A job search is not easy. That’s no secret. Like many job seekers, you may find yourself frustrated. You are applying to dozens of jobs and are receiving little or no response to your submissions. Even though a high-volume of submissions can increase the odds of a response, you may actually find much more success with a strategic search. Here are 3 commonalities that lead to an ineffective job search and ways to overcome them.
1. You’re too selective
When I say you’re too selective I don’t mean that your standards are too high and that you should settle. What I mean is that you should have an idea of what type of career you’d like to pursue but that you shouldn’t limit yourself based on a preconceived notion. When it comes to determining whether or not to interview with or pursue a specific company, sometimes candidates can be too quick to “judge a book by its cover.” You can get some good information from a company website but often times there is so much more to it than what you can find on the website. Before I came to Treeline, I knew I wanted to be in sales but wasn’t sure what industry. I knew I liked the challenge of sales, meeting people and building relationships, but there are so many companies that could allow me to do that. What I was really looking for was an ethical company with great people and a great work environment. I was lucky enough to find it, but that was only because I was open to exploring different sales career opportunities by leveraging my experience and skill set.
- Your resume is not reader friendly
You have a three page resume listing plenty of experience, a half a page summary, and a list of recommendations and skills that should impress any hiring manager, but still no one has called you. The best resumes are easy to read and to the point. If your resume is too congested, wordy or has too many buzzwords, it probably isn’t enhancing your search efforts as much as it could be. I’m not saying you shouldn’t have a three page resume, but it’s important to paint a concise image of yourself highlighting your accomplishments. When I look at a resume, I usually skip past any summary or skills section and skip straight to the experience. In sales, the numbers tell most of the story. Put them on your resume. Quota, quota attainment, sales rank, presidents clubs, awards etc. These numbers and accomplishments are going to attract the attention of a sales manager or VP. Put your best accomplishments in bold so they stand out. Also, it’s important to tailor your resume to the roles you are applying to. Do not send a generic resume to each job that may require different experience. The resume is your chance to brag about all you have accomplished and land an interview, so do it!
- You don’t have a strategy
The approach you take to your job search is probably the most important factor in determining your success. Just like in sales, you want to have as many opportunities in your pipeline as possible. Finding a job is very similar to the sales process. Use the job boards not to send in resumes, but instead to gather leads. Find out which companies are hiring for relevant positions and then use other tools like LinkedIn and Jigsaw to find hiring managers and contact them. Have a goal and hold yourself accountable. For example, set a goal of applying to three or five new jobs each day. Follow the companies you’re interested in on their social media sites. Connect with hiring managers and other employees in the organization, and don’t be afraid to check in with a hiring manager to express your interest in the position and company and ask about the hiring process. They want to know that you’re serious and interested, but remember not to inundate their email inboxes on a daily basis. As a salesperson, you know how to prospect, sell and close so don’t be afraid to translate those skills into your job search.
Know your story, leverage your skill set, have a concise resume, utilize job boards and social media, have a plan of action and stay positive!