If you’ve been out of the job search market, let me be the first to tell you: the game has changed. It’s a new day, and while some of the tried-and-true methods of landing a job — like working your personal and professional networks — haven’t changed, there is plenty that has.
Today, the U.S. has millions of job openings and they’re all a great opportunity for the right job seeker. But the trick is to get your resume to the top of the heap and stand out from the pack.
However, standing out is no longer simply a matter of having a track record of success or a work history that shows you’re reliable. Insiders say you must have a unique value proposition. Resume expert Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter defines it as “a clear statement that describes the benefit you offer and what distinguishes you from the competition.” In the most basic sense, you’ve got to show a recruiter why you are downright irresistible.
Before you dazzle hiring managers with what makes you the perfect candidate for the job, you’ve got to find that job first. Here are a few go-to tricks from our new book “Glassdoor for Dummies” that’ll help you to wade through the millions of openings to find the one that’s right for you. Ready, set, go!
1. Upload Your Resume In Advance
Scrolling career sites for the perfect role and then sending a resume is a reactive move. Be proactive by uploading your resume to Glassdoor *before* you find the role. When your resume is in tip-top shape, create an account online and upload it so that applying to jobs is an easy, one-step process. Once you see a job that piques your interest, click apply from your smartphone and you’re done.
2. Follow The Companies You’re Interested In
Remember when you had to know someone who worked at a company to get the inside scoop. You’d blindly apply to most jobs hoping the execs weren’t tyrants or that the vacation policy was longer than a week. Now, all of that info is readily available. Mazel tov for transparency. Job candidates today have access to a wealth of information to help them inform their decisions — videos of company offices, actual salary and benefits insights, plus honest information from those who have interviewed there. Pick 10 companies you’re interested in working for and go to their employer profiles on Glassdoor. Read about them, see if you like their culture, read reviews, click the follow button and stay on top of what’s new at that company. It’s one more step in being proactive.
3. Set Up Job Alerts
Searching for a job can be a full-time job in itself, so hack your way through the process by setting up a few job alerts. Create an alert for a specific job title or, for more results, try a keyword. For example, when I was looking for editor/writer roles, I started to see that many of the jobs were listed as “content curator” or “content editor.” I began to set individual alerts for the words “content,” “writer,” and “editor” to cast the widest net and yield the most results. Check out how various companies and locations refer to your position, and set up alerts for those keywords. Then let the job listings come to you.
4. Know The Salary Before You Apply
One of the most frustrating things about applying to a new job is how long you have to wait before you can even broach the topic of salary. Now, that’s a thing of the past. Glassdoor has estimated salary ranges in job listings to help José and Jasmine Job Seeker instantly know what they could be paid before applying for a job. 68 percent of people report that salary and compensation are among their top considerations before accepting a job, but other job sites don’t offer that information up front. However, this salary hack will show you a base salary estimate that has been calculated from millions of U.S. employees and third-party sources. Let the technology do the work for you to suss out whether a role is really the opportunity of a lifetime. Salary is more important than ever, especially in metro areas where the cost of living has sky-rocketed. Don’t waste time on a job that is below your salary requirements by checking the estimates on Glassdoor.
5. Know Your Worth — And Earn It!
We’ve all been there: a hiring manager asks you what you were paid at your last job or what type of compensation you expect in your next role, and you simply shrug your shoulders, try not to appear like you’re throwing out a random number. Ugh, the dreaded salary talk. Going hand-in-hand with salary estimates, it’s important to know what you and your skills are really worth in the town you’re in. After all, a contractor in Des Moines will probably earn a different amount than a contractor in Decatur. Enter “Know Your Worth." Know Your Worth generates a personal market value that reveals the estimated base pay you should expect to earn in today’s job market. The free tool calculates your estimated market value, or earning potential, right now, based on factors such as your current job, work experience, education, and the local job market. Use the tool, find out how much you could earn, and bargain with that. The point is: You’re in control and you have the information necessary to make informed decisions about your career.