Job Search Techniques: Is Your Job Search Job Search Techniques?

There are a lot of people looking for jobs. Many of them are applying for every and any job that they can find. But is this any way to conduct a job search? It certainly is a less effective way to conduct a job search. As job boards proliferate and every company in the world starts saying ‘apply online’, companies are inundated with lots of resumes to sift through. And if everyone is applying for jobs–any job–many of these resumes submitted online are just one more resume. Study after study shows that a job search technique that consists of firing off resumes to online submission sites is not the best job search technique.

So how do you get your resume on the top of the stack? The key comes down to standing out. Less people apply through the mail. So do that.

Job Search Tip #1: Apply to less jobs, but target them carefully. Your goal here is to be an expert, just the right type of expert for the job. Spend more time on finding the right job, and less to applying for every job. You really want to find a position that you have a critical advantage to obtaining. This may be a special area of expertise, or special area of industry knowledge. An example of this may be an accountant that has knowledge of the medical industry. Or an engineer who has specialized knowledge in antenna design.

Tip #2: Be willing to adjust to the market and change your title, and career direction. Times have changed since you last were in a job search, even if that was 2 years ago. Job titles may have changed, so may the split of responsibilities. You can’t be stuck in the past, even if the title of your last job was more desirable or prestigious.

Realize that as more and more applications are sorted by computers, that computers rely on keywords.

Tip #3: Always be custom-made for the job you apply for. Customize your resume and your cover letter to be only for the job you are applying for. What does this mean? Your ‘objective’ should have the exact title in the job posting. Look through the job posting and identify the exact keywords used in the posting. Match your resume keywords to the posting keywords.

Maybe you even move more relevant work experience to the top–resumes do no have to be chronologically ordered.

Tip #4: Study the wording of the position and match it. Many job search candidates are not considered for jobs they are qualified for because of differences in terminology. If you have military experience, this is one of the best job search tips that you will find: reword your experience to match the style of wording in the job posting. If the job posting had a business style of job description, match it. If the job posting has a technical style, then match it.

Tip #5: Research the hiring manager and reach out to him. (If there is a head hunter involved, research which head hunter has had the best history of getting people into a company and send a hard copy of your resume to him). Make sure your cover letter is personalized. Even if you must also apply online, still send a hard copy.

Also connect to the hiring manager in LinkedIn or through a professional organization. His association of your name with a professional affiliation site like LinkedIn can increase your memorability.

Top job search techniques in this new market emphasize being the exact right person for the job. Being the exact right person means you know the exact right industry and the exact right people and you have precisely the right skillset. In many cases that simply a matter of proving that your skills are a match to the right people.

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Job Search Techniques: What’s Wrong With My Job Search?

Most people concentrate on their resume and hope that they aren’t doing anything else wrong in their job hunt. It’s easy to look at your resume, but your job search technique is more than just fixing your resume.

Here are a few numbers to check yourself against. Most job searches take 3 months. A hunt for a job at the high end (over $100K) can take 5 months. A great job search technique should yield good results. You should contact about five people on average for an interview. Contact five head hunters, or submit five resumes and you should get one offer on average.

In about ten interviews you should get one job offer. For each ‘good’ job offer you get about three total job offers.

Of course there are other factors that change these numbers. If you work in a high demand field you can expect more offers. If you won’t move to a new location then you can expect less offers. But based on these numbers, you can get a feel for how effective your job search technique is working for you.

Now what? If you’ve found that your job search technique is less than effective, you can use these numbers to get a clue as to where your job search problem is. Decide whether you 1.) are getting too few good offers; 2.) are getting too few offers; or 3) are getting too few interviews.

If you are getting too few interviews, then make sure you aren’t just searching job boards and submitting all applications online. Make sure you are including customized cover letters–that use the keywords and the exact language that is in the job posting. Then check to make sure you are applying to jobs that you appear qualified for. If you are applying for the right jobs make sure that the language of your resume is not cryptic and clearly matches the language of the job postings.

You may be restricting your search by something like geography. Salary requirements may be unrealistic (see sites like to check salaries in your area).

If you are getting too few job offers, look at your interview technique. Are you using real, detailed stories that clearly tie to your resume? Do those stories really show your qualifications? Stories should show increased responsibility, initiative, and your skillset. Do you appear confident or are you nervous during interviews? Practice your stories in front of someone. Learn to control your nerves.

If you are getting poor offers, you could be applying to the wrong jobs. Keep in mind that careers shift, maybe you need to reevaluate what current job you are the most qualified for. You could also be not showing your qualifications. Are you representing yourself in the best light?

A job search problem can be diagnosed and fixed with a little thought. These steps are a good start, but there is more you can do.For more free ideas about getting the job of your dreams join me on my blog at Think UpsideDown Books.

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