorsements, like those you might get from your family and close friends, might be good for some types of jobs, they are not appropriate for most. Just as with customizing your resume, send references from people who have a connection to the type of work you’re searching for. For example, if you’re applying for an editor position, ask your former English professor to be a reference. Additionally, anyone you have done quality work for recently is perfect to give you the thumbs up.
It can also help to have a Linkedin account set up. This type of professional network can display positive feedback from those who have worked with you in the past. This often demonstrates that you have a good all round professional reputation. Make sure to clean up all social media and network accounts, showing only the relevant information.
Though you may not be in control of who an HR manager talks to when checking your job reference, you can hand pick your actual references. Most companies want to hear from someone you worked with on your last job and, at least, one other person. It’s best to choose a supervisor or boss who worked with you closely and really knows your character. It’s equally important to choose that other one wisely, as well in order to bring out specific qualities and impressive experiences.