Technology has dramatically changed recruiting, particularly in the last two or three years. And, changes in recruiting impact successful job hunting methods. So, job seekers must modify their approach to land a new job. If you aren’t currently having much success in landing a new job, consider changing your approach to be more effective.
Why You Were Not Hired
Job seekers are ignored or rejected for countless reasons, but what I’m hearing from recruiters and employers now focus on these 3 themes.
1. You apply too often, too quickly, and too carelessly.
With no paycheck on the horizon, panic sets in. Understandable! But, in response, many job seekers spend hours clicking on the “Apply” button – on every job board they can find and for every job they see. Regardless of appropriateness or location (oops, that job requires a PhD and is in Paris?).
Applying as quickly as possible doesn’t leave time for careful job targeting, writing, or proofreading – ALL necessities in today’s job market!
If you are in panic-stricken job search mode, you look desperate, as well as sloppy and clueless. None of those characteristics are sought by employers in new employees. So, those rapid-fire applications are, best case, a waste of your valuable time, and, worst case, training employers to view you as a “resume spammer.”
Rather than applying for every job you see, follow the guidance in Before You Apply: Answer 4 Important Questions. Target your best employers and your best job titles. Then, step away from your computer to do some F2F (face-to-face) networking, spending no more than 1 hour a day working the job boards.
2. You avoid all social media.
Yes, we have all seen many stories about people who destroy their chances at jobs by using social media stupidly, posting sleazy photos, bragging about drinking too much, or discussing their “recreational” drug habits, etc.. Consequently, many job seekers choose to avoid the situation by ignoring all social media, unfortunately including LinkedIn – a very bad solution to social media hazards.
Set up a complete, public LinkedIn Profile, including a nice headshot photo (of you). Connect with at least 100 people, join appropriate LinkedIn Groups, and work on networking to a new job using LinkedIn. It’s a gold mine of information for job seekers as well as a “happy hunting ground” for recruiters.
A public LinkedIn Profile also helps you pass employers’ are-you-up-to-date test. Employers screen job applications using search engines (see Why Submitting a Resume Isn’t Enough, and What to Do). When nothing about the job seeker is found, that job seeker is not contacted because they look out-of-date and, too often, they ARE out-of-date.
Demonstrating that you don’t understand how to use social media is particularly deadly in fields like sales, marketing, public relations, human resources, and recruiting where social media skills are key components of daily operations. A good LinkedIn Profile plus appropriate LinkedIn activity should address that problem with most employers.
3. You look disinterested in the employer and the job.
Employers have the impression that many – if not most – job seekers are just “going through the motions” and not really interested in the job they are applying for (see # 1 above).
Particularly in job interviews, job seekers can quickly destroy an opportunity by not having a good answer to the “What do you know about us” question.
Rather than simply hitting that “Apply” button over and over, as quickly as possible, research the employer before you apply. Check out the website, and do a Google search. (See So What Do You Know About Us for more details.)
Then, customize your responses based on the information you discover – drop the names of their products and services, name their competitors, refer to their locations, and/or their latest announcements. Show the employer that you are NOT in spray-and-pray resume mode.
Note: If Google shows you only links to job postings, that’s a good sign that the employer is bogus and the job is a scam.
If you are invited to interview, be sure to review your research and also do more checking, like the LinkedIn Company Profile and the LinkedIn Profiles of the people interviewing you. Even if you have only 30 minutes for research, those 30 minutes will be time very well spent.
Updating Your Job Search Methods Works
Effective job search now is very different that effective job search in 2010 or earlier. The older methods seldom work now, and learning this new approach should make you more effective in your new job, too. I have worked with many job seekers who have learned and succeeded in this new world of job search.
© Copyright, 2013, Susan P. Joyce. All rights reserved.
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About the author…
Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff “graduate” who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 2011, NETability purchased WorkCoachCafe.com, which Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then. Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.