In this competitive job market, it’s more important than ever to set yourself apart from the crowd if you want to catch the attention of busy recruiters and hiring managers.
Savvy job seekers need a personal promotion strategy to enhance their chances of rising to the surface in the vast sea of generic resumes. Here are six steps for getting noticed in all the right ways.
1. Rock your resume: Certainly the traditional resume has lost much of its importance in the age of social media and dynamic interactive portfolios. Yet the truth is, you still need a resume, and it needs to be compelling enough to catch and maintain a recruiter’s attention. A recent piece in Forbes, 6 Ways to Avoid the Resume Black Hole, offers up some good advice on crafting a resume that is an attention-getter.
2. Craft catchy cover letters: Cover letters may offer your best opportunity to make the case why you are the right person for the job. Make sure the letter quickly conveys that you know and understand the role advertised, have an awareness of the company, and possess the skills, experience and attitude to deliver value. A generic cover letter that simply changes the name of the recipient is likely worse that no cover letter at all.
3. Leverage LinkedIn: If the resume ever does die, LinkedIn will likely be responsible for the murder. LinkedIn has proven to be a boon for recruiters who often seek out candidates through the professional social network. To stand out on LinkedIn, you need a good professional picture, a strong narrative that describes your skills and expertise as well as recommendations from co-workers and business associates. Mashable recently offered sound advice on attracting recruiters to your LinkedIn profile.
4. Go social — smartly: Recruiters love to see people who are passionate about their work. If you active on Twitter and Facebook, make sure to share insights and information on your area of expertise or an industry you are interested in. If you are not active from a professional standpoint on social media, at very least make sure you don’t hurt your chances with recruiters by posting inappropriate or questionable pictures, posts or comments.
5. Narrow your focus: When searching for a great job, less can be more. A top Google recruiter recently recommended that job hunters focus their attention on roles they are passionate about and a few organizations where they would like to work. Once you have targeted companies, tactfully leverage any contacts that might be able to introduce you to a recruiter, or reach out to a recruiter and wow him or her with your knowledge of their company.
6. Keep chummy with recruiters: Once you have developed a relationship with a recruiter don’t let it go to waste. Even if the opportunity you were seeking doesn’t pan out, make sure you thank the recruiter or hiring manager and send a follow-up note. Good recruiters are always on the lookout for talent so you want them to think of you first if an opportunity arises that is a good match for your skillset.
Taken together, these steps can help you stand out from the crowd — and land you that dream job you’ve been looking for.