Searching for a job can be a tedious process. Sometimes it almost feels like a job in itself – but without the paycheck. The beauty of the Internet age is that job searches are easy to do. A job seeker can perform a quick search for jobs and return results from three popular platforms like Indeed, LinkedIn, Honest Jobs (Note: If there is a concern of criminal background Honest Jobs is specifically built to help you succeed in your job search.)
Finding the jobs is the easy part. The difficult part is reviewing these opportunities.
Our time is valuable, so here are a few tips to help ensure your application will lead to an offer.
Three Tips for Job Seekers
- Build Your Social Media Profile. Love it or hate it, you should be on it. That doesn’t mean you need to be active on all the platforms. By my quick count, I’m on seven social media platforms and that’s not even all that exists. If you’re not currently active on social media, I encourage you to select 2 or 3 platforms to join. Select the platforms that you will enjoy and also resonates w/ your career goals. For example, if your goals are to work in marketing or design, you should invest the time to be active on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Snapchat. If your career is in technology or education, consider Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Learn where your professional peers are and join the conversation. A word of caution on social media. Remember that you are not alone. Your profile is public to the world and as we all have seen what you say and share matters. Recruiters will look. Colleagues and supervisors will too. I’m not saying to censor yourself but be mindful.
- Your resume is not a one-and-done deal. I tell my students that your resume should be a “living and breathing document”. This means that your resume should tailor to every job you apply to. At least once in a semester, I have my students review a posting for their ideal job and highlight keywords. Highlight the keywords focusing on responsibilities and duties and use those exact words in your resume. Why? When you submit your resume, one or two things usually happen.
- Your resume goes through an Application Tracking System (ATS) software. This software looks for keywords and phrases that the job description has. Synonyms don’t always make it through. Here’s an example: I’m an instructor at Hocking College, and I decide to apply for a role that requires experience as a teacher. “Instructor” and “teacher” are similar but the ATS is only looking for the word “teacher” and may not understand that “instructor” has the same meaning. The ATS states I don’t meet the qualifications.
- The resume does not go through an ATS system but is reviewed by Human Resources who are not familiar with industry synonyms. An example: A graduate from Hocking College’s Data Analytics program is applying for a role in a company’s Business Analytics division. Human Resources may not be aware that Business Analyst and Data Analyst roles are often interchangeable and may decline your application based on the simple differences in a word. Words matter and you have to remember, you want the people and systems who are reading your words to quickly see why you are a good fit for a position.
- Never stop learning. As technology makes learning easily available (YouTube, LinkedIn Learning, etc.) you should work to take advantage of it. Companies are looking for individuals who are adopting the mentality of being a lifelong learner. In 2019, LinkedIn launched Skills Assessments that recruiters use to find standout candidates. This is a free assessment tool and if an assessment shows you need more training, LinkedIn recommends courses from their LinkedIn Learning platform at no extra charge (for a limited time).
LinkedIn Skills Assessments
Read more about LinkedIn Skills assessments or check out my video reviewing it in the links below:
Available Skills Assessments on Linkedin
Skill assessments can be extremely beneficial if you are currently unemployed. Invest in the time to learn news skills and increase the value you can bring to your next employer. In addition, be sure to read the article from The Balance Careers on What to Put on LinkedIn When You Are Unemployed for advice as well
Ultimately, the job search process can be tedious and sometimes even demoralizing but it’s part of the process that we all go through. You’re not alone and my final bit of advice is to keep preparing yourself for the next opportunity. Learn new skills, update and upload your resume on the job board sites and be ready to answer the call (or email) when it comes – because it will come.