At times, I am amazed at people in transition who approach the job search the way we used to in the past. Looking for a job nowadays puts job seekers into extremely tough competitions unlike those of the past, and job seekers who do not both understand and apply the rules of the game will be waiting a long time for anything good to happen to them.
Everything starts with your résumé. The résumé is, however, only marketing collateral and not a legal document even though many still think it is the latter. The résumé is tantamount to an entry ticket. It rarely provides information about personality traits but, rather, contains a list of skills and accomplishments.
Many people today still take responsibility for writing their own résumés, often receiving help from others who may be quasi qualified by virtue of being executives or being in the human resources field. What a mistake! In my opinion, producing an outstanding résumé—one that really stands out, hands down, and that is attractive, appealing, and intriguing and has the right keywords for Internet queries—is not to be approached like a hobby. This is the job of a certified professional résumé writer with years of experience and expertise.
Once that’s done, the résumé provides sufficient material to create an equally effective LinkedIn profile. Don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re one and the same. A résumé should be tailored and tweaked specifically for the particular position one is applying for; the LinkedIn profile is more generic and should have the right keywords so that the profile gets found. If your LinkedIn profile doesn’t get found, you are irrelevant and nonexistent to prospective employers and job recruiters. The computer software that does candidate searches is rigid, exacting, and unforgiving.
So, once you’re armed with the right tools and the right knowledge to compete, you’ll notice that instead of your having to call people, they’ll start calling you! Be aware that for recruiters, job candidates are merely inventory to be sold. Recruiters are not typically open for chitchat, because time is money. They need to quickly evaluate your candidacy in light of the position they’re trying to fill. And your good communication and interviewing skills are essential at this point: Do you know what you’re selling? Can you clearly and succinctly recite success stories from your past? Can you convince the person at the other end of the telephone line or the other side of the interviewing desk that you’re the ideal candidate for the position that needs to be filled? Good! Keep practicing, because practice makes perfect. Good luck to you.