Job Search Tips from the Experts

The job search in this economy is tough, and so, I have asked fellow job seekers and career-search experts from across the web for what they consider to be some top tips for standing out and succeeding in today’s job market. While I could not include every tip from all of the experts, I have selected and compiled the best and most unique ones in this list to share with you today.

  1. Job seekers should have a proper assessment of their personality type to know which jobs they should apply for – so not to waste their time or employers – and get into a career in which will not be ‘just a job’, but a career they will love, utilizing their natural gifts and talents. Knowing your true personality type not only helps you honor those gifts and talents, but allows you to choose jobs that will ensure your excellence doing the job. – Carol Tuttle, MyEnergyProfile.com
  2. Are you limiting yourself to the major job boards out there (i.e. Monster, Careerbuilder, HotJobs, etc.)? Expand your horizons by using ResumeRabbit.com to guide you to other job boards that may be more beneficial to you. While you could fork over the $60 fee to post your resume on their site, consider using their list as a spring board to help you target where to place your resume instead. A major plus is that they list sites by specialty like technology, advertising and entry level. You can access their job bank list at http://www.resumerabbit.com/online_job_banks.jsp. In this economy, everyone is trying to save a buck—that includes employers! Make sure you are also sending your resume to sites that allow free posting for employers. (Think Craigslist before they started charging $25 per job listing.) Here are three sites to explore in your job search: Oodle.com, Indeed.com and SimplyHired.com. – Rosemary Laack, PowerSuccessDiva.blogspot.com
  3. I always have my candidates read over their resume and after every bullet point ask “so what?”. It is not what you are responsible for, or what you do every day (i.e. manage a group of 25 engineers)… it is what you did for the company with that responsibility. Only accomplishments sell a candidate, not what their span of control is. Include quantifiable accomplishments (increased the company top line, increased the company bottom line, or solved problems others could not solve) and when in doubt, ask “so what???” – Bo Price, GRNRaleigh.com
  4. The number one mistake people make when submitting their resumes by email or online? Titling their Word resume document simply “Resume.doc.” How is an employer, dealing with a long list of attachments from many applicants, supposed to organize and process resumes quickly and efficiently when they all have the same title? Always, ALWAYS use your own name when you title your resume, something like “Lisa Johnson Mandell.doc.” Many employers just delete all submissions simply slugged “Resume” and move on, figuring if job candidates are not organized enough to properly label their most precious submissions, how are they going to handle work files at that particular company? – Lisa Johnson Mandell, LisaJohnsonMandell.com
  5. I am a big proponent of being visible on LinkedIn. Of course, it’s only as good as the user, so I encourage people to be on the site daily (ideally), but at least 3 times per week. The time commitment does not have to be significant, but the activity has to be strategic. Job seekers should be in relevant groups, answering questions in their areas of expertise, and updating their recommendations. They should also do regular status updates or other activity that will continually appear on their connections’ home pages. This is about staying top of mind for when opportunities come up. – Sharon DeLay, BoldlyGoCoaching.com
  6. Choose where you want to work and then do what you have to do to get a job there. Yes, target companies directly. Forge relationships with the people who work there (attend the events they attend, get introductions through intermediaries, make friends with them on Twitter or Facebook, or just call them up on the phone!). This is the important part: Approach potential employers whether or not they are hiring—-in fact, the best way to get into a company is to get to know the people there before they have a need and then be there on the spot when this need arrives. – Karen Burns, KarenBurnsWorkingGirl.com
  7. Meet with contacts and describe your qualifications and the kind of job that you want. Ask for referrals. They may not know of anyone with a job available but they know people. Ask to be put in touch with people they know that may be willing and/or able to help you. When the person with an opportunity meets you and hears your qualifications, they will bring up the opportunity to you – just as the right candidate did with the executive recruiter. Think not? The hiring manager is just as anxious to fill the job as you are to get it. When the right person presents him or herself the hiring manager will reveal the job. – Phil Roth, NetworkingSteps.com
  8. Treat every interaction with anyone at a potential employer’s company or business as a potential interview. That includes receptionists, those in the waiting room, people you pass in the halls, etc. You never know who knows who or has input into hiring. If you can get anyone involved in the company to notice you in a positive way and see you an enthusiastic potential employee, they may be the one to bring up your name at the right time or tip the scales in your favor. The person sitting next to you in the waiting room with whom you strike up a positive conversation may be a friend or relative of someone involved in hiring, and you never get back a missed opportunity. – Lydia Whitney, AllianceforCareerandEducation.org
  9. Go out and buy some $3 or $5 Starbucks gift cards, bring them with you to a job fair and invite the people you’re most interested in meeting to have coffee with you the following week. Get their business cards to follow up and confirm a day and time. – Carolyn Thompson, CarolynThompson.net
  10. One unique way to finding a job is through volunteering. Volunteer your skill set to a non profit and not only will you build your resume and fill in any gaps, but you will also have a great opportunity to network. For example if you have a accounting background offer to work in the accounting department of a non profit. Your skills will remain sharp, you can list the position on your resume and there will be ample opportunities for you to network while you are in the organization. – Rahul Yodh, LinkLegalSearch.com

Special thanks to everyone who contributed to this wealth of job search insight!

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