I was chatting with a friend today who is in the market for a job. She’s smart, talented, has a stellar resume but is having a hard time standing out in a competitive market with limited options. She’s getting a bit down on herself – something that’s all too common when job searching. It’s soul destroying. In my current job – which I discovered via Twitter – I feel like I’ve learned a TON and rattled off numerous tips and suggestions to help her approach her search from a different angle. Whether it’s helpful or not (and depending on your industry) – here are some of the tips I gave her.
1. Resumes are antiquated. I know – we were taught otherwise and throughout the last decade have scrutinized over format, layout, descriptions, tenses and styles in the 1-page resume. Sure, some companies still require them but most companies are switching to a new style of hiring – so why shouldn’t the applicant approach it differently as well? As companies start to require video interviewing before you can even get a foot in the door – your resume won’t fly too far these days. Some sites that I love for displaying your bio are Vizify and About.Me. I also know that LinkedIn is a POWERHOUSE and should not be overlooked by any means. Updated profile pic, bio and even having former boss’ and colleagues endorse you is just greater visibility. Trust me, if an employer is going to so a bit of internet research about you, they will first look at LinkedIn – so update it!
2. Power is in connections and introductions. Get out there in the real world and talk to people who are doing what you want to be doing. It’s not a ploy for an informal job interview – it’s industry research. Your only motive should be to have a great interesting conversation and to make a connection (FYI, connect via LinkedIn the day after to continue the relationship). From alumni connections to asking for a skype chat via twitter – you never know what people are willing to offer unless you ask.
3. Get online. I know not everyone is into blogging or twitter, but if you’re in any industry besides horse training, chances are your company is online too. Blogging illustrated an aptitude for writing and content creation, tweeting shows that you have an active interest in your industry. Commenting and making insightful remarks shows that you care. No one will know you if you’re sitting your room wondering where all the job offers are.
4. Make a list of 3 things to do to help advance your career everyday. Just 3, no more, no less. Stick to it. If you’re feeling motivated you can always do more, but meet your three initial goals then you at least won’t feel disappointed.
5. Do things that increase your personal development. I recently came across this article and while is says 20 things I should have done in my 20’s, it’s never too late. Personal development goes a long way.