Searching for a job and not getting any good results? New to the candidate market and don’t know where to begin? Here are some valuable tips to help you!
The first step landing a job is preparing your resume and with that, you need to know your work history. Make sure you know the exact dates of where you were employed previously. If a company needs to verify your employment, your dates will need to match what your previous employers have on file.
No matter what career level you are in, today employers not only want to see a resume, they expect you to know what’s on it, and want an electronic copy of it. We will discuss in-depth resume tips later, but here are a few to get you started:
- Try to keep it to 1-2 pages (only go back 10 years for your employment)
- Use good formatting – Use Bullet points to highlight responsibilities and skills
- Do not include the year you graduated high school (don’t give away your age, it’s not relevant)
- Proofread!! Absolutely no spelling and grammar mistakes
- Stay professional, do not include any personal information, interests or hobbies
Make sure you have an electronic copy of the resume, preferably in a Word or text based document so it’s easy for employers to import into their Applicant Tracking Systems.
Be able to address questions with straight forward answers. For example, if an employer says to you “Tell me a little about yourself.” Keep it professional! They are not asking you how many cats you have and what you like to do on weekends. They are asking for an overview of your work experience. So stay professional and keep it simple like this: “I graduated from college with an Associate’s Degree in Accounting and have gained most of my work experience at ABC Company where I was responsible for Payroll processing. Most recently I’ve worked within and Accounts Receivable doing collections….” Apply this to your own experience and practice saying it out loud.
Be conservative with your ‘technology appearance’…
Your Phone…Do not have a Ring-back tone while searching for a job! This can be very distracting to the recruiter calling you and depending on your selection, could have a negative connotation on your overall personality.
The same goes for voicemail messages… Change your voicemail to include your first and last name so recruiters know they have reached the correct number. Keep it simple: “Hello, you’ve reached John Doe and I’m sorry I cannot take your call at the moment, please leave your name and number and I will contact you as soon as I can.”
Your Email Address…Have a professional and appropriate email address… Email addresses can say a lot about how serious you are as an applicant. Something like email@example.com will not go over well with most employers. It’s best to create a new email account just for job search purposes. Make sure the address you create is just your first and last name. If you have to include a number, make sure it’s not the year you were born – you do not want to give away your age!
Playing with your phone… This is the now the norm. Everywhere you look people are texting, checking their Facebook pages, tweeting, etc. However, when you go to complete an application or better yet, go on an interview…leave the phone alone! As tempting as it is, it will not bode well with the employer if they walk over to greet you and you’re wrapping up a text message. Leave it in the car or turn it off before you even enter the building.
Follow up with employers…
Follow up promptly…when a recruiter leaves you a message, sends you an email or asks you to call back at a certain time, do so right away. Recruiters will keep making calls until they find the right candidate. If you do not respond promptly, another candidate may be placed in your job!
Follow up is important but if your recruiter tells you they will contact you the following day, allow them the necessary time to do so. They may be waiting for the hiring manager to get back to them so can deliver more specific feedback to you.
Try to be accommodating when scheduling interviews. Set a plan in place ahead of time for childcare, etc. If an employer wants to meet with you for an interview and you have another appointment conflicting, do your best to reschedule the other appointment. You want to make a good first impression and flexibility is an extremely attractive quality for applicants to have. Especially in our ever changing society!
Utilize Staffing Agencies, local career counseling services, and job search boards to assist you…
Do not put all your eggs in one basket! Get the word out that you are looking for a job and do not depend on just one resource. Post your resume on as many job boards as you can and look for new job postings daily. Apply for positions you are qualified for and follow up with a phone call after you have sent your resume through.
Here are some of the top job boards to become affiliated with:
- Monster Jobs
Contact as many staffing agencies you can within your local area. Once you interview with them, make sure you understand their hiring process and make sure they understand what you are looking for.
Let your skills and experience leave an impression…not what you’re wearing. It’s best to dress conservative and professional no matter what industry you’re in. You don’t want your attire to be a distraction for employers. While we’re on this topic, don’t wear perfume or cologne on interviews – some people are allergic and you do not want the hiring manager sneezing all over you during an interview! Have 2 or 3 outfits ready to go for interviews. If you’re on a budget, hit up the local consignment shops – they have a lot of variety at a very low cost!
Your online presence can either help or hurt you in landing a job! Make sure all of your social media sites are either private or ready for employer viewing! If you choose to go private, choose a conservative profile picture as this is still available for public viewing.
Job search frustration…
Being out of work for a long period of time can cause a lot of stress and frustration, especially if you’re faced with financial hardships. Try to stay positive and do not take out your frustration on recruiters. Try to understand that not every job will be a match for you but it’s all leading up to the right one. Always be courteous and professional and it will pay off in the end.