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Six ways to increase your odds of getting a job

hidden-job-marketFinding a job is rarely easy. The competition is tough and the jobs are few.  You’ve probably heard that networking your way into companies is one of the best ways to get hired. That’s true. But, it never hurts to have a recruiter in your corner.

Unfortunately, most people don’t think about building relationships with recruiters, or anyone else for that matter, until they find themselves out of a job. Then when their company starts downsizing or outsourcing or simply decides to say goodbye they’re left scrambling. The same thing goes for having current resumes and updated LinkedIn profiles. Most people don’t give either a second thought until they suddenly find themselves looking for a new opportunity.  That’s a big mistake.

Whether you’re out of work or working in your dream job today is the day to start getting ready for the future. Revamp your resume. Revise your LinkedIn profile. Start developing   and cultivating those relationships you’ll need tomorrow. And remember these six job search basics to increase your odds of securing a new job the next time you need one.

  1. Be qualified for the job. Sending out random resumes and hoping that someone will call you doesn’t work. If you’ve been designing websites for six months you’re not qualified to be a creative director no matter how great your work may be. If a company is looking for a candidate with five years of experience they’re not going to hire a recent college grad who interned over the summer.  People who “spray and pray” clog up the system for everyone.
  2. Be open. When a recruiter contacts you, respond. Maybe you’re not looking right now.  Then again, you may lose your job tomorrow. One of the keys to having a network to support you when you need it is to build and cultivate it well in advance. Want to be at the top of a recruiter’s short list? Start developing a relationship with them today.
  3. Be easy to work with. Today competition for jobs is fierce which means no one is going to chase you. So be responsive. Always have an updated resume ready to go just in case something interesting comes along. You may miss out on a great opportunity if the company finds another great candidate while you were tweaking your resume.
  4. Be unambiguous. A resume that jumps from customer service to graphic design to sales is likely to confuse a recruiter or hiring manager.  Aim for continuity. Highlight similar skills as much as possible to show a connection between seemingly unrelated job titles. A professional resume writer may be able to help you with this. Just be sure to get references as all resume writers are not equal.
  5. Be consistent. Make sure that all of your social media profiles agree with each other and with your resume. Many recruiters and hiring managers will be checking your LinkedIn profile either before or after they look at your resume. So all of the information – jobs, titles, etc. – had better be the same in both places.
  6. Be patient. Recruiters wait to hear back from human resources. HR has to wait for the hiring manager. Feel free to follow-up, but don’t be discouraged when you’re told that there is “no news” yet.  Often the job search process involves a lot of hurry up and then wait.

Good luck!

About Annette Richmond, MA

Annette Richmond, MA, CARW, CCELW, is a Certified Resume Writer, Certified LinkedIn Profile Writer, and former recruiter. Her career advice has been featured by Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Business Insider, Monster, Vault, and WSJ. She helps motivated, senior level professionals tell their unique career story. She also serves as executive editor of career-intelligence.com.

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