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. This could help you attract employers in big companies and even startup companies when they see that you are fit for the job based in your recent job description. 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!