Searching for a job can be frustrating, especially if you are devoting full-time hours to the process. You spend hours laboring over the perfect cover letter and making sure your resume is impeccable. You follow all the rules, but still receive no phone calls from employers. What is the deal? You know they called someone.
I have not searched for a job in a few years, but I get a bit queasy thinking about what it was like. I also interact with tons and tons of candidates every week and I can feel their pain. Looking for a job can be so painful that it paralyzes you. Despite your best efforts, you may feel like you are tossing your resume into a great abyss. What are you doing wrong? And what is someone else doing right?
Probably nothing, but you need to understand this difficult job climate. The economy may be slowly improving, but there are still roughly three unemployed people for every job opening, plus an untold number of passive job seekers. There are simply a lot of people competing for jobs.
To be a stand-out candidate, you need to drastically change your approach.
You will start landing interviews when you start getting bold.
This is no time to be timid. If you want employers to notice you, start acting like a strong candidate. Try these tactics that I used and other successful candidates are using right now:
Are you responding to every job posting that sounds remotely like something you might do? You may think your odds will improve if you send out enough resumes. Here is my advice — send out fewer resumes. Get small. Make a shortlist of places you would like to work, and send out your resume with a personalized cover letter showing how well you know the company and their needs. You will make a positive impression, and lay the groundwork for a new relationship with the company.
Use Google (not that way)
Why should employers have all the technological advantages? Make the technology start working for you. If that monster of a career site is serving up duds to your inbox, check out niche career sites, which may list great openings that have less competition from other job-seekers. Set up Google alerts for the type of position you want. For example, product management reveals a lot of employers looking to fill that role every day.
Do not just recite the last few jobs you had — show your accomplishments. And quantify them with hard data. For example, instead of saying, “I successfully trained the customer success team to improve customer communications.” Give a more fact-based statement like, “I created 25 template responses and trained the customer success team, reducing average response time to under two hours.”
Finding a new job can be a great challenge for even the strongest candidates, but successful job seekers are bold and stay focused.
Do something entirely different and see what happens. With every bold move you make, your confidence will increase, as well as your odds that a great job is not far away.
What other bold things should job seekers do?