Job Search Tip of the Week #47 (2018)
Caressa Moy | November 19, 2018 | 9:00 am
Thinking of holding off on your job search until the New Year rings in? Before you put your efforts on pause, consider this: the upcoming winter holiday season may be the most wonderful time of year to find a new job!
Thanksgiving doesn’t have to be the “beginning of the end” of your job search – it can be your inspiration:
Target a few companies to reach out to. With so many job seekers taking a holiday hiatus, there’s less competition for jobs – and consequently, more attention available to give to those who apply! Want to stand out further from the crowd? Talk to a trusted IT recruiting company like Chase Technology Consultants (CTC), who can help you better focus your job search and get face time with hiring managers, faster.
Have a look at your application materials. Is your résumé properly formatted and easy-to-read? Tailored to that web engineer or software developer job you’ve been eyeing? Contain any of the 15 best words to use on a résumé? Have you done your cover letter the right way? And while you’re waiting for the turkey to roast or sitting between servings, grab a guest and ask them if they could proofread – they may catch one of these top five most common typographical and grammatical errors that tech professionals make that you might’ve missed your first go-around.
Access the hidden job market. Many companies don’t want or are unable to publicize their job openings, and so recruit recruiters to help them identify top tech talent. Since many web development and software engineering jobs are filled through word-of-mouth, whom better for you to speak with than someone who has a pulse on the market, with an extensive network of tech leads, application development managers, VPs of engineering, and CTOs in the Greater Boston area? Stay in the loop about unadvertised job opportunities that meet your career interests, needs, and goals by taking advantage of CTC‘s industry contacts and in-depth knowledge of the New England tech market.
Network. Make the most out of all those holiday parties you’ll be attending with these four quick career networking tips. And remember: You never know whom you’re going to end up talking to, or what or who they know – so make sure you take care to make a great first impression and use these mnemonic devices so you never forget anyone’s name or details ever again!
Knock on some closed doors. Try reaching out to people who’ve passed on your candidacy, and find out why. Perhaps it was for a reason outside of your control (like a headcount cap or budget reallocation), or maybe there’s something you can improve on (for example, perhaps you were a good cultural fit, but not what the team needed at the time from a functional standpoint – so what skills should you pick up?). Whatever the case, you don’t want to keep that door shut, especially since the Boston tech community is so small. Instead, break the job rejection cycle and become career resilient! Asking for feedback from a hiring manager shows that you value that person’s opinion, and demonstrates your ability to take constructive criticism and willingness to learn from your mistakes.
Scan your résumé for job description keywords. A recent eye-tracking study found that hiring managers spend approximately six seconds looking at a résumé. The majority of that time (80%) is spent looking at basic data like your contact information, currently and previously held position titles and places of employment, and education credentials; the rest is used to quickly scan for buzzwords. So after you’ve done the “H” in “THANKSGIVING,” check your résumé once more to make sure it contains verbiage relevant to the position and organization you’re applying to. Just make sure you don’t overdo it, and include only those keywords that accurately reflect your skills and experience. You don’t want to come across as spammy and unprofessional. Need assistance? Your trusted CTC IT staffing specialist will know exactly what the hiring manager is looking for in an ideal candidate, and DIY automated résumé analysis tool Jobscan can help out if you’re in a quick pinch.
Get in touch with people you haven’t spoken to or heard from in a while. The holidays are a great reason to reach out and reconnect! Send out your usual holiday greeting cards, but add a personalized message about what you’ve been up to. And don’t forget: ’tis the season for gratitude and giving, so use this opportunity to thank people for their help during your job search, and offer yours.
Inform your network of your job search. Did you know that referrals are the #1 source of external hires? It’s important to let people know you’re open to hearing about new job opportunities so they can refer you should any suitable ones arise. Of course, if you’re currently employed but want to keep an eye on the market, it’s best to work with people you can trust. An experienced, reliable IT recruitment firm like CTC can help you learn about your market, review non-compete agreements, provide anonymity during the search process, and more. Get in touch with us to get started on your confidential job search!
Volunteer your way into a job. Your philanthropic interests could lead you to a new professional reference, or even your next boss! Did you know that one out of every five hiring managers in the U.S. has hired someone based on their charity work? Guess lending a helping hand does good for not only your soul, but also your résumé!
Introduce yourself in an elevator. By that we mean: if you only had the time it takes to go from the top floor of a building to the bottom to introduce yourself to a prospective employer or someone in your network, what would you say? When you only have a minute or so of someone’s time, it’s important to let them know as succinctly as possible who you are, what you do, and how you can help them – and of course, inspire them to take action on behalf of your career and job search. Think of your elevator pitch as a quick “commercial” about your personal brand. You’ll use your elevator pitch a lot, like when you answer the common interview question “Tell me about yourself” or follow up post-interview, or go to networking events and career fairs. Need help crafting your career summary? CTC can help you get your branding message to potential employers. Get in touch to find out how we can help!
Nix the questionable content. Technology and psychology are reshaping the recruitment landscape, and the role of social media in the hiring process growing at an astonishing pace. More and more job seekers and hiring managers are now finding each other through social media profiles, so it’s important to watch what you post and clean up your digital dirt. And don’t forget to go old school too – did you know that more than half of hiring managers has caught a job applicant in a lie? The truth about lying is that it makes you unforgettable – but also, unemployable. Remove any exaggerations and outright lies from your résumé! (Online content can also help in your job search and boost your candidacy – here’s a quick how-to on managing your personal brand effectively.)
Give thanks to those who have helped you in your job search and career. There are many ways to say “thank you” to a potential employer for their consideration, but a personalized thank-you note is your best bet – not to mention, a great opportunity to follow up post-interview and reinforce your interest and qualifications for the role. Not sure where to begin? Use these 10 thank-you note templates and writing tips as guides!
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