Three things are absolutely essential to find a job:
- A professional resume
- Personal networking
- Online presence
The professional resume is important for several reasons that go beyond the expectations of hiring managers and recruiters. You will need a standard, professional resume to reply to advertisements, job postings, and inquiries. But you will also need it to refresh your own memory about your achievements and skills (we all tend to forget what we have accomplished over the years). Also, you can hand it out to your personal and professional networks, and you can post it online so that everyone knows what type of jobs fit your background.
What makes a resume professional? It is clearly written in a standard format acceptable to recruiters, hiring managers, and Applicant Tracking Systems; details your skills and accomplishments; focuses on the job you want; is easy to read and understand (even technical resumes); does not have typos or grammatical mistakes; contains keywords as part of the flow; and addresses any gaps or problems in your past career in the most positive way.
Personal networking means that you speak directly to individuals in your field. It does not mean that you go up to perfect strangers and say, “I need a job. Do you have one?” Instead, you are building relationships. Great places for personal networking include professional organizations, Chambers of Commerce, state and local unemployment services, college career services (for college students and alumni), and your personal friends and family.
Note that 49 percent of senior managers consider networking or connecting with current employees at a company to be the top job-search tactic. This goes for both in-person and online networking, but you should do both to find a job.
Online networking includes not only professional sites like LinkedIn but social sites and online portfolios or personal websites. In fact, 47 percent of senior managers recommend providing access to an online portfolio or personal website. However, your presence on these sites—whether social or personal—must still be professional and consistent with your resume.
A SHRM survey found that 90% of recruiters and 77% of businesses seek job applicants on social media—many of them before ever seeing a resume. LinkedIn is first, but other social media are also important because they give a broader picture of the candidate. When you are trying to find a job, make sure all your social media supports you as a professional, skilled, and broad-minded person—or limit access until your job search is over.
Robin’s Resumes® provides career advice and support as well as writing professional resumes and professional LinkedIn profiles. We can help you find a job—hopefully, the job of your dreams.