Fix-it Tips for Job Search Success
This is the first of a series of blogs by Catherine Palmiere designed to help job seekers set themselves up for success.
Make no mistake, the job market is picking up. We’re beginning to see more job growth in temporary employment and temp-to-perm placements.
The great news there is that temporary job growth historically spurs direct hires for several reasons. First, companies laid off scores of employees when the recession began – and now they’re starting to realize the employees who survived the layoffs are overworked. They’re stretched thin because they’re doing more than just one job within the company. As a result, companies are beginning to bring temporary staff on board to help with projects and workloads (which is a great way for them to quickly get the hired hands they need without having to pay benefits and perks).
This means job seekers can try different industries, bring in some income and find opportunities to get hired on a permanent basis. So now that you know that, we can discuss your coming success.
What does a potential job seeker have to do to set themselves up for success?
As a career coach, I’ve seen all types of job candidates – some I’d have loved to hire myself (and some I couldn’t bring myself to recommend until after a major overhaul). There are things you can do that make you more marketable to employers right off the bat, and they’re not difficult to implement. I call them Fix-it Tips for Success.
Fix-it Tip 1: Get your act right.
First thing is attitude. You can be the most qualified candidate for a job, but a poor attitude will ensure you’re not the chosen one.
Fix-it Tip 2: You’re a book – a closed one.
Employers don’t want hire someone who has put their personal life on their sleeve or who appears desperate for work. Being desperate does not help your cause and talking about your desperation actually makes you less desirable to hiring authorities.
Fix-it Tip 3: Do some target practice.
Think about your marketing materials: your cover letter, resume and thank-you letters. Is your cover letter generic, or does it speak to each job you are applying for? Is your resume well-written, showcasing your accomplishments or is it simply a list of your previous job duties? Did you just copy and paste the text from the job description?
Your marketing materials need to be targeted to each job – and they need to mention the specifics that will get you hired.
Fix-it Tip 4: Stop kickin’ it old school.
Many candidates I meet are using resume formats and wording that were used ten or fifteen years ago. They are still using words like “responsible for” and “duties included.” While these words might be truthful, they do not help your cause.
Fix-it Tip 5: If you’ve got it, flaunt it.
Another big issue I see when I interview candidates is that they apply for specific jobs but their resume shows they aren’t the least bit qualified for the role. Once I get into the flow of the interview, I actually hear that they have done much of what the job requires. When I ask why they didn’t list the things we’re talking about, I’m often told the candidate didn’t feel it was important.
Let me share a bit of advice. Read the job description you are applying for. If you’re qualified for the position, make sure your resume is written to show your qualifications. Remember, your resume is often seen well before you are, and it’s important that it accurately represents your value (and that’s what gets you chosen).
Fix-it Tip 6: Don’t give the hiring authority a headache.
Again, your resume is seen before you are – and if you give the hiring authority a migraine while he’s reading your resume, do you think he’ll want you in his office?
Tiny font: just don’t do it. Spell check is a must, and you should have someone read your resume to catch any stray grammatical errors or bad word choices.
Another thing – many job seekers think their resume has to be crammed onto just one page. This is not true! Your resume should be long enough to sell you and your accomplishments and not one word more, whether that takes up one page (like a recent college graduate’s would) or a few pages.
Moving in on Your Job
You can get hired – it’s a matter of having the right qualifications, having the right attitude and showing the right people that you’re an employable person. One more thing to remember: there are many free resume writing clinics. Check your local Workforce One Center, libraries and schools.
Check back soon, because my next blog will be on goal setting and how it can help your job search (and keep you afloat once you’ve landed the job).
Image courtesy of Happyture at RGBStock.com
Blog by NY Staffing Professional
Adam Personnel, Inc.
(212)557-9150 ext. 208