This post has been written to provide job seekers with guidance, inspiration and support in finding a new role.
“Be so good they can’t ignore you.” – Steve Martin.
This has been an extremely challenging period for many, and my heart goes out to each and every person who has lost their job. My heart truly goes out to all the job seekers who are struggling to find a job in the current market.
Through my work as a Head of Human Resources, an RMIT Industry Mentor and Mindset / Career Coach, I have come across many job seekers who have expressed their struggles and challenges throughout this period. To help provide some guidance and direction for anyone who may need a little support throughout this disheartening and difficult time, I wanted to share my top tips for job seekers on how to stand out in a saturated market.
STEP 1: REVIEW YOUR RESUME
A resume is a valuable tool which hiring managers will use to determine whether you are a suitable applicant or not. Hiring Managers will often determine whether you will be shortlisted for a role within the first 10 seconds of seeing your resume. This means that having the most professional, polished resume is an absolute necessity.
A resume is so much more than a written document – it is a reflection of you and your brand. Ensure your resume is updated, polished and professional. Some tips to keep in mind include:
- Use a heading to grab the hiring Manager’s attention and create a title that is reflecting of the job you are applying for “e.g. Committed, Experienced Accounting Professional.”
- Include a bio / summary at the top of your resume, summarising your key accomplishments and skills.
- Specify your academic qualifications.
- Include your career history, from most recent to least recent.
- Include any relevant certifications, systems or tools you are familiar with.
- Ensure you use a professional template. You can find tonnes of free templates here.
- Ensure your resume is written using professional language, and is free of any grammatical or spelling errors.
- Have a mentor or someone you trust review your resume for you.
STEP 2: POLISH YOUR LINKEDIN PROFILE
LinkedIn has become one of the most powerful methods for companies to recruit talent. Your LinkedIn profile should be a complete, accurate reflection of your resume. Ensure you populate your LinkedIn profile with relevant information, and that your profile is fully complete. This includes:
- A professional headshot, ensuring you are wearing professional attire with a clean, white background.
- Include a tag line that is relevant to your role or the position you are searching for e.g. “Committed, Experienced Accounting Professional seeking new opportunities.”
- Ensure you turn the notifications in your settings on to notify recruiters and hiring managers that you are actively seeking new opportunities.
- Personalise your URL so it reflects your full name e.g. www.linkedin.com/in/lara-nercessian/.
- Add 500+ relevant industry contacts.
- Use the ‘Featured’ section to highlight your proudest accomplishments.
- You can view how I have set my LinkedIn profile here.
Note: I recommend toggling off your notification settings, so that your industry contacts do not receive updates for every piece of new information you add to your profile. Your notification settings should only be turned on when you wish to notify your network of your new job, promotions or other exciting updates.
STEP 3: BUILD YOUR ONLINE PRESENCE
I know this feels uncomfortable for many of us, however building your online presence is no longer something to consider. It is a total necessity. In today’s digital world, if you do not have an online presence or a personal brand, you are doing yourself a complete disservice. You are also cutting yourself off from a significant percentage of opportunities that could be made available to you.
Consider how you want to show up online, and how you want to position yourself for prospective employment opportunities. What is your message? What can you share? Posting meaningful content and engaging with insights is a really powerful way to build your personal brand, specifically on LinkedIn.
STEP 4: NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Networking is a really powerful way to build industry contacts and to be considered for employment opportunities. Connect with people you are interested in working with and working for. For example, if you are looking for a Sales Position for Company XXX, send a LinkedIn invitation for the Sales Manager of Company XXX. Introduce yourself as a motivated, talented sales gun who is interested in learning more about the position at Company XXX. LinkedIn job ads often display the profile of the hiring Manger, so with two minutes of effort you have directly connected with the person you need to get in front of.
Reach out, introduce yourself and get in front of the hiring manager. Build a relationship with them. Show interest in who they are and what they are doing. I know this feels uncomfortable. I know this means you could face being rejected or ignored. But how is that any different to applying for job and not receiving a call back because you didn’t do the work to get noticed? The worst possible scenario is that you don’t get a response or you get told no. You are still ahead of the 99% of candidates who won’t reach out in this way.
STEP 5: PUT IN 20% MORE EFFORT THAN THE AVERAGE JOB SEEKER
I recently interviewed Jessica Wilson on the Boss in Heels Podcast. Jessica is the Founder of StashdApp and award-winning entrepreneur featured in Forbes amongst many other publications. In our episode, I asked Jessica what her strategy was for getting noticed by the right people. Jessica’s response was brilliant – do 20% more than what the average person would do. You can listen to Jessica’s entertaining story in detail here, however the principle remains clear – you have to do more than what most people are willing to do.
Think creatively, and think outside the box. In Jessica’s example, she sent balloons tied to a champagne bottle – this was a sure way of getting noticed by her prospective employer.
Don’t just submit your application to a job ad and stop there. Pick up the phone and call the hiring Manager. Build a relationship with them. Engage with their insights. Follow-up with them. Do something that is 20% more than what the average job seeker would do. Ask yourself what you can do to that is going to help you stand out. What does 20% more effort look like to you?
STANDING OUT IN A SATURATED MARKET
What are some of the struggles you are facing as job seekers? What are some of the things that have worked well for you? Is there anything from this article you would like to try? I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences, please leave your comments below.
If you are someone who is serious about making a significant change in their career or their life, feel free to contact me. I take on an extremely limited number of ambitious coaching clients who are looking to positively take charge of their careers and their lives.