Have you applied to hundreds of jobs online with zero calls or interviews?
Have you emailed recruiters everyday only to receive a generic auto-response thanking you for your efforts?
Welcome to the 21st century job world!
Technology has infiltrated every aspect of life, and the job hunt is no different. Your application is no longer subject only to the discretion of the HR recruiters; it is now at the discretion of computers with programmed filters.
You are no longer competing for a job locally. Technology has you competing globally.
So how do you get through the numerous applications, computer filters, and into the hands of a real person?
First, the DO NOT:
- Tip One: Do not have a photo of yourself on your resume (unless you are using a designed format). I know this may feel like a unique way of getting noticed, but in the USA, it is more often perceived as a negative. There are many appropriate platforms for this, most appropriate being your LinkedIn. A plain text resume by definition is a “brief written account” so honor its intended purpose. If you want to use a photo, then you also need to enter the realm of graphic design for the photo to present well; a branded resume. Note: In Europe, a professional headshot photo is actually an expectation.
- Tip Two: Never send your resume or cover letter in a Word Doc format. Word documents are opened in the editing software, which means it is automatically changed into the fonts available to the recruiter’s computer. Their settings can change your beautifully selected font into wingdings. Thought you had everything spaced perfectly? Think again! This can also change. Convert your documents into PDF and protect all of your hard work.
- Tip Three: Relevant content is relevant. If you are applying for a job in Information Technology, your resume does not need to include your experience delivering pizza. Think of the hiring person…this person is going through hundreds of applications and resumes. Do you really think they will read your 4-page document of everything you have ever done? Keep your content on target.
Now things to DO:
- Tip One: Show off your tech skills a little. Have your email address, social media accounts, and phone number on your resume link (use the link tool: instructions). In the world of devices, this little trick is impressive and makes it that much easier for a hiring manager to contact you. Tip within a tip: e-mail addresses like ILoveFuzzyBears@aol.com or IWorkHard4U@yahoo.com are not professional.
- Tip Two: Get through the programmed computer filters. Add hidden white text to the bottom of your resume with a variety of key words. The white text should not be visible to the human reader. The job description will typically contain the buzzwords you need so read carefully!
- Tip Three: Networking is by far one of the most effective ways to prospect for jobs. Make sure your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media accounts are all up to date and give the right impression of you. Use meet-ups to get into the community. If you are looking to develop software, join meet-ups for coders. Do you know someone who works for a company you are interested in? Talk to them about it!
- Tip Four: Take a deep breath now…the most important pro tip is quality over quantity. If you half ass any application, its already over. Take the time to find jobs you actually want for companies you actually want to work for. When you apply, be specific about your reasons for choosing them. This initiative speaks volumes to hiring managers. Being hired for a job is a partnership. “Why is the company good for you” is just as important as “why are you good for the company.”
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Like these pro tips or have other pro tips of your own? Please share in the comments!