Looking for a new job can be challenging on a lot of levels. This includes knowing where to begin your search, identifying appropriate networking opportunities and gaining a better understanding of the industry that is the right fit for you. However, one of the most challenging – and often frustrating – aspects to a job search is submitting a resume, only to feel it has gone into an abyss and that you will never hear from the company again. There are many things to consider to ensure your resume – and more importantly you – stand out above the rest.
Here are five tips to protect you from getting lost in the dreaded resume abyss.
1. You May Not Be Perfect, but Your Resume Should Be: Your resume is essentially a professional snapshot of yourself – and that first impression paves the way for the first interview. Spend time on your resume to ensure it responds directly to a job description, includes accomplishments vs. responsibilities; offers differentiating points (like your GPA if it is 3.7 or higher, extracurricular activities, ability to speak a foreign language); and most importantly – make sure there are absolutely no typos.
2. Engage with a Recruiter – A recruiter with a strong company relationship can essentially guarantee your resume ends up in front of the hiring manager. They can also help you find similar jobs of interest and can assist you with the resume content itself.
3. Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage – Connect with key people in the organization (including the HR or hiring manager through LinkedIn). However, before you connect, make sure your LinkedIn profile information matches your resume and your LinkedIn photo is professional (no wedding, outing, or Facebook photos).
Pro Tip: have a friend take a picture of you against a blank wall if you don’t have a professional headshot.
4. Follow-up… with Care – While regular follow-up is the next logical step after submitting a resume, be sure to follow certain protocols. Many job postings will indicate a “close” date, in which case you will want to wait two-to-three days after the date, since you don’t want to come off impatient. If there isn’t a close date posted, you should still wait two-to-three days after submission. And, as you follow-up, keep the conversation tone light and friendly.
5. Make a (Positive) Impression Every Chance You Get – Take every opportunity to make an impression and get remembered. This can include finding common ground with the hiring manager and engaging with them on non-business topics of interest. Also, attending networking events relevant to your target companies can help you stand out, since in-person face time and interaction can go a long way with regard to forging an employer relationship.
Want to learn more about how to rise above the rest? Contact us today. We can help!