12 Things to Do to Land a Job by 2017
The following is a guest post by Hayley Panasiuk. Her bio follows.
Do your goals for 2017 include a new job? Maybe you are looking to land a job at the best companies in New York City? It’s possible, and you can do it. Here’s how:
Clean and Bulk Up Your LinkedIn
Your LinkedIn profile is your virtual resume. This means that while hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less scanning your paper resume, they’ll likely spend less time on your virtual resume. Recruiters and connections can view your profile at any time, and when you send you resume out in response to job postings, they frequently check your LinkedIn. It needs to express your experience, ability, and skills clearly, concisely, and presentably. Make sure that your resume can verify your LinkedIn (hiring managers will hold it against you if you lie on one or the other).
Add everyone you know on LinkedIn, including former and current co-workers, friends, family members, and classmates. Professionals don’t keep a rolodex of business cards or an address book of contacts; connections are maintained on LinkedIn. Add pertinent work history and internships, if applicable, education background, organizational memberships, skills, and attach projects, presentations, articles, or websites that you’ve created. Make sure that everything is spelled correctly, is properly (or at least consistently) formatted, and ensure that your byline (what shows up beneath your name) is reflective of who you are as a professional. Don’t list “Seeking employment” as a byline; you’ll be immediately bypassed by recruiters. Importantly, make sure your photo is of your face, appropriate for your profession, and is current.
Update Your Resume
So you’ve been sending out your resume to every job posting that fits the bill, but you’ve been getting no interviews? When my clients tell me this, almost 100% of the time, it’s because their resume needs to be updated, or in some cases, entirely redrafted. The three most important tips are: 1) delete the summary and bullet-point list of skills at the top unless you have 10+ years of experience; 2) keep your resume to one-page unless you have more than 10 years of experience (no exceptions!); and 3) use bullet points to express your experience, not long-winded, unwieldy sentences.
Shorten Your Cover Letter
While many companies are forgoing mandating the cover letter as a part of the job application, most applications still require or prefer it. Lots of younger companies use similar application websites that allow you to attach your resume and optionally submit a “note” about why you want to work at the company. The movement in #careertrends is to require a shorter cover letter, if any, and make it meaningful.
Express in one paragraph why you want this particular position and this particular company and why you would be perfect for the job. Then state how the company can reach you and that you hope to hear from them. Done!
Have Writing Samples Prepared (and Formatted Properly)
If you work in an industry that often requires writing samples, make sure you provide them in an organized, formatted, and consistent manner. Here’s how from www.unfoldcareers.com: Dont-submit-writing-sample-without this/.
Update Your References
If you do receive an interview, they will most likely ask for a list of references. In my experience, not all companies bother to call the references, they just want to see that you can produce a list of verifiable people who can affirm that you can do the work you say you can and are sane.
This should be prepared in advance. Why? You should call or email each reference to get their permission to list them as a reference and/or remind them of who you are and ensure that if called, they will be able to recall you and speak well of you.
The single page of references should include no more than 3 references, and be formatted with the same header and font as your resume. Here’s what it should look like:
Reach Out to Connections (aka Network)
Networking is scary, but it can be productive if done correctly. Start out by looking for job postings that interest you. Then go through your comprehensive list of connections (see Step 1 of this list) to see if you know anyone who works at a company hiring for a job that interests you. Reach out to them and ask them if they would be willing to introduce you. More likely than not, the answer will be yes. Then conduct an informational interview with anyone willing to meet with you. Talk to them about the company and job. And express your interest in the company and particular job posting you saw. If the meeting goes well, you’ll walk away with a referral for the job you want and, at a minimum, a new connection.
Attend a Networking Event
Local industry-specific groups or even alumni groups host frequent events throughout the year. Joining one of these groups can increase your network, offer valuable insight into your competition, and give you face time with managers that have hiring sway at their companies. Volunteering at these events also provides an opportunity to show off your skills and personality to the group/event organizers, who often have successful careers already.
Have a Suit or Professional Outfit Prepared
This shouldn’t need to be said, but your appearance lends to a positive or negative first impression by the interviewer. Have an ironed suit or other professional attire ready so that it doesn’t contribute to additional stress on the day of the interview.
While this is often a long-term career solution, many people find new careers through connections made while volunteering. Try to find a volunteer opportunity within your area of expertise or industry. It’s a great way to add expertise to your resume at the very least. And, it can offer opportunities to work with and network with other professionals. For volunteer ideas, check LinkedIn, Idealist.org, or VolunteerMatch.
Maintain a List of Unique Job Search Engines
Check them daily. Don’t exclude your college or graduate school career sites; they often include positions that favor alumni. Applying through Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, etc. can be a waste of time. Thousands of resumes are scanned through virtual keyword crawlers. Often you can find more focused, industry-specific jobs on narrowly-tailored job posting sites. For example, entertainmentcareers.net, efinancialcareers.com, or workinsports.com.
Join LinkedIn Groups
Your school(s) should have alumni groups on LinkedIn, where there are often job postings by other alumni. Other LinkedIn Groups tailored to your specific skills, job, or industry also post jobs. And they offer events for networking within the group.
Hayley Panasiuk has over 8 years of experience helping others improve their careers. She founded Unfold Careers to provide affordable career advice to students and professionals struggling to meet their career goals. When she’s not coaching students, she is always on the move. Hayley works as a corporate attorney in California and travels the world inspiring 9-to-5’ers to redefine their goals on Instagram @rebeltraveler. Contact Hayley at [email protected].