Finding a job in this economy can be a tall order. With so many applicants and so few jobs, employers are in the driver’s seat. As a result, they’ve developed some pretty clever ways to weed out prospective employees. Here are a few tips to improve your chances of landing the job you want.
Use the job announcement to craft your resume
Using the same resume over and over again is the kiss of death, especially when applying for a job online. Employers take advantage of software that screens applicant resumes for certain keywords. As many as 95% of the applications will be discarded, simply because they don’t contain the necessary keywords.
So how exactly do you know which keywords to include in your resume in order to avoid the dreaded rejection pile? They’re usually located right in the job announcement. Perhaps you’re looking for a sales position and the job announcement mentions the company is looking for someone to, “… develop and execute client cultivation strategies for local sales and marketing campaigns.”
Applying for this job you would want to modify your existing resume to include the terms “cultivation strategies” and “marketing campaigns” where appropriate in order to make sure your resume makes it past the keyword screening software.
I once was at a job interview where I was asked to provide a list of references, even though I had previously submitted one with my application.
One employer I know of uses a standard pen throughout the company that contains a company specific color ink. Any job application the hiring manager receives completed in this shade of ink is automatically thrown in the trash because it indicates the job-seeker did not have his own pen to complete the application.
It pays to be prepared. Always have extra copies of your resume and references handy. And remember to bring your own pen along with a notepad for taking notes.
Everything can be a test
Employers are looking for employees who can think on their feet. One employment specialist told me about a company which purposefully informs job-seekers who stop by that the company has no jobs available, even when they, might in fact, have job openings.
The hiring manager was looking to see how the job applicant would respond to the news. Those who asked if they could leave a resume anyway where considered for a position, while those who walked out the door automatically disqualified themselves.
Take advantage of industry specific job portals
Many employers are jettisoning large job sites like Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com. Instead they are opting to place their job announcements on industry specific job sites. As a result, using these websites can increase your chances of landing a job.
“If a manager is looking for a sales employee, for example, she knows she’s reaching out to the right audience when she posts on Sales Gravy, a networking community for sales professionals that includes a job board. Universities that want to hire faculty often post on HigherEdJobs. And companies that need to fill programming or other tech-heavy positions are smart to turn to CrunchBoard, a job board on TechCrunch, a website that focuses on technology and Internet news,” explains Alexis Grant writing for US News & World Report.
Remember it’s not about you
This may be the hardest thing to get over. During the job search it is never about you and your accomplishments. It’s always about how you and your accomplishments can help your prospective employer make a profit or achieve its goals.
What skills do you bring that will help the company improve sales, build a better product, or increase productivity? To answer these questions you must do your homework and thoroughly researching the company where you’re seeking employment. This is a crucial step many job-seekers overlook.
BMWK, what are some of the job hunting tips and strategies you have for landing a job?
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