Getting hired is a fulltime job.  In this post we’ll look at ways to get you to the job offer stage more quickly.

Stand out

Even if you possess a hard-to-find skill set, standing out can mean the difference between finding a job and securing a career position that is going to keep you jazzed.

  • Consider sending your resume and letter by regular mail.  Email is the tool of the masses.  Taking a different approach may get you noticed early.
  • Be ready with references that include your most recent employers.  If you skip your last 1 or 2 you could get passed over as someone who has difficulty getting along with others or who can’t perform up to expectations.  Remember to contact them so they will not be surprised when your prospective employer phones.

Think like a recruiter

Today’s recruiters are tasked with sorting through monumental numbers of resumes and applications.  Anything you can do to make their job easier will help you.

  • Shrink your resume.   The longer your resume, the less likely they will pick up the few key words they are looking for.  Do everything possible to avoid listing job responsibilities.  That tells companies absolutely nothing about how you work or your contributions to your past roles. 
  • Guard the first few lines of your resume as the most valuable real estate you possess.  Don’t place your education at the top of the page unless you are seeking a teaching position.  If you use this space for an objective be very careful.  Your career objective should be clear and specific.  If yours could be applied to half the people you know then you’re in trouble.  A broad or vague objective will work against you.   

Use your best manners

Employers are seeking the total package — not just a set of skills.  Impatience or rudeness during the selection process can signal a future problem employee.  Here are some ways you can demonstrate manners during the job search. 

  • Don’t apply for positions for which you are clearly not qualified.  This shows a lack of respect for the company’s time and resources.
  • Follow up nicely.  This can be very challenging, especially when the recruitment cycle is moving slowly.  I feel for you but please don’t call your recruiter to point out how many days it has taken and how long you have waited.  This will not work in your favor.  I know of one candidate who pushed and pushed to get an offer by a certain date and received a much smaller annual salary as a result — and notes to that effect in her file.

An alternative method

If you’re not in a hurry for your next opportunity and you don’t particularly care whether you are building relationships then you might consider sending out a massive number of emails requesting unknown persons to review your profile and tell you where you fit in.  This actually works for a small percentage of the population and will require less effort on your part.  I don’t personally recommend it but the choice is yours.

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