We launched Staffing 360 several years ago and we’ve published nearly 300 columns since we started. In that time we’ve covered a broad range of topics and amassed a bit of a library of information. We’ve written quite a bit about the job search, what to do on the job to make yourself standout, and provided some IT specific information. Whether you’re a contractor looking for your next position or are currently on assignment, we think you’ll find these posts helpful. Let us know if they are and good luck!
Do you like your job? Do you wonder if there’s something better out there? Something you’d enjoy more or maybe just make more money or have more opportunities? Most of us daydream at some point about our “perfect job.” Some are just that, dreams. It would be nice to play first base in Major League Baseball or first chair violin in the symphony, but most of us don’t have those kind of skills and talent. But dreaming about a new career path, a different position, can also be the beginning of real change too. How do you make your dreams a reality? Hard work, tenacity, planning, a little luck, and more hard work!
It’s a new year and hope springs eternal. Hope for health, happiness, and perhaps a new job. Finding that new job, however, can be a daunting task. But nail down the fundamentals of a good job search and your pursuit will be easier and more productive.
The foundation of any job search is a good resume. Be sure to customize it for each and every job you apply to. Use the job description as a guide as you customize. It is important to address every requirement listed in the job description. By doing this you can make it impossible for the hiring manager to pass you over for an interview.
Line them up right away. A variety of individuals can include managers, past co-workers, vendors you have worked with, individuals that have reported to you, etc. Then, when asked, provide the types of references required. Also, be sure to notify your references any time you pass their contact information along to a hiring manager. You can also coach them on what will be asked and how to answer if they are called.
3. Subscribe to Indeed or Simply Hired
Indeed and Simply Hired are vertical search engines focused on job postings. They crawl the internet and pull every posting from every site to one location, their search results. They also offer daily emails with jobs that match predesignated criteria. A great resource for any job hunter.
Any reputable company will look at the LinkedIn profiles for all of the applicants. Make sure yours is optimized for your job search. Social media consultant Jorgen Sundberg offers 12 great tips on how to do this.
5. Reach Out
Communicate with everyone in your network. Be sure to explain exactly what you are looking for and encourage them to connect you with anyone that can benefit from your experience.
6. Practice Interviewing
It’s never too early to start practicing your answers to some the most popular interview questions. As Confucius once said, “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without
such preparation there is sure to be failure.” Paul Michael of WiseBread offers some great advice in How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions
7. Follow Up
Follow up with each and every contact you make. Chances are, they forgot all about you within a few days. Stay top of mind through short, polite follow up emails, messages, texts, or phone calls.
8. Be Creative
And lastly, be creative in your approach. Applying at restaurants? Make your resume look like their menu. Applying at ad agencies? Use digital media to grab their attention. There are many ways to separate yourself from the pack. Get creative.
Thirty years ago we used cassette tapes, pay phones, giant camcorders, paper resumes, VCRs, and we watched ALF. All of these things were an important part of daily life in the 1980’s. Only one is still around thirty years later. And unfortunately, it's not ALF.
The standard paper resume doesn't work in a digital world. Human resources, recruiters, and hiring managers still sort through stacks of resumes, trying their best to whittle down the numbers to manageable level for conducting interviews. And even then, most people that do the whittling hope they haven’t overlooked someone because the candidate’s resume didn’t accurately portray who they really are. Software like Microsoft Word and resume parsers may have moved some of this activity to the computer, but it’s basically the same process. Volume of resumes in, whittle down, and conduct interviews. In a world of rovers on Mars, driverless cars, and iPhones, one would think we’d have come up with a better approach. Here are some companies that are trying.
A few weeks ago a new company, GetHired opened for business. GetHired lets job seekers post video resumes, and gives those hiring the opportunity to review a candidate in a more personal way, certainly a different experience than a paper resume. Here are two articles that discuss the new venture:
1. Google Yourself Lately?
Alec Brownstein was a copywriter. A copywriter that wanted to work at “a really creative shop for really creative directors.” But instead of sending his resume, Alec decided to show off how creative he really was. He purchased AdWords on Google for the top 5 advertising executives at his most desirable advertising agencies. And when they Googled themselves, they saw Alec’s ad. It got him lot’s of attention and it also got him a job.