CAREER / 12 July 2017How to Remain Optimistic During the Job Hunt
It’s a competitive world out there. Your job hunt may go something like this: See a job you like by scrolling through a website. You go through the application process, attach your resume and move on to the next one. Or you are using your LinkedIn profile in place of your resume, which is convenient, but not giving you the competitive edge. Rinse and repeat, right? Quantity over quality is the mindset of an eager candidate. Especially if time is of the essence. That can hurt you if you’re not too careful.
Think about what it’s like on the other end of that application. You may be wondering why you are not receiving a callback, while you scramble to get more applications out.
Pause. Reflect. Act.
Get into the habit of treating the hiring process like an experiment. Try testing out different things to see what garners the best results.
Ask yourself this: “What can I change that will make me stand out more?”
The following list of variables should be tested out throughout the process to ensure a linear growth in responses:
1. Digital Profile
Your digital profiles give hiring managers a first impression of who you are, so it’s vital that you do everything that you can to make sure they have a good idea of who you are. Setting up a digital profile is more than listing out everything that you have ever done. It’s about giving people a first impression and an idea of who you are. Make sure you include the following in your profile:
Summary - Create a summary of who you are not what you have done and what you can do. This is hard for a lot of people to get across, but vital because when a hiring manager is going through hundreds of summaries, they won’t stop on yours unless they see something different. If you are changing careers, mention your transferrable skills.
Visuals - Gone are the days of writing out everything in the form of an outline or bullet points. You want to make an impact and to do that you have to get visual and creative. Here are some examples of the most creative and visually appealing solutions to make you stand apart.
Update Skills - Have you been gaining new skills? Are you noticing that certain programs or technologies are required for you to know? Consider skilling-up in areas that hiring managers are looking for like coding, sales, marketing and project management. One of the best ways to get the attention of a hiring manager (especially if you feel like you are not getting much traction) is to learn new skills and let employers know!
2. Email Hiring Managers
If you really want to step out of the box, try sending a personal email. The cover letters that you send as part of the application process have become the norm. Most companies expect to see a cover letter explaining why you would be a good fit and what makes you different from everyone else they consider. What they don’t expect is to receive an email in their inbox introducing yourself and a short message about why you are reaching out to them. This will not work in every situation, and finding the right point of contact is key, but doing so will make you stand apart from everyone else.
5 key things to consider:
Keep it professional and to the point
Make it heartfelt and lighthearted as well (introduce your personality in the message)
Add proper salutations (Dear so and so, Best, etc)
Include links to your digital profiles and key information for easy access (TIP: the easier they can click, the more likely they will)
Ask to be directed to the right point of contact. There’s a chance that you may have found the right person, but if you are not certain, include a line like this: “Or, please direct me to the appropriate person to further discuss this opportunity”
3. Personalize Cover Letter
The cover letter has become the norm, but whatever you do, don’t put little to no effort into it. The worst thing that you can do is to create a generic version that you send out with all of your applications. I would advise you to completely rewrite each one. Simple changing names, a few lines, and dates will not get you what you are looking for. Begin with doing ample research on the company, then go on to thinking about how you would best add value and WHY you want to add value. Once you have become more emotionally invested into the opportunity begin writing your cover letter. Hiring managers can tell who really wants something and who doesn’t. Most importantly, keep the right balance of writing something that shows off your impeccable writing skills, gives them a sense of who you are and what you can do for them.
Some Do’s and Don’ts:
Do include skills that will translate into the role
Do include messaging about what makes you the perfect person for the role (hint: company culture is always a good talking point)
Do mention your digital profile, portfolios or other information they can reference to learn more about you
Don’t use language that suggests being too impatient or desperate
Don’t make your paragraphs too wordy or long
Don’t discuss salary information
Don’t mention anything that is untrue (most important)
Looking for a job is not the easiest thing in the world when everyone is doing the same thing around you, but with these tips, you can help yourself a little bit more.
Like with anything, rejection is part of the game, so don’t be too upset and move on. The important thing is to learn from your mistakes.
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results”
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