2 Apr 2018
Getting noticed online amongst a sea of similar ones and zeroes in the great big binary system of the ether is a difficult task – and an emotionally draining one as well.
In times of desperation during a job search, many people find themselves applying to every single search result that pops up with a general filter for a semblance of what they do. It isn’t hard to have 150 different job applications out at the same time, nor is it strange not to hear back from a single one of them.
While the interconnectivity of the internet should make getting in touch with people that much easier, it seems like a slap in the face when it most certainly does not seem to happen.
Save yourself from the anxiety and the trouble of applying for jobs you’re not going to hear back from by practicing these simple steps when doing a search:
1. Choose Wisely
This seems counterintuitive, but it’s a pretty useful and effective strategy in job-seeking. Instead of clicking “apply now” for a job you aren’t qualified for or possibly aren’t the least bit good at, make sure you choose the jobs that you submit your resume to.
This ensures that your skills are a match for what the company is looking for, therefore your CV will stand a better chance of passing through the screening process. Furthermore, by selecting which jobs you actually want to do, you increase your chances of being a better hire. Perhaps the companies you choose have a culture that appeals to you, or you have the skillset and the attitude and the experience they are looking for primarily because you worked for their competition, or because your school has an excellent pipeline program into that particular industry.
It is usually a much better strategy to be precise about what companies you apply to, and what jobs that you apply for – rather than treating the job market like a big pot of spaghetti, throwing them against the wall, and seeing if anything sticks.
2. Customize Your CV
This is incredibly important, not just to the recruiters but for the entire process of job-seeking as well. If you send the same generic CV to hundreds of different companies, it may come off like you’re being lazy or you expect them to make an effort where it seems you cannot be bothered to.
If you’re a student who is wondering what to put on your resume to differentiate it for the various jobs that you apply to, then try looking into a professional resume writing service.
Getting professional help can be extremely useful, and people who are paid to know how to word your resumes will be able to show you, quickly and efficiently, how your skills and experience can be reworded and reworked to fit numerous different job applications.
However, and this is an important point: do not embellish. If your CV sounds too amazing, or precisely what they were looking for, it won’t be long before the company finds out that you were a bit optimistic about your actual skills and experience.
Be honest and concise, or let a professional resume writer handle the problem for you.
Perhaps the most crucial step in any job search, whether online or off, is how well you network. The most beautifully formatted CV with the politest cover letter sometimes nevertheless loses out an interview to the CV from someone the recruiter knows personally.
Networking isn’t that difficult, but it may seem like a daunting task when you’re just starting out. Try going to meet-ups or joining clubs or even going to industry events so you can meet people who might be helpful getting your CV to the right the people – or even might be the right people themselves.
When meeting new professional contacts, it takes a certain amount of finesse to know how to conduct oneself. How do you start the conversation? How do you know what to say? How can you act, so you don’t come off like you’re desperate? These questions, and more, all plague even the most seasoned networkers. Take a breath and read through these simple steps for networking online and offline:
Creating a digital persona for work isn’t hard; just take all the hard work and time you put into making your social media profiles what they are, and direct that towards establishing a professional persona online.
Well, try posting for the job you want and not for the job you have. If you’re interested in breaking into marketing, start asking questions and interacting with industry practitioners on Reddit forums and Facebook groups. If you’re interested in becoming a graphic designer or typographer, start uploading your work to Behance or DeviantArt. If you’d like to work in a production studio or an online magazine, post your videos on Vimeo and YouTube.
Most people aren’t truthful about their social media profiles, however – try to keep things as real and as natural as possible. Don’t write about the conflict in Syria for your professional persona, if you’ve got no idea what is going on, and the industry you want to work in doesn’t have a lot to do with politics. Don’t lambast and deride everything out there like it could have been done better because chances are you may offend the very people whose campaigns you are calling out.
Be sure to know what sort of image of yourself you are putting out there. The worst thing would be for you to think you were coming off great when you were actually coming off like an utter tool.
4. Have a home base that has a blog section
Even if you don’t need to write for the job you want, you’ll establish yourself as someone who knows how to communicate. Communication is a pivotal skill in every profession, and if you discuss things that are relevant to your chosen industry, maybe invite conversation, you may start to generate enough of an organic following that companies will start approaching you.
5. Start off the conversation by expressing interest
This works for dating as well. It is far more likely you will get a positive response from someone who feels like you are interested in them and what they do, rather than someone who feels like you’re just listing your amazing and wonderful achievements. Ask questions, let yourself be impressed, intersperse the conversations with some jokes – essentially chat up the person you’re talking to. Only this time, instead of a date, maybe you’ll land an interview.
6. Read the room, and the body language of the person you are talking to
Read up on kinesics for some basic cues about human behavior. Make sure to be sensitive to the person you are talking to – if you’re at an industry event and you start noticing the person looking around, downing their drink, or turning away from you even though they are still talking, take the hint. Withdraw politely and go talk to someone else. You may not have been able to land a business card from that first person, but withdrawing gracefully and in a timely fashion is sometimes just as appreciated as making a good business contact.