I get the calls all the time. Smart, accomplished professionals who have been out of the job market for some time – perplexed about misleading job truths they have picked up along the way.
While some job search truths still hold true, there are many that don’t – and do. Confused? You are not alone. Here are questions I frequently get from clients, and the advice I share with them:
I Need to Scour and Respond to Online Job Postings
Devoting the majority of your job search time to responding to online postings can be incredibly disappointing – not to mention frustrating.
The sad truth is that no matter how perfect you may appear for the role, there is a decent chance you will never get a response. Why?
It is not uncommon for a hiring manager to have someone earmarked for the role, but need to publish the job to comply with regulations. Nor is it unheard of for hiring budgets to get frozen or for a department to go in a different direction.
While there are countless reasons while postings are not always truly open positions, this doesn’t mean you should ignore them altogether.
Postings are great in that they offer an idea as to which companies may have hiring budgets, and can give you a sense of a company’s culture and the key requirements critical to success in a particular role.
EXPERT ADVICE: Respond within 72 hours of the posting for your best shot. If it is a viable position, recruiters will likely have a good pool to choose from within the first 3 days.
My Resume Must Appeal to Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) Systems
While your resume must be written in a way that is readable by screening software, merely doing a keyword dump with job and industry-related keywords will not get you past the first look.
Instead, frame responsibilities within achievements and include keywords, and be sure to spell out for the reader from the get-go how you are exceptionally qualified for the role with a kick-butt summary section at the top.
EXPERT ADVICE: Get your resume before a key decision maker, recruiter or HR professional BEFORE posting online. Good old-fashioned networking of this sort will give your resume its best shot of getting tagged following ATS screening.
The Candidate With the Most Experience Will Get the Interview
Many DIY resume writers will kick off a summary description with a phrase similar to “18+ years of experience doing x, y, z.” While decades of experience are of course noteworthy, spelling out your years of experience is not guaranteed to impress.
Instead of stating your years, replace it with a compelling statement that tells the reader how your talents and experience are ideal to solve a company’s pain.
EXPERT ADVICE: A reader should never have a sense of how old or young a candidate may be. Focus on the past 15 years of experience in terms of providing significant detail and dates, and include any early experience under an “Additional Experience” section.
With a Spot-On LinkedIn, Recruiters Will Find Me
While a persuasive, keyword-rich LinkedIn will certainly help you to pop up on recruiter searches, the profile alone is not always the silver bullet we’d all prefer.
Active networking is by far the most effective way to draw readers to your profile. This may be accomplished by remaining active and engaged on LinkedIn, which means reaching out and building a qualified network, engaging in groups, and regular content sharing.
EXPERT ADVICE: Recruiters are more likely to reach out to someone who is active than passive on LinkedIn, and the greater the chance you will land at the top of your connection’s reader feeds.