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Avoid These 5 Job Search Techniques

Posted by Rob Riggins

do not enter wrong wayAre you using bad or outdated strategies in your job search? If you’ve not had to look for a job in the past several years you could be using techniques that no longer make sense even though they may have worked to a certain extent in the past.

The job search landscape has changed a lot in the past five to ten years. Here are five old-fashioned, or just plain wrong, job-search techniques to avoid if you want to improve your chances of getting hired.

1. Making Your Resume Pretty

Your resume should be easily readable and friendly to the eye. But the use of heavy paper stock, colored paper, lines, colored fonts or other graphic elements put you at a distinct disadvantage. That hard-copy resume will be scanned at some point. And those beautifying elements quite often turn things to mush after they are scanned — making important items such as your contact info unreadable.

Whether it’s a hard or soft copy of your resume, you want a good use of white space and bullets vs blocks of dense paragraphs. Recruiters don’t have a lot of time to spend with your resume in an initial review, so the easier it is to read, and the better it leads the recruiter’s eye down the page, the more they will absorb. Look at the difference the bullets make in the text below. Which would you rather read?

bullet points vs paragraph

2. Focusing on Job Responsibilities

In years past we often thought of a resume as our biography, proudly announcing all our job responsibilities. Times have changed and you must think of your resume as an ad to get you an interview for a job. Recruiters and hiring managers today want to see what you’ve accomplished, not just your responsibilities.

We all have responsibilities, but what’s compelling to a hiring manager reading your resume is what you accomplished with the responsibilities you were given. It takes some work to develop these statements. Here’s a Guide to Building Resume Accomplishment Statements.

3. Only Researching the Company You Are Interviewing

Of course you should research any company where you will be interviewing. But you should also do your homework about the individuals you’ll be talking to in the interview. Don’t be surprised if they’re doing the same research on you.

This info better prepares you for the interview. You may find that one of your interviewers recently gave a presentation. That’s something you can reference or ask about when you interview with them.

The easiest tool for doing this research is LinkedIn, in addition to a search engine check. But even if you don’t have a LinkedIn profile you still may be able to find the public version of the individual’s LinkedIn profile via a search engine. Simply search on their name and Google: Joe Interviewer LinkedIn.

Depending on your LinkedIn privacy settings they may see that you have viewed their profile. This might seem creepy to you at first, but it demonstrates that you prepared for the interview and that you take the opportunity seriously. So when a recruiter calls to schedule you for an interview, be sure to ask for the names of all the individuals you’ll be talking to.

4. Only Looking for a Job During Peak Season

It’s true that things do slow down in the dead of summer and over the holidays in winter. But putting your job search on hold puts you at a disadvantage to your competition that keeps plowing through and moving forward during these off-peak times.

The job market is tight right now and employers are seeking to fill positions year round. And employers who are eager to fill a position may actually have more time available during these periods to review resumes and schedule interviews. The same holds true for your networking contacts. This is a time to rev up your job search, not slow it down.

5. Relying Solely on Your Close-In Network

It seems to make sense that your close network will be most helpful in finding your next job because they are closest to you and are more invested in your success. But it’s quite likely that you have not yet met the person who will be most helpful in your job search. And those whom you do not know well – the fringes of your network – are going to be much more helpful to your success. That’s because the fringes of your network are exponentially larger than your close-in network.

When you get a lead from someone, follow through on that lead. So often we don’t follow up on leads we’re given when we can’t see the connection. Or we just don’t feel like taking the time to do our homework. It’s easy to simply jump on ClearedJobs.Net and apply for a job. But it’s much more effective to network and gather information to develop a much stronger targeted resume and cover letter before making that application.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 08, 2016 9:56 am

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