5 Job Hunt Tips for 2020
Be a Person with a Plan…
Many people use a gradually frantic approach to their job search, trying a number of different random tactics, hoping something will eventually work. The problem with this approach is before you know it, you’ve spent a lot of time on your job search, and may find yourself having pursued jobs that really didn’t fit your overall career goals.
Come up with a Vision
On the other hand, people who develop a long-term vision for themselves often find the pieces just fall into place. For example, Michael Jordan envisioned playing in championship playoffs before he was even in the NBA. Jordan didn’t even make his high school’s varsity basketball team, however, the UNC basketball clinic accepted Michael for a summer training program because he was quick on his feet and showed potential.
Jordan’s Coach Smith talks about how his staff was amazed at the amount of effort Michael put into practicing and learning the skills that ultimately made him a great basketball player.
If everyone had the same focus Michael Jordan had in his basketball career in their professional careers, the world would be full of a lot of happy and fulfilled people! Playing in the NBA championships might not be in the cards for you. But I’m sure you could imagine a job where you’d be totally happy and fulfilled.
Just as when Michael Jordan was in high school, his immediate goal was to play for a great
college team like UNC and not for an NBA team right away, you can create intermediate goals for yourself that will help you get to your ultimate dream job.
Develop a Sales Pitch…
Having formed this mental picture, the next step is to come up with a pitch to give to potential employers and recruiters. This is also called an “Elevator Pitch” because you should be able to deliver it in the time it would take to ride an elevator for several floors with a very important person who could help you in your job search (say, Senator the Honourable Kamina Johnson Smith, if you’re looking for a job with a government agency, for example). You never know which floor Kamina is getting off at, so you want to try to get her interest as quickly as possible while still being friendly.
The pitch should consider your vision of your ideal next job, where you want to go career-wise, and why you’re qualified. People (including employers) are attracted to individuals who are driven and have a plan to get somewhere in their lives and careers.
Having a pitch is also helpful for networking, which accounts for more job placements than any other method. If you can develop a pitch that’s memorable, even if someone you talk to can’t help you with a job lead right away, they’ll remember you and may talk about you to someone else.
When you compose your pitch, you could consider using just bullet points to remind yourself of things to talk about. Start with the most impressive things first and plan to end with a question that would help you “close” the deal. Closing the deal means different things in different situations. If you’re just networking, the closing process is about finding out how the person can help you and requesting that they help you.
Improving your Resume…
Your resume is one of the most important parts of your job search. It is often your resume which creates the first impression on the part of the recruiter or hiring manager, not your charming personality!
As you start using the elevator pitch you developed, you will probably notice certain aspects of the pitch make sense to emphasize in some situations more than others. For example, if you’re talking to someone at a networking event who represents a company in the telecommunications industry and you have some experience in that area, you will likely spend more time talking about that particular experience with that particular person than you would when talking to other people, not in that industry. Similarly, you will want to have different versions of your resume to emphasize different aspects of your career. You may start off with just one version, but as you start to apply for jobs in different industries or that require slightly different expertise, fine-tuning your resume for these different audiences makes sense.
Here are some critical things your resume must-do for you:
- Communicate exactly what you can do quickly (recruiter should be able to scan the resume and in less than 10 seconds be able to understand what your job function is).
- Communicate which industries you have worked in – if an employer listed on your resume is not a well-known company, you should note what line of business the company is in. Recruiters are often looking for someone who comes from a certain industry.
- Communicate that you are professional and diligent. Just as you would make sure you iron your shirt before you go into an interview in person, you need to make sure your resume looks professional too. This means you can’t have any spelling errors or grammatical mistakes.
- Emphasize the results you’ve achieved for the companies you’ve worked for. Simply noting
- that you were an accountant will not make your resume stand out. You need to indicate what you achieved in that job which made you better than the average accountant applying for the same positions you’re applying for.
- Be “searchable,” because most resumes are processed through automated systems these days. Searchable means that a recruiter searching for someone by typing in keywords needs to be able to find your resume. The twist here is that not all recruiters will think of the same keywords for the same kind of person. One recruiter may type in “attorney,” and another may type in “lawyer.”
- Not use too much jargon. Keep in mind that some people who read your resume will not be experts in your field. Don’t worry about using big words in your resume to try to impress people. The first person who sees your resume will likely be a recent college grad in the company’s human resources department, and maybe completely unaware of the technical terms for the work you do. It’s ok to use some technical words if a lower-level person can still get the gist of what your background and talents are from the context.
- Not make you seem over or under-qualified. If someone reads your resume and thinks you’re too senior for a job, you won’t be considered. Likewise, if they read your resume and at first glance don’t think you’re senior enough, they will also move on to the next resume in their pile/search. One of the first things recruiters look at when they see your resume is the position titles. They often look for someone whose most recent or current job title is the same as the job title for the position they’re trying to fill. Many recruiters (the good ones) will also consider resumes where the most recent job title is slightly junior to the title of the position they’re trying to fill because they realize top-performing people are interested in advancing in their careers.
Many studies about job searching have all come to the same conclusion: networking is the # 1-way people find new jobs. That’s not to say that other methods don’t help. You may find yourself applying for a job with a company and not getting hired there, but one of the people you interview with might pass your name along to someone else. So networking may be involved in a way you don’t expect. If you expand your definition of networking and make it a part of your life, chances are you’ll have a much easier time of moving ahead in your career.
Harvey Mackay, one of the most renowned experts on the subject of networking, says whenever he meets someone, he comes up with an “excuse” to stay in touch with the person. It may be something personal they have in common, such as both being tennis players or something business-related like being in the same professional association. He also talks about how having an attitude of being predisposed to looking for ways to help people you know is contagious: they’ll try to think of ways they can help you too. This is the essence of networking: staying in touch with people and looking for ways to make the relationship mutually beneficial.
Tapping Your Current Relationships
When you’re looking for a new job, don’t forget about one of the most powerful resources you have: people you already know. Think about who’s in your address book. If they knew you were looking for a new position, would some of them be able to help you? Putting in a simple phone call or sending an e-mail to people you know could help you uncover some valuable job leads.
Use Social Media…
Whether you are a recent college grad or seasoned professional looking or your first job or new opportunity your main goal with this method is to get your resume in front of a lot of companies so you can start having conversations FAST. The best place to do that is through social media like LinkedIn, IG, FB, Twitter, etc. Social media has the power to humanize the recruitment process for you and your potential employer.
Follow these tips for using social media to find a job:
- Know your plan
As discussed previously, we recommend you write your plan of action down – how are you going to tackle your job search? What will be your elevator pitch? And who (which industry) you will target?
- Scrub your social networks
Now is the time to go over all your social media networks and scrub it – this means removing all posts incongruent or too personal to the ideals of the job you are hunting.
- Present a professional image
Remove those pictures from your social media profiles that represent you in a negative light and update your photos to ones that project a professional image.
Always use your real name to project professionalism – remove all aliases and update your social media profiles to a professional one and one which will appeal to your prospective employer.
- Search job search sites
HRM Options Group Indeed, Glassdoor, Career Builder and Monster are job search sites that allow you to upload your resume and set up alerts when jobs in your field of interest are posted.
Don’t be afraid to use social media as your job hunt strategy! Happy job hunting.
Interested in additional ways to improve your Job Search Strategy?