If you are hunting for a job at the moment it may feel as though you’re up against so much competition. In fact, at present there’s so much competition that it can feel as though you’re playing in the World Cup, on your own, against Germany, blindfolded and with both your legs tied together!
The good thing is that there are a few little tricks you can use to get yourself ahead of the competition. These tricks may not appear on Dynamo’s next TV special but they may just help you land your next job.
Have a look through your resume, does it read like you’re applying for a job or does it read like Russell Brand’s next Booky Wook? If it’s the latter – cut it down! You’re applying for a job, not attempting to win the Pulitzer Prize!
All you need is a resume which is clear, concise and relevant to the role – winning an award for ballet dancing when you were 12 is lovely… but no use to your next employers (unless they have a very specific hiring policy which only includes former youth ballet award winners).
And remember – all word processers have spell checkers. USE THEM! Also - have someone proof read it before it’s sent off. On a resume we were reviewing recently somebody listed "pubic speaking" as a skill. Presumably, they either meant "public speaking", or were applying for the wrong job, but in any case because it was spelt correctly no spell checker picked it up. Although it gave us quite a laugh, the candidate did not make a great impression, especially after emphasising their "attention to detail".
Used correctly, LinkedIn can be one of the best tools in your arsenal – even though, admittedly, most people use their account to annoy their friends who aren’t on LinkedIn by inviting them to join LinkedIn numerous times a week.
Make sure you update your profile to match your resume. If LinkedIn tells the world that you’re a floor cleaner at McDonalds – that’s great, if you still are. If you’re now a manager at McDonalds and you want to apply for management jobs, make sure LinkedIn knows that too.
A friend of mine is a stand-up comedian, when he started performing he did what most wannabe comedians did by e-mailing and phoning people asking for work, but he also went along to a lot of stand-up comedy shows so that he could get the attention of the people running the shows by showing them how keen he was. Most of these places were so impressed that they let him perform for them and give him a platform to show just how good he was.
Now, I’m not saying you should turn up at the company’s headquarters uninvited and watch them working all day. Sure, you might get their attention – along with a restraining order.
What I am saying is that after sending your application in you can show your interest by doing things like dropping a message to the hiring manager and following up on every application to show how keen you are.
Just make sure you know where to draw the line between eager and stalk-y! A message is good, finding out their weekly schedule and turning up everywhere they’re meant to be isn’t!
You’ll be surprised how many employers background check social media before they hire someone. Facebooking or Tweeting pictures of you taking drugs, videos of you doing something stupid at work or commenting about how you drank alcohol on your lunch will probably jeopardize the chances of you getting work…Unless you’re Charlie Sheen.
Whatever you do – don’t speak negatively about your current job on your social media profiles. Show your next boss that you are a very professional person by only posting positive things about your current job (if you really have to say something bad about your job then text it to your friends ).
In the future you won’t need to apply for jobs, employers will just search the an internet database for a number of different skills and contact the people who meet their requirements.
Until this Fantasy Football League-style database becomes reality, SEEK is the best way to get yourself out there. You can search for different jobs and easily apply for the ones which suit you. Even if you're not looking for a new job, keeping an eye on SEEK will give you a good indication of how strong your industry is performing. You can view the number of open vacancies, applicable salaries, and see which particular skills are in high demand.
These tips won’t guarantee you that dream job, but they will make sure that you have that little bit extra that will put you ahead of the competition. And remember – never give up and find yourself an advocate within the market – that’s why
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