after working in Taking a Covid-forced break from the entertainment industry and looking for work for 25 years, I recently began looking for stable employment. NS job site report That the average length of a job search is 20 weeks. I’m almost a quarter of the way through those 5 months now.
One of the first steps I took in my new job search was to have coffee with a friend who had just completed her successful job search. During the two hours we spent together, I wrote several pages of notes. I learned (or was reminded) that a computer scan is the first step after you submit a resume during a job application. You may already know this, but here are some other tips I learned..
First, when you apply for a job online, as most of us do, the computer reads your resume before any human can see it. An automated software program called an applicant-tracking system scans your resume for keywords related to the position you are applying for. The system analyzes resumes to find the best match for a position. It is important that your resume includes appropriate buzzwords and is professionally written.
This can be some heavy lifting, especially if you’re trying to change careers or fields. In my case, I followed my friend’s advice and used a resume writing and review service. He reworked my resume to make it as technically friendly as possible without sacrificing readability. Since my experience is in marketing, my resume now includes keywords for that industry. My resume is also in good format. The service is paid, and the package I chose includes a resume correction, a cover letter, and a LinkedIn profile update. There are plenty of options for additional companies providing these services; Even LinkedIn offers them.
The process of securing my updated resume, cover letter and LinkedIn profile took about a week. Once I had the documents, I took advantage of second service To post my resume on multiple job boards, especially ones I might miss if I had to do it all myself. Again, I would have spent hours setting up this service to do it faster. Using this, my resume was posted on 50 career sites. Of course, you don’t have to spend money to do this, but it helped me broaden my search.
Many, if not most, recruiting companies rely on LinkedIn to read and connect with candidates. All you really need is a profile. A free account is fine, but the premium tier offers features like direct messaging to recruiters, interview preparation tools, and applicant insights so you can see how you compare to other candidates. Employers will probably look to see if you have a page. They will want to read your employment story. Yes, this is a social media site, so yes, engagement is essential. Participate by commenting on others’ posts, posting your own stories, or writing articles related to your industry, knowledge, or experience. Also, join and participate in professional groups related to your field. This social media networking is an important aspect of your job search. Also use the platform’s recommendation feature. This allows others (former employers or work colleagues) to recommend you. For good karma karma, you should also recommend people you know. And while you’re on LinkedIn, don’t forget that there are other sites too. Monster, actually, Glassdoor and FlexJob are just a few. (AARP also has a job search page available to its members.)
While LinkedIn deserves its own mention, other social media platforms are helpful as well. Pay close attention to how you use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and any other social media platform. Is there a friend or connection doing something you’d like to do? Can you ask them for a hint? Is there a favorite brand, company or business that you follow? Maybe they mention the positions they have opened. View others’ postings. There may be a potential job or worthy idea for employment that crops up. And join groups that could lead to your next job.
Next, start reaching out to people you know. You want to get the word out that you are looking for employment. Like I did when I met my friend for coffee, contacted family, friends, past employers, work friends, and colleagues. Talk to them about where they live, whether on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Entertainment One’s Production Human Resource Leader, June Smith, has this to say about networking: “Never underestimate the power of networking. Yes, use technology, because it’s the way of the world now. If you’re considering, visit your LinkedIn profile to see if you have working connections in that business. If you have interpersonal relationships, reach out to those people and ask them to introduce themselves.”
Another way to stay on top of the job search process is to take advantage of newsletters and alerts yourself. Is there a company you would really like to work for? Many of them have newsletters or job alerts on their hiring portals where you can sign up. You will receive an alert or periodic email with their current job openings. Additionally, you can sign up for Google alerts for specific job titles or companies, or sign up for alerts on LinkedIn for the industry you want to work in and the companies you work in. want. For example, my experience is in entertainment marketing, so I created a “marketing” job alert on LinkedIn. Maybe you would like to work at Netflix? Set up job alerts for the company on your LinkedIn profile. You will be notified of any new positions as they become available.
Even though my job search included marketing, I saw over and over again that many companies looked for experienced applicants with Salesforce (listed under Desired Skills). I was unfamiliar with the technology, so I used Google to read it, and then I signed up for a class to train in it. As you begin the application process, consider some simple retraining if it will increase your chances. Google or LinkedIn should be able to help you find these courses. You might not want to go solely for certification or some other type of degree-gaining program, but becoming familiar with an in-demand tool or platform in your field can set you apart from other applicants.
If a company decides (based on your online application) that they want to interview you, it will more than likely be an online interview conducted from your home computer. (Especially now, given the ongoing Covid shutdown.)
Some tips: Always be a business person, dress professionally, check the background and lights that appear in Zoom calls, close the door to the room you’ll be in, or find a way to prevent pets and children from interfering. Michael Bridges, who recently completed a successful job search and is now director of development at Parks California, offers some interview tips: “Think of the job interview as if you’ve been hired for a real job. Post-Covid, many companies will continue to use Zoom in their daily work activities. The way you present yourself during a Zoom interview will be a good indicator of whether they will hire you. Who you will be as an employee. You need to show them who you are as a coworker from the very first interview.”
He also suggested to anticipate the technical failure and be prepared to handle it, pivoting smoothly. For example, if your audio goes off or a software update interrupts the interview, don’t panic. Find a quiet way to fix the situation. Your reaction to unexpected snags will again show the employer how you handle yourself at work.
So much now goes into the search for a successful job. The suggestions here are a good starting point. Go ahead, be creative, be brave, think outside the box, and use the Internet – it’s full of endless amounts of job-related advice, classes, mentors, websites, and more.
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