In dispensing job search advice I find there is never one answer that applies to all regardless of occupation, experience, industry, and seniority level. So here are some often offered pieces of advice about resumes and conducting a job search I feel apply to the majority of job seekers and I also listed possible consequences for not taking this advice seriously.
1: The value of using a job board is minimal at best
For most job seekers this is a truism. Jobs posted online by actual employers are outweighed by the number of résumé responses they receive. For each new job it is not unheard of for the posting to get hundreds of responses in the first 3-14 days it appears online. This happens because many job boards crawl the internet to find listing to post making many jobs over publicized. Also unqualified candidates too often respond to jobs based on a single keyword in the posting hoping to get noticed; automatic submittable software submits resumes when it is not a proper match; and there is a growing number of companies who provide this auto submit service to job seekers for a fee.
On the other hand job boards can be useful for certain occupations such as IT, engineering and in others where specific skills and experience is required and the talent pool is more limited.
Consequences I can think of in regards to job boards is too many job seekers make them their primary search action thus prolonging their job search, and people forget that resumes need to be specially formatted for ATS systems that screen these resumes.
2: LinkedIn is the #1 job search tool in the world today
This is abundantly clear to me by the growing number of my clients who have generated interviews and job offers from the information and contacts they developed from this site, and from recruiters and employers who contacted them based on their LinkedIn page.
However if your profile is poorly written and optimized the consequence is you will not be found, or if you’re found you will be deemed a sub-par candidate.
3: Failure to establish a personal brand on a résumé is detrimental to your job search
The ratio of resumes submitted for any given job to the number of candidates who are eventually selected for an interview is staggering. On the other hand the similarity among candidates selected for an interview is often based on the personal brand they’ve established for themselves to stand out in the crowd.
Many resumes are produced from boiler plate formats following outdated résumé conventions, and the writer’s fail to take social media and its use in résumé writing into account. The consequence is that the finished product makes them look like everyone else applying for the same job. I can’t tell you how many resumes I’ve read in my lifetime where I could not distinguish one candidate from another based on the information the résumé provided.
4: You need to have a game plan and include others in it to conduct a successful job search
Finding a new job is a full time job and the proper use of all your resources is imperative to achieve the desired results. If you do not have a roadmap you are likely to get sidetracked and not follow through, and without the help of your friends, colleagues, business associates and professionals in the field to help, guide, advise and encourage you and keep your eyes focused on the prize you are likely to fall into mental ruts and / or get lazy or despondent.
Another consequence of not having a game plan and surrounding yourself with people to help is an additional 5-35 weeks of unemployment for too many job seekers or their landing a position below their ability and desired salary level.
As always, I’m available to critique U.S. resumes and offer suggestions to you at no cost. You can send me an email with your current resume to firstname.lastname@example.org