By Leslie Rothman
Excerpt from Forbes magazine November 16, 2018
Have you been looking for a new job for a while and getting nowhere? Cheer up; you’re not alone. The average search now takes five months, according to a new survey by recruiters Randstad USA of 2,000 people across the U.S. who have recently changed jobs. That’s about the same length of time as before the unemployment rate fell to its current 49-year low 3.7%.
The U.S. economy created 250,000 new jobs in October, well above the 195,000 or so forecast by most economists, for a total of well over 7 million job openings. So, why is snagging one of them still such a struggle?
As jobs increase, so does the number of people who had stopped looking for work, but who now feel encouraged to get back in the race. The labor force has been growing by about 70,000 people per month in every month of 2018—many more potential new hires than employers can absorb. “There are more jobs, yes,” notes Schur. “But this is still an intensely competitive job market.” Anne Fisher – Forbes magazine
Our 5 tips to increase your success
1) Don’t Use Easy Apply to Submit Your Resume
You are missing a key way to make your resume relevant and increase your chance to get a YES response. Take some time to tailor your resume, looking carefully at your career summary and job experience sections, tailoring them to be more relevant to the position. Showcase experiences that match what they are looking for, add in keywords when you can honestly do so, and trim back information that may be extraneous.
2) Add a Well Written Relevant Cover Letter
Some people will tell you cover letters are passé. Most are poorly written and don’t add any value to the reader. A great cover letter can make a difference. But it’s not a generic Too Whom it May Concern letter. Do some research about the company. Speak to why the position is a great match with what you’re good at and what they need. Be specific here. Eliminate tired phrases like “my experience and skills are a great match for your position”. Which experiences and skills? What aspects of the position? How does all this mean you can add value?
3) Apply Quickly
Aim to submit within a week of the job being posted. Because of ATS (Automated Tracking Systems) and because it’s an active market with lots of competition, most companies don’t batch applicants and wait to interview them close together. They call qualified candidates as soon as they receive their submission. And many companies are moving strong candidates quickly through the interview process. Don’t lose out.
4) Find the Side Door
Always apply as instructed but search your network to find someone connected to the organization (past or current employee, vendor, consultant etc.) who will also pass along your resume and a good word to the hiring manager.
5) Develop a Professional and Updated LinkedIn Presence.
If a company has received your resume they may cross-reference or look for more information on LinkedIn. Make sure your LinkedIn is a positive and accurate reflection of your experience, contains an easy to scan profile and above all is professional. A picture isn’t required, a poorly taken picture (an obvious selfie, a picture with someone “cut out” or of a disproportionate scale i.e. giant face) is a distraction and can appear unprofessional.