Struggling to find a job? Starting to despair? Feel like you’re doing all of the right things, but still not getting results? It’s possible that you are doing all the right things. But there are a few extra tricks you could still try to give yourself a little edge and improve your prospects on the job hunt.
1. Restrain yourself
If you’re obviously overqualified for a position, resist the temptation to send your resume in anyway. You’ll look desperate. You’ll feel desperate. And the employer will toss your resume at first glance. If it’s obvious to you; it’s obvious to them. They’ll be worried that you’ll leave for a better opportunity at the drop of a hat—and, let’s face it, they’re probably right.
2. Future-fit your resume
Don’t make your resume a simple list of where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Target it for the job you’re looking for, not the ones you’ve had. And craft it individually for each position you apply for. Reframe your skills and experience to be a perfect fit. Describe your background and interests in terms this company will jump about. (When in doubt, study the job description and the company’s mission statement for clues.)
3. Never assume
You know what they say: to assume is to make an "a**" out of "u" and "me." So don’t expect a recruiter or hiring manager to read between the lines of your resume. If you haven’t spelled it out as clearly and concisely as possible—enough to be noticed in a quick skim—then you’re assuming they’ll put more work into reviewing your application than they ever will.
4. Branch out
Don’t ignore a potential connection because you don’t think they’re directly in a position to help you. You never know who will be your next link to your big fish. Don’t underestimate or overlook anyone. The world is wide and the broader your network, the better your odds.
5. Don’t advertise
It’s one thing to tell close circles of contacts and friends that you’re looking for a job. It’s another to broadcast it and have to conduct the rest of your search under the scrutiny of your entire social network. Instead, be savvy with your social media. Publicize any transition skill/new qualifications or certifications on LinkedIn. And start being a resource for current trends and information in your other feeds. If people start to see you as an asset, they might think of you spontaneously and come to you first with new opportunities.
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