Whether fresh out of school, recently laid off, or in the midst of a career change, it can be a real struggle out there for today’s job hunter. Those who have searched for a job before or have been looking for a long time have likely acquired some tips and secrets along the way, and know what it takes to make their hunt fruitful and productive. For those who are just starting out their job seeking journey, though, or for those who have not had any luck or made much progress, it would be beneficial to know that today’s job seekers have many tricks that they use in order to speed the process along and get back to work sooner rather than later. Here are five things job seekers should know about the secrets of good job hunting for the modern age.
A good job seeker does NOT:
1) Use job boards as the primary tool for his or her job hunt.
Sites such as Indeed, Career Builder, and Monster, among others, can be great tools for networking and posting resumes to receive calls from recruiters. According to Huffington Post, Career Builder’s 2013 Candidate Behavior Study indicated that around 80 percent of job hunters utilize job boards in their hunt for a career. However, the fact is that the majority of the positions a person will see posted on the job boards have, in fact, already been filled, so spending time applying to them is wasted energy and valuable time down the drain. This time would be better used utilizing other career seeking tools.
2) Write unprofessional emails or cover letters, or have an unprofessional resume.
There are many sites online that explain how to write a good, solid cover letter that includes all of the important and necessary elements. There are also resumes sites and local resume building classes that job hunters can join to improve their chances of getting looked at by employers. Cover letter and resumes are what give employers an impression of who a person is, what exactly their skills are, and if they would be a good fit for the company to which they are applying. Resumes and Cover letters are also usually the deciding factor in whether the person will get an interview, so it is vital that they are done well. Usually, as well, they sit in a stack with a bunch of other ones from people applying for the same job, so to have one that sticks and catches the employer’s attention out is important. Generally, studies have shown that resumes that get the most looks have serif fonts such as Bell MT, Times, Georgia, Goudy Old Style, and Garamond, or non-serif fonts of Arial, Tahoma, Cantury Gothic, or Lucida Sans. Additionally, the most sought after resumes, according to employers, generally also have a font size of 11.
A good job seeker DOES:
1) Have professional and insightful social media profiles that are almost, if not as good, as his or her résumé.
Sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook will generally all be checked by an employer when that employer is considering a potential candidate for a position. According to Forbes, in 2013, half of all job seekers were active on social networking sites daily, and about one-third of all employers (37 percent) considering candidates for jobs checked their social media profiles. Studies have found that social media can be a great asset if filled with professional and even insightful information that makes job hunters look like a highly qualified candidates. In this way, a job hunter can make employers checking their social networking profiles work to his or her advantage. Looking for job openings by “liking” pages on Facebook and checking out Twitter feeds is also something good job hunters know to do regularly. Regarding LinkedIn, having a profile on the job website is almost crucial when conducting a job search in this day and age, as being on this professional network conveys relevant information to employers about ones professional background, employment history, and education. LinkedIn is also probably the most important online tool for networking at this point in time.
2) Network, network, network.
While a job hunter should never directly ask for a job, probably the most important of the five things that job seekers should know about job hunting secrets in the modern age is that he or she should always be talking to people in his or her field and even outside of it, as a connection might know someone who could help in the job search. He or she will be professional at all times when networking, always appearing as a good candidate for an open position. Some additional job hunting tools for networking to use to build contacts are, of course, the internet (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, posting resumes on job search sites like Career Builder, etc.). In addition, joining a local networking group of job hunters can help to facilitate a person’s job search as well.
3) Always have a plan in mind.
Good job hunters in the modern age know that one of the most vital of these five secrets is to always go into their hunt with an idea of how they will conduct their search, including what they will do first in their job hunting process, and what order they will work in. If something is not productive or has not been working, a person who is knowledgeable about his or her job search will be flexible enough to move on to the next option.
By Laura Clark