Using your time and resources wisely
Raise your hand if you have ever submitted a resume online and gotten no response. If you are like many job seekers, you will probably face this issue. Using large job search engines like Indeed, Monster, and LinkedIn can be super convenient, but the down side is that often your resume does not get noticed. You sometimes wonder if your application fell into a black hole!
To make the most out of your job search efforts and time, try these tips to become more efficient and to get your resume in the right hands.
1. Customize your resume and cover letter every time
Sending out the same standard resume for every job application is not a good idea. Instead, customize your resume so that it responds to the job ad. Your resume and cover letter should show why you are the best candidate for that specific job. This doesn’t mean re-writing your resume from scratch. It just means making small changes to highlight your strengths that are most related to this particular job.
2. Use keywords
Most online resume portals use an applicant tracking system (ATS) to “read” the resumes. They are programmed to weed out the resumes that don’t look like a good match. You don’t want the computer to weed out your resume! One strategy is to look carefully at the job posting and identify the important job-related terms. These terms are likely to be the keywords used by the ATS to identify the strong resumes. If you can weave these terms into your resume (truthfully, of course!), you could boost your chances of getting noticed.
3. Write a cover letter
With many job applications, cover letters are optional. To save time, it’s tempting just to skip it. But your cover letter is another chance to market yourself. So don’t skip it! Write a strong cover letter and include job-related keywords. This will help show the employer that you are serious about the job.
4. Save time with automatic job searches
How much time do you spend scrolling through job searches on different job search engines? Rather than spending hours doing this, set up an email alert so that the site will send you new jobs as they appear. The trick to doing this is to set up your search parameters in a smart way. You can choose keywords, geographical location, salary range, and other details to help narrow down the search. You can always go back in and change your parameters if you think the searches aren’t finding the right job opportunities for you.
5. Target key employers
Job search engines may not always pull the job postings you’re most interested in. If there are particular employers in your area that you’d love to work for, go directly to their websites. Follow them on LinkedIn. See if you know anyone who works there. These approaches may help you learn of a job opportunity before it gets posted online.
6. More quality, less quantity
Some people feel that they should send out as many resumes as they possibly can. They think that if they send out 100 resumes, at least one of them should get noticed, right? Wrong! Rather than blindly sending out your resume to dozens of job openings, it’s better to spend time identifying jobs where you are a truly qualified. Then spend time making that resume and cover letter the best that you can.
7. Follow the online rules for submission
Each company seems to have a different application process for their online submissions. Be sure to follow all instructions carefully. This helps show the employer that you took the time to do it right.
8. Use your online presence to help your job search
Social media sites like Twitter and professional networking sites like LinkedIn can help you develop a high-quality professional presence online. Make the most out of LinkedIn to ensure that employers see all your terrific qualities!
9. Spend less time online
Believe it or not, spending too much time on job search engines can actually make it take longer to find a job! The better way to find a job is through networking. Making person-to-person contacts with people in your network tends to lead to more job opportunities than online searches. Try to limit your time online to about 1 to 2 hours per day. Then use the rest of the time to seek out personal connections and build your network.
10. Keep up your momentum
Finding the right job will take some time. You will have ups and downs, and sometimes you may feel like giving up. But you’ve got to keep on trying! Have faith in yourself and do your best to keep a positive outlook!
We hope these tips help you to use online job search engines more efficiently as one resource in your overall job search. Here’s wishing you the best of luck!
The Salter School provides career-focused training to adults interested in becoming professional medical assistants, health claims specialists, and massage therapists. Find out more today!