Even in the most favorable of job markets, your resume is still going to go up against other job seekers for a coveted position. When economic times are tough, and competition is stiff, you'll need to up your game even more to land your next job.
The days of grabbing and holding a job for 30 years are largely gone. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person holds 11.7 jobs from the age of 18 to 48. If you're in one of these transition phases in a competitive industry, here are six tips to increase your odds of success in today's job market.
1. Conduct a Ton of Research
You have a much better chance of being offered a job if both the job and the company are the right fit for you. Your research of the company and the position should begin in the application phase and continue until your interview date. When asked "Why do you want to work here?" you should have a clear and well-researched answer.
2. Reach Beyond Social Media
While Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram might be your social network of choice, these aren't necessarily going to deliver your dream job. If you're in the job search phase, online job boards are an excellent tool but don't ignore LinkedIn. According to Jobvite's Social Recruiting Survey, 93% of human resources and recruitment professionals use LinkedIn as a recruiting and hiring tool. If you haven't put time into your LinkedIn profile and connections yet, now is the time to do so.
3. Pay Close Attention to Your Online Profiles
Speaking of social networks, you'll also want to review your existing social media accounts because hiring managers will also likely take a peek. Nearly 75% of hiring managers and recruiters will scan your social media profiles and will take note of such things as excessive use of profanity, posts about alcohol and illegal drug consumption, and even poor grammar and spelling. Posts relating to volunteering, charitable contributions, and professional organization memberships will cast you in a more positive light.
4. Provide Examples of Your Achievements
Sending in a generic resume or showing up to an interview ready to give canned answers probably won't set you apart from the crowd. Instead, insert specific examples of your achievements into your resume that are relevant to the position. Also, have some stories prepared that describe your achievements and skills should you find yourself in a behavioral interview.
5. Leverage Your Network
If you have a professional network, now is the time to tap into those relationships to help you find and land your next position. Some companies will ask for referrals before they advertise a position. Let people in your professional organizations know what sort of position you're looking for and provide them with a copy of your resume. Members of your network might also help in your company research and be available as professional references.
6. Focus on Why You
Worrying about the competition is counterintuitive. There will always be other people vying for the same positions, but if you've done your research, submitted a winning resume, and prepared for the interview, you can prove to the company that you are the perfect fit for the job.
Knowledge is power. The more you know, the easier it is to make an intelligent choice. Everyday life, as well as certain events and circumstances, require you to make choices. And peace of mind is gained when you feel good about the decisions you make.
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