It’s overwhelming, discouraging, frustrating and exacerbating – the quantity of blogs and articles telling you how to job search. By focusing on the latest ‘trends’ and progressive strategies, self-anointed experts continue to use their megaphones to sell their own ideas.
The following list of 10 trends is designed to help you separate the wheat from the chaff, identifying those activities or rules of thumb you should consider for a successful job search. If you are in an active job hunt, or you are simply testing the waters (which in today’s economic climate, you probably ought to always be doing), then consider these top career initiatives of value:
- Your resume is a story. While you don’t want to tell a story simply to be quaint or to entertain, you DO want to tell a compelling career story that resonates with your target hiring decision maker: connect your ‘who, what, where, when, why and how’ with THEIR story. Interject yourself as a new character in the hiring company’s book that will ensure their next chapter is imbued with greater success such as revenue and profit gains. Make the opening resume chapter (Profile/Summary) as captivating as your closing remarks.
- Ditch the objective on your resume. Objectives are about you and what YOU want. A high-performing resume underscores–using crisp headlines and narrative-how you will solve the needs of the hiring manager.
- Heave ho the resume ‘length’ rules. There are no rules, only guidelines. Rule of thumb: make every word substantive and every assertion relative to the reader’s needs. This will keep your resume tight and muscular, and length issues will magically evaporate.
- Create and cultivate your LinkedIn presence. With LinkedIn’s more than 200 million members and with influencers, hiring decision makers, executives, recruiters and more hanging around the LinkedIn water cooler every day, you don’t want to be absent from the conversation.
- Get active on social media. See #4 (LinkedIn is a crucial social media channel). In addition, it is advisable to join at least one or two other channels. Twitter is fast moving and often billboard-ish; but if you make it so, it can be conversational, too. Facebook often is considered a highly personal, ‘dangerous’ networking channel for careerists to openly publish your thoughts. However, transform that paradigm and dare to be different by leveraging Facebook as a pithy career-bolstering resource by being fluid, interesting and smart in your posts.
- Actively market your value ‘past’ the HR gatekeepers. HR’s job is to reduce the resume funnel, to sift, sort and delete candidates. They’re often overwhelmed and understaffed. Find your way to the pot of career gold by directly meeting and interacting with people who can either get you to the person who hires – or who actually will do the hiring themselves.
- Quit staring at the online job postings. The easy button doesn’t work in job search, and simply applying online to jobs is considered just that. Get out of your computer and engage with people who either hire or know people who hire.
- Don’t stalk hiring authorities or recruiters. If someone has shown initial potential interest in interviewing you but then later cools off, know when to say when. Don’t keep emailing, private-messaging, calling them and such. While they may discourteously drop the ball in getting back to you in some instances, in others, they are just doing their job and closing the candidacy door. Whether this person holding your interest is someone you would be reporting to or a recruiter match-making to a hiring manager’s needs, they are busy, sometimes harried and have a million other balls they are juggling. Know when they are saying – or implying – “no,” and move on. It is in your own best interest, emotionally and pragmatically. Keep forging ahead.
- Quit whining on Facebook or Twitter (or any other public forum). Whining is unattractive and very well might cost you a potential opportunity, or even the job you already have.
- Volunteer. While you may feel ‘giving’ your time during a stressful job search is counterintuitive, it isn’t. But keep in mind, while volunteering it is about being charitable with your time or energy, it also is an opportunity to receive. Through face-to-face or other personal-touch interactions, you can build new relationships and/or garner the ear of someone who takes a liking to you and wants to help you get into that next great gig. Also, be selective where you volunteer. It is okay to consider the potential to glean new contacts when selecting your next volunteer gig.
Implemented intentionally, these 10 career trends will help to meld and mold your successful strategy. Stay tuned for the follow-up to this blog post, reporting on 10 trends ‘not’ to pay attention to.