In the past, people wandered the streets looking for jobs, going from door to door to ask for a vacancy. When technology advanced, job seekers turned to the printing presses for job listings. Gone were the days when job seekers meticulously prepared fresh copies of their resumes and cover letters, carefully pasting postage stamps neatly on envelopes to be sent out by the mailman.
Today, the job search process is not only powered by the internet; it has been accelerated by a surge in social media sites. Interestingly, however, the job search process seems to have gone full circle and is now taking people back on the streets – the streets of the virtual world. The method of sending your resume or clicking “apply” on a job advertisement still exists but is now outdated. Increasingly, job seekers are trawling the streets of social media to speak directly to potential employers, in hope of securing their dream job.
Despite the increased accessibility and convenience, the average interview process has in fact been prolonged. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average interview process in the United States took 22.9 days in 2014, as compared to 12.6 days in 2010. It therefore appears that the more choices one has, the more one deliberates. This applies to both employers and employees alike. How then, does one stand out amidst the clutter and crowd in social media?
1. Refrain from a mass approach: Take specific and measured approaches.
Spamming your resume to every recruiter or potential employer is not going to be effective. Unfortunately, the job search process is not a game of numbers. It does not necessarily mean that the more resumes you send, the higher your chance of getting hired. Rather than hitting on the “apply” button, seek out the specific organisation you wish to work in and look for the key appointment holders you wish to work with.
Whilst the common practice is to draft a template letter which is sent to all potential employers, it always helps to tailor your cover letter to the audience reading it. Most people take it for granted that employers do not read cover letters these days. This is untrue especially in some professions where they dismiss a potential candidate for simply not crossing the Ts and dotting the Is.
The search process by head hunters, recruiters and employers are now highly facilitated by search technology. Potential candidates should include key words and phrases of job scopes they would like to apply for and include such key terms in their resumes. This enables their resumes to show up when a Boolean search is done with these phrases.
2. Create an online presence: Submitting your resume is not enough.
“Googling” is the norm these days. Therefore, one should not be surprised if a potential employer or head hunter “googles” a candidate prior to contacting them in a job search process. If you haven’t already done it, google yourself to find out what are the top 10 results from the search. Refine your LinkedIn profile to ensure that you are contactable. Write an executive summary for yourself, incorporating the key search terms of the job scopes you are interested in.
Potential employers and head hunters also look out for other aspects of your online presence such as your Twitter and Facebook profiles. Unfortunately, the online world is ruthless and somewhat superficial. Hirers tend to look out for presentable photos, insightful commentary or good third party recommendations of candidates to gain a wholesome perspective.
3. Keep networking online and offline
Many candidates assume that the work is done the moment they send off their resume. Unfortunately, this will only get you mediocre results. One should never underestimate the power of networking. Many times, employers hire candidates who were endorsed by someone they know and trust. Having a third party vouch for your capability and work performance beats sending a top quality resume anytime.
Even if you are not looking for a job at the moment, it is important to remain open to the option of knowing more people. You will never know when the right opportunity comes knocking. After all, networking is not just for a job opportunity. It increases your visibility and profile amongst key industry professionals who may turn out to be valuable mentors in your career.
Not too sure how to kick start to process? Feel free to speak to one of our consultants at Space Executive today.