Available research shows that more than half of people who are currently employed are considering getting a new job. Furthermore, more than half of people currently employed feel that they have just a job and not a career.
Whether you are fresh out of college and looking for your first job, or whether you’re tired of your current job and need a replacement job, some job hunting techniques are bound to give you an edge. The following are five seemingly-simple but highly effective job hunting techniques that will inch you closer to your dream job.
1. Spend More Time on Your Resume
Your resume is likely to influence your chances of getting hired more than anything else. Research shows that the average recruiter will spend about 3.14 minutes reading your resume and will make up his/her mind about whether to hire you within the first minute of reading your resume. Consequently, 1 in 5 recruiters will reject a candidate before they’ve finished reading the candidate’s resume.
In essence, your resume can make or break your job prospects — which means you probably should be spending more time on it. Here are some quick tips:
- Carefully proofread and edit your resume: research shows that 59 percent of recruiters will reject a candidate because of poor grammar or spelling errors — since this is usually indicative of sloppiness and a candidate’s lack of attention to details.
- Keep it simple and to the point: Avoid trying to be too clever. Just go straight to the point and keep things simple. Research shows that more than half of recruiters reject candidates due to overuse of cliches or trying to be too clever. The same goes for design: more than 40 percent of recruiters reject candidates due to too much design, inappropriate fonts, clip art images, or emojis. Just keep it simple.
2. Employ the Use of Multiple Resumes
Many job seekers are of the impression that a resume has to be fixed and consistent across all job search efforts. Not necessarily. If you haven’t been using it yet, having multiple resumes could give you an edge when it comes to getting your dream job.
Having multiple resumes can come in handy in several scenarios. For example, you might be looking for a different position in the same industry or the same position in different industries. You might also be considering an option that allows you to telecommute. Your resume should include relevant information that indicates the fact that you are qualified for the position or nature of job you are interested in. Instead of having to modify your resume with each new job application (increasing the chances of mistakes and errors — which can affect your job prospects as earlier indicated), you can simply employ the use of multiple resumes.
3. Get an Insider Recommendation
Another seemingly-simple, but highly-effective way to get your dream job is by getting an insider recommendation. With an insider recommendation, the odds are stacked in your favor for getting your dream job.
Just take a look at the following statistics:
- Around a third of external hires in organizations are attributed to referrals.
- 80 percent of jobs are not posted online.
In essence, not only are you highly unlikely to be aware of most job openings in your dream organization because they won’t be posted online, but the hiring decision will be heavily skewed in favor of people who are referred by someone already working at the hiring organization.
If you are interested in working at an organization and have a point of contact at that organization, don’t wait for a job posting to be made. Ask for a referral to the people making hiring decisions and make your case.
4. Work on Your Email Game
It’s often difficult to see the connection between your email skills and your possibility of getting hired, but experience and research show that your email game matters a great deal. According to research from CareerBuilder, over 20 percent of hiring managers will not hire a job candidate that did not send a thank you email after a job.
In other words, even if your job application process didn’t take place online, finding the email address of your hiring manager and sending a simple thank you email after being interviewed can inch you closer to your dream job.
If, on the other hand, your job application process involves using email, here are some tips for you:
- Ensure your email is personalized and sent to the right person — this shows you’ve done your groundwork and will give you an edge. Research also shows that personalized emails tend to get more opens and responses.
- Use the KISS principle: keep both your email subject line and body short and simple. A study involving 1,000 executives in Fortune 500 and Inc 500 companies found that simple, clear, and curiosity-driven subject lines result in more email opens than longer subject lines.
- Don’t delay your follow up. If you don’t hear back after 48 hours, follow up. A study by the USC Viterbi School of Engineering, that analyzed 16 billion emails, found that 90 percent of people who don’t respond to your email within 48 hours are unlikely to ever respond. In other words, if it’s been two days and you haven’t heard back then you’re unlikely to hear back — follow up!
5. Create a Website Demonstrating Your Ability to Function in Your Desired Position
Most job search experts will advise you to polish your LinkedIn resume, get good job experience, and build solid connections to increase your job prospects. Very few, however, will advocate creating a website, yet it can seriously increase your chances of getting your dream job. Just take a look at the following case studies:
- Matthew Epstein desperately wanted to work at Google, but he couldn’t get in. He decided to set up a website targeted at Google. The website went viral, resulting in Google getting in touch with him and many other organizations trying to woo him to work with them. While Epstein didn’t get the job at Google, he got so many options and decided to go with the one that appealed to him most.
- Leslie Samuel was able to land his dream job as a lecturer thanks to a biology website he created.
After creating her website The Book Wheel, Allison Hitz was able to land her dream job. Despite having a Master’s degree, Hitz found out that employers were more interested in her website than in her Master’s degree.