Recruiters will most likely tell you candidates are currently in the driving seat when it comes to planning their next job. However, this doesn't mean that landing your next job is easy: it’s not. True, you’re in high demand, but so are many other qualified candidates. Getting noticed in this marketplace is essential and means turning the right attention to your qualifications. The simplest and best way to accomplish this task is to invest in your personal brand all the time, not just when looking for a new job. Here are my top five tips to being noticed by a prospective employer:
1. Make you Resume a Living Document. If your resume lies dormant until it’s time to dust off the cobwebs, chances are that you it’s outdated and not very enticing. Chances are you are not alone in making this mistake, but that also means there’s no better time than right now to make a change. In today’s hyper-networked world, you need your professional profile and your digital footprint to be fresh and constantly current, irrespective of whether you’re looking for a job or not. Add new accomplishments and skills regularly (perhaps monthly) to make it more of a routine habit more than a chore.
2. Know the Power of Key Words. Many online applications are set-up to filter applications based on key word search, so bear that in mind if you want your application to rise to the top. There is no silver bullet, but you can increase your odds by ensuring the main skills and responsibilities listed in the job description you desire are listed in your resume. Simple things like linking the language of your current role to the one being advertised and referencing your skills related to the job application criteria can make the difference between your applications moving forward to the next stage.
3. Get Social. If you’re not one of the thousands on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook, know there is no time than now to start! Many companies are paying attention to how much people contribute to their field of expertise, particularly in white papers, articles, professional quotes in news pieces, and blogs. There are plenty of ways to raise your profile online: keep an engaging, professional profiles on a social network; follow companies and leaders that align with your career interests; proactively commenting on and sharing articles relevant to your network; and publishing thought leadership ideas of your own. The degree of how social you get is up to you. Companies are delving into social media profiles and they’re keen to get a better insight into who you are, so make sure they can easily find you and be impressed with what they see.
4. Stay Visible on the Latest Job Sites. Most companies are taking advantage of the ease of using online job posting technology to identify prospective candidates. From CEO level appointments to individual contributor roles, job sites are becoming the norm. Ask any of your friends and colleagues about where to look for a job, and chances are they’ll reel off the most popular online job site, search firms and newspapers. Create a profile with your resume and accomplishments on your desired sites, and always remain abreast of openings that might pique your interest. Also, if you find a few positions that do interest you, be selective: don’t fall into the trap of using a cookie cutter approach and blasting your resume to every employer with the same cover letter and resume. Tailor each application by aligning your resume with the skills and capabilities required, making sure to highlight tangible results and with a personal (yet professional) approach to whoever may read it.
5. Make Networking part of your Yearly Goals. Involvement in professional and special interest networks are a great way to engage with your peers as well as stay abreast of openings and referrals. The more people engage with you at these events, the higher the likelihood they’ll recommend you when opportunities arise. Networking doesn't take as much time as you think, and trust me, it can be a lot of fun!