A job search can take a lot of effort and can also leave the job seeker feeling helpless. The key is not to let the search control you, but to be in control of the search. A few minor tweaks to your approach may be all it takes to help you reach the next rung of whatever ladder you may be climbing. The following tips are meant to help you feel empowered to take steps that will help you stand apart from the crowd and land the job you want.
1. Get committed.
If you’re currently employed and job searching simultaneously, you’re probably left with little time to look. Like most job seekers, you’re scouring openings on job boards and waiting for a response. The longer you stay at it with no results, the more helpless you’re going to feel about your search. But the truth is, you’re not helpless at all. You’re just attacking the problem the wrong way.
While job boards are certainly valuable, up to 80% of jobs are found by networking and that’s something you actually can control! If you’re serious about finding a job, you’ll want to be in control of the process so you’re sure to end up with the job you want, not just whatever job you can get. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date and start doing some research. Don’t just look for jobs you want, but also find companies that you want to work for. Make connections with people who work within those organizations whose career paths you want to emulate. Reach out to them and let them know you’re trying to create a similar career path for yourself and were hoping they’d be willing to share some advice. Need more information on networking in general? Read this…
2. Get creative.
You’ve probably heard it before…craft a unique cover letter that sets you apart from the crowd. The truth is though, cover letters don’t always get a thorough read. You definitely still need to submit a cover letter, but you can take more control of how your present your candidacy. Relying on your resume and cover letter alone to get you in the door sometimes just isn’t enough. Start thinking outside-the-box about how to present your candidacy in a non-traditional way or get your resume directly into the right hands. Some ideas include; building a website geared toward a particular search or producing a video bio or visual presentation that showcases your strengths and skills. These are not just a great ways to get a hiring manager’s attention, they’re also a unique way to showcase your creativity and other skills that aren’t necessarily conveyed by your resume! For more inspiration take a look here.
3. It’s not about you.
This is a hard one for many candidates to remember. Your excitement about a potential opportunity might lead you to talk more about how the position fits into your career path and your goals. Of course companies want to hire people excited to do the job, but they also want to hire people who recognize that they’re part of an organization with specific objectives and goals that must be met in order to grow. Your job is to show the hiring manager what value you’ll be able to bring to the role and how you’ll be able to fit into the larger framework of the organization and its mission.
4. The little things matter.
Yes, the little things like thank you notes do matter. Use this opportunity to stand out and make a real connection with the hiring manager. Thank you notes are another chance to leave a lasting impression, so do your best to personalize the message. Reference a topic that you and the hiring manger connected on. Were you inspired by anything that the hiring manger talked about in terms of his/her approach to motivating the team? It could even be as simple your shared love of Star Wars. Anything will work, as long as it’s genuine. The more TLC you put into your note, the more you’ll get out of it.