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Professionalism in Your Job Search

Professionalism in your job searchThe moment you begin your job search is the moment that potential employers start to pay attention. Everything you do has the chance of reflecting poorly on you or showing the value you have to offer. Professionalism in your job search matters. Make sure that you remain professional throughout the entire job search process. Here are some tips to keep you on track:

Professionalism in Your Job Search: Do’s and Don’ts

While searching…

Do: Begin your job search while you’re still employed. Job seekers who are employed during their search are often given better offers by potential employers than job seekers who are unemployed. Starting to look for a new position while you still have a job can also help minimize the stress of the search because you are not desperate for a new source of income.

Don’t: Search for a new job while you are at work. It shows a lack of professionalism. You owe your current employer your best effort while you are still employed with them. Plus, if you’re not ready to let your current employer know you are searching, using a work computer to look for jobs may alert them to your intentions.

Do: Update your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. These things are often the first impression that a hiring manager will have of you and what you have to offer. 

Don’t: Use a resume that is out of date or not targeted towards the specific position you are seeking. Hiring managers don’t have time to guess why you are a good fit–make it clear in your resume. Also, remember to proofread everything before submitting. Nothing is more unprofessional than a resume full of typos!

Do: Reach out to friends and other professionals in your network to learn about open positions at other companies. You are far more likely to get a job if you are referred by someone you know. If your network can’t help you, a recruiter could be a good option. 

Don’t: Abuse your relationships. Keep in mind that no one owes you anything. If someone is willing to help, be grateful for the assistance and don’t expect miracles. 

During The Interview Process…

Do: During an interview, make sure you are courteous and professional to EVERYONE you meet. This includes office staff, other job candidates, and anyone else you encounter. 

Don’t: Be rude or unprofessional during the interview process. If your interview doesn’t start exactly on time, be patient and don’t complain about the tardiness of the interviewer. Regardless of how things go, your professionalism will make a positive impression.

Do: Send a thank you note after each interview you attend. 

Don’t: Follow up every day until you get a response about whether or not you got the position. While following up is a good idea, don’t be obnoxious about it. Irritating the hiring manager will not help you get the job.

Do: Highlight the value you can bring to a new a new role based on your knowledge, skills, and experience. 

Don’t: Make any negative comments about your current or former employers. Even if they were truly awful, this is not the time to mention it. 

Do: Take time to thoroughly evaluate any offers that you receive. Be sure that the role and the company are a good fit before accepting.

Don’t: Keep the hiring manager waiting on your decision for too long. Remember that you are not the only qualified candidate out there. If you take too long to make your decision, you risk having the offer rescinded. 

*Bonus: DON’T ghost! Always return phone calls and emails, show up for interviews, and if you accept a job offer, show up for work. If you accept an offer and then change your mind, let the hiring manager know as soon as possible (BEFORE your first day). Hiring managers have long memories and you never know how ghosting can impact your future job searches. 

Are you ready to begin your job search? Let us help! Check out the resume packages we have available, or give us a call to discuss how we can help you reach your career goals.

Resume Return On Investment

What does return on investment have to do with your resume? Well, a lot actually. First, there is the expectation that your resume will do something for you. The time and effort (and money, if you use a professional resume service) spent on creating your resume needs to result in a new job. A new job that offers more satisfaction, or freedom, or money, is worth the investment. Return On Investment

You Are Asking A Hiring Manager to Invest In You

When hiring managers view resumes, they planning on investing in a new employee, and they are hoping for a high return on investment. After all, the company invests thousands of dollars into hiring a single new employee. Consider the cost of hiring for a moment. It goes way beyond the salary and benefits package. There is also the cost of recruiting which includes money spent on advertising the position and time spent on reviewing resumes, interviewing candidates, drug screenings, background checks, and any pre-employment assessments that need to be completed.

And, that’s not all. After hiring someone, there are the costs of workplace integration to consider: a computer with all the necessary software installed on it, a company cell phone, travel costs, the office space where the employee will work, etc. Once a new employee is in place, it still often takes months for their productivity levels to be on par with the salary they are earning. A new employee typically has to work for a company more than six months for the company to break even on their investment.

Your Resume is a Selling Tool

Your resume is your chance to make a first impression with a hiring manager. In a matter of seconds, someone decides whether or not they want to meet you. With a single glance at that piece of paper, you either capture the attention needed to get your foot in the door, or you don’t. It’s that simple. The difference between getting an interview or not starts with a thin piece of paper.

That thin piece of paper has the power to speak volumes about you. It is your first chance to show that you are a low-risk, high-yielding investment opportunity. In six seconds or less, you need the hiring manager to want to meet you. With so much riding on your resume, spending money on a professionally written resume is worth it. Spending $300 to make sure your resumes says, “I’m the perfect person for this job!” yields a high return on investment.

Which resume package will you invest in?

How to Leverage Social Media in Your Job Search

Are you using social media to help you during your job search? Social media can have a big impact on getting a new job if you know how to leverage it properly.

Using Social Media in Your Job Search

 

Using Social Media as Part of Your Job Search Strategy…

When you think about using social media for career purposes, LinkedIn is likely the first thing to come to mind, with good reason. LinkedIn provides a platform to find new job opportunities and to present yourself as an ideal candidate while networking with others in your field and in the companies you would love to join. So, as you begin your job search, updating your LinkedIn profile should go hand-in-hand with updating your resume. To maximize the value of this social media platform, make sure that your profile is filled out as completely as possible. Include a professional-looking photo of yourself as well because profiles with a photo gain significantly more traffic from recruiters than those without photos. After all, social media is about connecting with people and putting a face with a name is a powerful way to do this. Don’t forget to let recruiters know you are open to job offers. This setting is not visible to your current employer, so no need to worry.

Beyond LinkedIn…

LinkedIn isn’t the only social media platform that can help you during your job search. Recruiters also routinely look at Facebook profiles to get a sense of what candidates are like. If you are actively looking for a new job, join groups in your industry. Recruiters use Facebook groups to find potential job candidates.

On Twitter, Instagram, and Google+, following companies that you would be interested in working for is a good way to stay informed about job postings and changes in the company. Following other professionals in your industry is also a good idea. This gives you a chance to stay on top of industry trends and connect with industry leaders and companies in your field. Those connections can help you later on in your job search.

Social Media Rules to Follow…

Regardless of what platform you are on, be aware of who might be looking at what you post. Before posting, ask yourself, “Would I want my boss to see this?” Keeping your professional life and your private life separate on social media is harder than ever. It is always better to play it safe than to regret posting something damaging.

Keeping your social media professional is the first step, but you can go beyond that to increase your chances of getting a job. Post content that is relevant to your field to help establish yourself as an expert or a thought leader in your industry. This will help you stand out to recruiters, which can lead to more job offers.

If you want to be certain your LinkedIn profile is getting the attention you want, we can help! Check out our packages that include a LinkedIn profile makeover.

How to Create an Effective Resume

As a professional resume writer, I hear all the time from clients that, “I’ll start my job search as soon as I have my resume written.” That sounds like a great way to do things, right? I mean, you need to have a resume in order to apply for jobs when you find them, so it seems logical to write the resume before beginning the job search. But, how do you write a resume that says, “Hire me, I am the perfect fit for the position at your company!” if you don’t know what position or company you are aiming for? What ultimately ends up happening in this situation is that you end up with a generic resume that doesn’t really stand out to anyone. Then, you wonder why you’re never getting called back for any interviews, and you quickly get discouraged in your job search, wondering why no one is impressed with you.

Job Search

So, should you not even bother thinking about your resume until after you have found positions that you are interested in? Not exactly. It is a good idea to create a generic resume before beginning your job search. Why? Because it helps you identify your skills and interests and can help guide your job search. But, that generic resume should not be the one you actually send out after you find the position you want.

After Your Job Search, Identify Your Strengths

After you find a position, go back to that generic resume and tailor it to the specific job posting. How do you do that? First, go through the job posting and making a list of keywords that describe the job duties and requirements of the position. Then make a list of specific experience that you have related to each of those duties and requirements. While you might not have specific experience related to every single keyword on your list, it is important to make sure that you have experience in more than half of them. If you demonstrate your qualifications, then it will be hard to convince a hiring manager that you are actually qualified for the job.

Leave Off Details That Are Not Relevant

Now go back to your generic resume. Begin with the Experience section. For each job in that section, make sure that the duties/responsibilities that most closely match the keywords on your list are the first bullet points listed. If you have several bullet points that describe duties or responsibilities that are not on your keyword list, consider leaving many of them off — hiring managers are most interested in how you can meet the specific role that you are applying for, and having a lot of information on your resume that does not relate to the position can be seen as a waste of their time.

Quantify Your Experience

After adding bullet points related to the job posting wherever possible in your Experience section, take another look at these bullet points. For each bullet point, try to answer the questions, “How many?” “How much?” “How often?” to quantify your experience. Also ask yourself, “how did this benefit the company? What value did I bring to the company?” Answering these questions will help you write bullet points that show how valuable you are as an employee, giving hiring managers a reason to invest in you.

Highlight Your Qualifications in Your Career Summary

The Experience section of your resume is your opportunity to show that you have the experience the hiring manager is looking for, but it is not the only part of your resume that needs to be tailored to the specific job position. The Career Summary at the top of your resume is also a great place to highlight your value. From the job posting, what appears to be most important to this company? Which skills and experience do they stress most? Those things should be included in your Career Summary section. Directly below your Career Summary, include a Core Competency section using words from your keyword list. This helps applicant tracking systems see that you have the necessary experience for the job.

If you take the time to tweak your resume specifically for each job position you are interested in, it shows hiring managers that you are serious about wanting THIS job. Hiring managers don’t want someone who is applying to everything under the sun. They want someone who is excited about their company. Show that you truly want this job. This will help you get the interviews and job offer you are hoping for.

Want help creating a resume that will get you more interviews? Let us help! Find the perfect resume package to meet your needs.