Tips for Finding a Job

I recently re-entered the job market. Having been several years since I last looked for work, I wasn't sure what sort of environment I was about to step in to. I had a sense that the market was good, but there was no way to be certain without actually starting the search.

So I did the usual thing and applied for positions on the various job boards that sounded interesting. This turned out to be a waste of time. Anything that sounded promising to me almost never resulted in a return phone call or e-mail. I'm not sure why this is, but I suspect it is one of these reasons:

  • I failed to make a good pitch.
  • Every posting attracted so many resumes that mine got lost in the shuffle.
  • The job postings were fake and existed only to attract resumes.
  • The jobs in question had been filled, but the postings lived on.

Now the above situation isn't too surprising as I remember having a similar problem years ago. So this time around I made sure to engage in other activities to improve my chances of being noticed.

The first thing I did was make my resume longer. I think the recommendation to keep your resume to 2 pages is bunk. Since your resume is going to be seen online, go ahead and add a third page if you have relevant information to relay. Consider also making your most recent job description longer and more detailed than the rest. From my recent job search, it's the latest work you've done that hiring managers and recruiters are most interested in. And finally, be explicit about the type of work you've done. You can go on and on about the pay-for-click campaigns and search engine optimization work you've done, but you'll attract more attention if you include an obvious heading like SEARCH ENGINE MARKETING.

Once your resume is strong, post it on Monster. This job board is a job seeker's goldmine whereas others like Dice and HotJobs turned out to be a waste of time. With Monster, I ended up receiving multiple calls daily for weeks. What's more, these people had already determined that I was potentially good fit i.e. by the time I talked to them I already had a foot in the door which is always a good position to start from. Of course your resume will get you only so far. Once you're on the phone or meeting someone in person, you better be prepared to impress.

One last thing to note about Monster. Over time, your resume will move farther and farther down the virtual pile of resumes. This is a good system since most job hunters don't deactivate their resume once they land a job so this process eliminates old resumes from consideration. The downside is that after about 1.5 to 2 weeks, the number of daily calls you get will drop. I was a bit disheartened when this happened to me. But then I discovered Monster's “renew” feature which puts your resume back to the top of the pile. Once I did this, the calls resumed. It's probably safe to renew your resume weekly.

So if you're looking for work I hope the above was informative. And I wish you luck with your search!

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4 Comments

  1. It's also very important to remember that websites like monster.com yield huge amounts of traffic which attract alot of competitors aswell.

    Reports from compete.com show that Monster.com has about 160 MILLION visitors daily. Can you image the amount of competitors one will need to go up against. Not 160 million sure, but even 1% of that is quite large on a daily basis.

    Always remember to use compete.com when thinking of using a newly discovered job search website.

    Also a few tips would be to look where your competitors may not such as local city hall's, city HR website, local library job boards, local colleges and university websites, local church job boards.

    Good Luck

  2. Hi,

    I work in recruitment and you make some really good points. Keyword are very important as most recruiters do database searches. So use the jargon in your resume and brand names as well.

    Tim

    • I don't understand the point of keywords. If my experience already covers all the industry buzz words and jargon, then the keywords one would search on are already built-in to my resume, true? I've seen some job postings where keywords are all strung together at the bottom of the post. Is that what people mean? I hope not!

  3. You make a very valid point with regards to making your most recent job role description longer - this is indeed one of the key aspects that potential employers look at.

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