Young professionals weigh in: Make your job search more effective
Ryan Summerlin May 3, 2013
With spring upon us and the close of ski season, many people in Tahoe are on the hunt for a new job. Today’s market can be extremely competitive and, as a recruiter, I’m often asked how to be more effective in a job search. After reviewing thousands of resumes and talking to hundreds of candidates, here are some ways to improve your chances of finding a new position:
Perfect your resume: This is the first impression that a hiring manager gets from you and it will make or break your chances of being considered. If I can’t easily determine what someone does in their current position and the dates they’ve been employed from looking at their resume for 10 seconds, that resume goes into my trash folder. I would advise job seekers use a chronological vs. a functional resume format, and would also warn against crazy colors or strange fonts. Clearly list any specific skills/certifications that you have as these are often what recruiters use in keyword searches to find your resume on a job board. Use numbers to quantify your performance, especially in a sales role, and list awards and accolades you’ve received. Thoroughly proofread your resume for errors and most importantly, never lie about your background because the truth always comes out in the end.
Utilize social media: This is more important than ever in today’s job market as many companies utilize sites like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to find potential candidates. I use LinkedIn on a daily basis to help find people for the positions I’m working on, so it’s essential to have a profile on this site if you’re looking for a job. Try following companies you’re interested in working for on Twitter as many tweet about job openings. Searching hashtags such as #jobs or #hiring can alert you to opportunities, and including hashtags like #hireme in your tweets can help employers locate you. Finally, many employers and recruiters, myself included, look up applicants on Facebook, so be sure your profile doesn’t include anything inappropriate.
Be persistent, to a point: These days, simply sending in your resume for a job posting is not going to cut it. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and follow up. If someone does reach out to you about a job you’ve applied for, be sure to respond as quickly as possible. After an interview, always send an email thank-you note to each person you interviewed with — a handwritten thank-you note is often a nice touch as well — as I’ve actually seen candidates not get hired because of this. Companies like to see candidates who are proactive in following up about feedback; however, don’t overdo it as desperation isn’t an attractive quality to an employer. Finally, don’t take it personally if you do not hear back about a position you applied for. Often there are so many applicants that it can be difficult to get a response out to everyone, but don’t let that discourage you in your search.
— Jane Graybeal works as a recruitment consultant for WilsonHCG and is an active member of Tahoe Regional Young Professionals.