How to Take Control of your Job Search

April 13, 2013 | Topics: , , , | READ 0 COMMENTS & JOIN THE DISCUSSION

I often hear job seekers say they have sent out hundreds of resumes, only to never hear from anyone-ever.

It’s hard to tell if this is the result of an ineffective resume-or simply the sheer volume of applications received by the recruiter or company. Or maybe the company isn’t really hiring after all, or they’ve already filled the position … it can seem hopeless.

So here’s a list of seven ways to take control of your job search and get your resume noticed.  Get your resume noticed

1. Track your applications
Create a spread sheet for yourself or download a tracking tool from the internet. Record all applications you submit and responses you receive. List the company name, the position and anything else you want to track. This information provides you with the big picture so that you don’t have to guess how many applications you’ve sent in—you know how many. It also tells you which ones are responding and will guide you to what the next steps to take are.

2. Only apply for the most relevant positions
In this job market it is wise to apply for positions for which you are qualified rather than underqualified, because when there are a hundred other candidates who are qualified applying for the same job, the chance of you hearing back is very slim and you’re really asking to have your resume disappear and never to be seen again.

3. Hand address the envelope to a person you know (or a name you know)
If you have personally spoken to a contact at the company, send your resume to him or her. An association with someone—either over the phone or in person—you will be remembered; you won’t be just a faceless piece of paper in an impersonal pile of resumes.

4. Optimise your resume

Use the job descriptions of the positions you are applying to as a guide for those keywords that you’ll want to include in your resume and cover letter. You can usually tell which ones the company wants to see the most because these fall under position REQUIREMENTS. These should be in the TOP one-third of your resume. It is important that the employer sees this in his initial five-second review. It will buy you additional time and motivate the employer to review the rest of the resume. Be sure to include the PREFERRED qualifications as well as this makes you even more desirable. If you show them in your resume that you meet all of their required and preferred qualifications, why wouldn’t they call you? That would make you the ideal candidate. Then their search is over—and you have the interview.

5. Brand yourself
Create your own personal branding statement. Delete the objective from your resume and replace it with a powerful statement of what you have to offer that aligns with the employer’s needs. Don’t waste your time sending out resumes and cover letters that are, in effect, a laundry list of what you want and what you need in a job. It won’t get you very far.

6. Your resume is your first impression
Presentation of your resume must be PERFECT. No spelling errors, no grammatical errors, properly set out, easy to read, no boxes or graphics because the automated tracking system cannot read these. Your resume format is saying to the employer that you are either “organised, professional, literate and detail-oriented”, or that you are “disorganised, messy and not up to it.” The format speaks VOLUMES about you, and it is essential to make the right first impression; otherwise, it doesn’t matter how qualified you are—you’ll never hear back from them.

7. Detail your accomplishments
Accomplishment-based resumes are far more effective than ones that just list your previous job responsibilities. Responsibilities are for job descriptions, and resumes are for selling yourself through previous wins! I hear job seekers say all the time, “I don’t have any accomplishments” or, “My job wasn’t numbers based.” But really, if you didn’t have any accomplishments in your past positions you would have been fired. So if you haven’t been fired you must have been doing something right! What was that something right you were doing? Put that on your resume!

This list is not all inclusive, but it is a start toward ensuring you are in control of your job search and your resume is on the top of the pile.

 If you are seeking career assistance please contact Rosie at Positive Goals & Solutions today. Mobile: 0414 511 455

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