How do you triumph in your job search?
Stop following the crowd. Be unique and individual. Differentiate yourself from the rest of the job seekers. Don’t use the same useless strategies.
Secret # 1 — Don’t write your resume for ATS
Shocker! People obsess over getting all the keywords in so they don’t get missed by the Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
If you write a value-filled, accomplishment-drive resume to the target and then change the resume if you change the target, you will get further. Write for human eyes and write a compelling resume that tells the reader why you are right for that job.
It is relatively easy to convert a resume from a presentation resume (hint: using color, creating eye-catching formatting, adding lines, and even graphics) to a text or ASCII resume. I give the conversion instructions here.
When you do apply online, you can upload the presentation resume and then copy and paste in content that went to the wrong fields.
I would bet that many job seekers never review their application before they hit submit. Or they type information in the application without actually thinking through the value they offer. If you are applying online, make sure each application is strategic not just hurriedly entered to say you applied.
However, applying online may be necessary but if you stop there, you will fail.
Secret #2 — Find the hidden jobs
If you are expecting the job of your dreams to be advertised, you may never find it. Of course, there are jobs online. But the best jobs are found by watching for opportunities. Read. Online and in newspapers. Find out what is up and coming. Listen to your network.
- Who is expanding?
- What company is moving to town?
- Is a new product line being added?
- Does someone plan a technology change?
If a hospital expands, initially there will construction jobs. Then there will be specialized healthcare roles for physicians, nurses, and technicians, but there will be additional business roles too. Read deeper. Think about opportunities.
Secret #3 — Reach out to the people who care about hiring you
The primary focus of job seekers is on HR and recruiters. Hiring decisions are made by many people. Recruiters and HR are often the filters. Engineering Directors hire engineers, Directors of Project Management hire project managers, and on it goes.
The decision makers who want their area to succeed are usually involved in the hiring process. Figure out who they are and contact them. They can only say no. The online vortex often says no too or nothing at all. Be proactive and seek out the decision makers.
All of these secrets mean you have to work so much harder than you do if you spend your time applying online. However, you will more likely find a fulfilling position that meets your needs.
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