I’ve been reading a lot of CNN reports lately about the job market and how jobs have been created, just in certain areas. Working at a University, I see how hundreds of college students are all striving for the same degree, the same market; and I just think “how competitive that industry is, that process is, what are they doing now that will make them competitive?”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2014), “the number of unemployed persons declined by 490,000 to 10.4 million in December”. So based on a population of 317,346,141 people and growing, there are a little over 10 million without jobs. How many people do you know that are unemployed? I know quite a few. So not only are there college students looking for jobs, there are unemployed people looking for jobs, and people with jobs looking for a different job. I just read on the Tampa Bay Times (2014), “most of the people are desperately looking for jobs; our economy still has three people looking for every job (opening).”
So the bottom line is that there are at least 3 other people that are applying for the same job you are, at least 3. Maybe one is the recent college graduate, one is unemployed, and one is currently employed but looking for something better. Where do you fall within these three types of persons?
Below are some tips that I’ve come across when job hunting that I have found to be standards for me to start with as I apply for countless jobs and compete with at least 3 people for one job.
- Create accounts with job search websites to help you receive notifications and remind you that you are in the job search process. It is exactly that, a process, so make a plan.
- Use your LinkedIn to network and apply for jobs.
- If you graduated from a college or university, use their Career Service Center. Some companies favor alumni of certain institutions. (Some universities say they only help you up to 5 years post-graduation, but many will help you even after that. They are looking for alumni donations and they can’t get those from unemployed alumni.)
2. Read the job descriptions entirely, identify your strengths in the responsibilities and tailor your resume so the skills you have stand out.
3. Give your resume a makeover. If you have not been successful in finding a job with your resume template you’ve had for the past 4 year, 7 years, 10 year, UPDATE it! Resume formats change like fashion. One year an objective is something companies look for, the next they feel like they’re a waste of time.
- Functional Resumes focus on your skills and experience instead of your work history in chronological order
- Chronological Resume organizes your work history by date with the most recent job listed first
- Executive Resume has a title that reflects you as a professional. It includes an executive summary with key words that targets your skills, expertise, and separates your from other candidates. You can include a section that highlights specifics skills. Focus on your achievements instead of work responsibilities (sales figures, growth in numbers, revamp of processes)
4. Do not be ashamed that you are currently looking for a job. Networking is 60% of the success of getting a job. You never know who might know someone currently looking for an employee.
5. Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up. When you apply for a job, follow up with a phone call inquiring if your resume was received. Sometimes you never receive a callback because the online application didn’t go through or the position was already filled. Remember, in today’s times, not all companies give applicants the courtesy of a phone call or email.
Bureau of Labor Statistics. January 10, 2014. Information obtained from http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf
Sperling, G. Tampa Bay Times. January 5, 2014. Information obtained from http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2014/jan/07/gene-sperling/there-are-3-unemployed-people-every-job-opening-ob/