A nationally recognized resume expert, Jessica Holbrook Hernandez is President/CEO of Great Resumes Fast and a former human resources manager and recruiter.
So you have this great, marketable resume that showcases your potential as an employee. You’re ready to launch your job search and start using your new resume as vigorously as possible. But where do you start and what do you do? I recommend starting with reading one of my most recent articles: I Have A Great Resume, Now What Do I Do With It? It shares advice on how to start social, professional, and in-person networking to jumpstart your job search. But what else can you do besides jumping on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter and networking with people in person?
Here are some additional ideas to really help you diversify your job search and make the most of your job search time:
I recommend utilizing an online platform to organize your job search, applications, networking contacts, and targeted companies. This will help make it easier to see where you’re making progress and will actually give insight to what you’re doing in your search instead of leaving you feeling like you’re wasting your time applying to jobs online all day. You can use a site like www.jibberjobber.com to do this.
I think posting your resume to job boards is a passive way to search, but it is, nevertheless, a job search method you can utilize as I know recruiters and employers still search job boards for qualified candidates. If you want to post your resume to job boards I recommend using a resume posting service. For a nominal fee you can have your resume posted to an average of 90-100 sites. If you’re going to post it out there you might as well make sure that you’re really out there and increase your chances of being found.
I recommend contacting recruiters and providing them with a copy of your resume, finding out what positions they fill, and if they have any openings. Be selective in the agencies you work with though, and do your research to ensure that the recruiters you contact and work with are actually filling the types of positions you’re looking for. Don’t go to an accounting staffing agency looking for a customer service or IT position. If you’re an executive, then work with executive headhunters and stay away from the regular employment agencies who fill professional-level roles. The idea is to make the most of your job search time—not waste it by going to places that aren’t a great fit.
You can also utilize a recruiter distribution service that will send your resume and cover letter to a targeted list of recruiters who are looking for candidates like you. These distributions are normally sent to thousands of recruiters at one time and are based on your location, salary, and targeted position(s).
This is a great tactic I used when I was reentering the workforce after staying home with one of my children for a year; but anyone can use it, and it’s quite effective. You can target employers by industry, location, or pretty much whatever interests you. When I wanted to return to a recruiting position I looked up every staffing agency and recruitment firm within a 25-mile radius of my house (that’s how far I was willing to commute), and I mailed them each a copy of my resume and cover letter. I sent out approximately 25 letters and received five or six callbacks for interviews. That’s a pretty great response rate when you compare how many positions you have to apply to online to get a response. You might apply to 100 jobs online before you get one callback. Why is that? Because you’re competing against so many more qualified candidates. It’s much easier to sit at your desk and click a submit button and send your resume and cover letter in electronically than it is to take the time and effort to print out your resume and cover letter on professional resume paper, look up companies you’re interested in, and to hand address and mail 25+ letters to prospective employers. But, it’s worth the effort because the response rate is so much higher. It makes it worth the time you invest into doing it. I recommend researching your target companies once you’ve identified the ones you want to contact. Find out what their needs are, the names of any decision makers or hiring managers, and if they have any available openings. You can also target and contact companies on the Internet; it doesn’t have to be done just by snail mail. You can make connections on LinkedIn, find out who to reach out to, conduct research on their Web site, and much more.
Seems like nowadays everyone is being “looked up” on the Internet. As career experts we advise you to do your research about the employers you want to work for, but you also need to be aware that employers are researching you. They’re going to Google your name to see exactly what’s out in cyberspace. Why not direct what these hiring managers are going to see about you? Aside from having a LinkedIn profile, I recommend a Web resume. These are great for keyword searches that hiring managers will input into search bars online but they also help to manage exactly what someone who is researching you online will find out about you. How great would it be if the first thing that pops up under your name is your LinkedIn profile and your Web resume?
I would even go so far as to suggest purchasing your name (johndoe.com) and creating a professional Web site about yourself, your experience, accomplishments, professional passions, pursuits, talents, and abilities. This is another great way to not only be discovered but also provide potential employers with an avenue to find out more about you. And like a web resume it directs exactly what people who are researching you online will find out about you.
The blog is right up the same alley as the professional web site. But the great advantage to a blog is that it provides you with a method of sharing your expertise, talent, passion, and abilities with the whole world. When you start sharing your expertise with others and your excitement and passion for what you do professionally you start getting attention. The advantages to a blog are many. Yet again, it provides prospective employers with more information about you, while also showcasing your expertise within your industry, it controls what those researching you on the Internet find out about you, and it’s a great way to create buzz about you—the job seeker! You can post your blogs to LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and many other social networking and professional networking sites, you can include a link on your business card to your blog, and you can make your blog searchable on the Internet so that others with similar interests (and those looking to hire thought leaders) can find you.
A job search can be as diversified and creative as you make it. It doesn’t have to be just about responding to ads on the Internet or in the newspaper. You can be as proactive and in control of your search as you would like. The benefit of diversifying your search is that it gives you many different avenues to be discovered and to discover that great job you’ve been looking for—all without putting all your eggs into one basket. If you’ve encountered any successful job search methods along the way, please feel free to share them; I’d love to hear them! You can also connect with me on Twitter and Facebook for more job search, resume, and career-related tips.
Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.