Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Job Seeker’s Game

According to this article in the Wall Street Journal, companies are beefing up their recruiting staffs as hiring demands increase.  We’ve got three tips that can help job seekers become job candidates in the eyes of recruiters… and any hiring person for that matter.

During a job search process, the little things can make or break you.  It’s true, though perhaps unfortunately so.  Little petty aspects of job search etiquette may have nothing to do with whether or not you’re qualified.  Yet, the ability to play the job seeker’s “game” can help unqualified candidates score the job, or qualified candidates be dismissed before the interview even starts.  So, make sure you understand how to play the game smartly.  What are the rules?  Well, you can find them most anywhere online with a quick Google Search, but we’ll provide three crucial ones here.  Just remember, if you can check each of these boxes, you’ve got one foot in the door and a leg up on candidates who don’t know how to play the game.

1. Have a great resume.  Find an excellent resume to use as an example, and model your resume after it, if necessary, using your own personal information and job experience, of course.  Your resume needs structure.  It should fit on one page, unless you have numerous publications.  Your resume should be professional.  No matter how suited you are for the job, recruiters won’t know if your resume is confusing, grammatically incorrect, or poorly laid out. Most importantly, your short and long-term goals - and how your goals can benefit an employer, should be easily identifiable.

2. Be findable.  When we say findable, we mean findable online.  You need a professional LinkedIn and Facebook profile with prominent contact information.  When you Google your name, these profiles should appear in the search results. Even better if you a have a blog about your profession or industry, or even about a hobby that shows you to be a well-rounded, committed individual.  Basically, in the days of the Internet, if you’re not findable online, recruiters won’t find you.  Treat yourself like a business, and develop a positive online presence.

3. Be warm.  Being warm might be one of the biggest indicators of career success.  Know how to relate to people on a human level, communicate empathy, and be genuine.  Not everyone will be the loudest talker in the room, but you can find your own way to communicate understanding and intelligence.

If you can master an excellent resume, a positive online presence, and warmth, you're much closer to a great job and a fulfilling career.

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