Whether you are currently employed and exploring your options or unemployed and looking for a new career, searching for a job can be a long and exhausting journey. In addition, the process can feel futile and frustrating if you are not getting employer feedback, are turned down during the interview process, or are unsure of where and how to concentrate your efforts.
There comes a time during a job search where you may not want or be able to go through the process alone. Time is valuable, so we need to ensure it is put to good use. Not only that, but in certain circumstances, weeks or months without a job can be financially detrimental.
If any of these signs apply to you, perhaps it is time to pursue outside help in order to turn around your job search fortunes.
- You are struggling to hear back from employers
You take the time to apply to countless positions, make calls, and network, however, you still are no closer to landing a new position.
A likely correlation to this problem may be that your résumé is not technically compatible or does not showcase your background properly. Many companies send candidate résumés through an applicant tracking system (also known as ATS) before a human being ever reads it. If your résumé is not compatible, it could be automatically moved to a virtual trash bin. Alternatively, if your résumé makes it past the ATS check, but your employment history and associated skills are not appropriately presented, the hiring manager may deem you as unfit after taking a quick glance.
Getting outside help from a professional résumé writer helps ensure your résumé makes it through ATS, catches the eye of a hiring manager, and leads to more interviews. With that said, it is important to do your homework and choose a certified writer with experience crafting résumés for individuals with backgrounds and career goals similar to your own. Be sure to ask questions with regard to what type of résumés they specialize in, how much time they spend on a typical résumé, and what their process is.
- Your LinkedIn presence is lacking
Social media is the new age of business with LinkedIn as one of the most predominantly used professional sites. With over 500 million users registered with the site (https://blog.linkedin.com/2017/april/24/the-power-of-linkedins-500-million-community), utilizing LinkedIn to network and find a new career is becoming more and more of a necessity.
Let’s pause here though. There is a large difference between simply being present on LinkedIn and being active on the site. According to MarketWatch, approximately 93% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for candidates (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-recruiters-screen-you-on-linkedin-2014-05-02). This means that the vast majority of the time, when an application is submitted the recruiter will pop over to your LinkedIn profile to take a look. If your profile is half complete, has inaccurate information, is a carbon copy of your résumé, or shows no recent activity the recruiter may be inclined to move on to the next candidate.
A professional and reputable LinkedIn profile writer has the ability to showcase your skills, accomplishments, and career desires in such a way that enhances your job search. Written well, your profile can serve as the hook for a recruiter to reach out or be the final piece of your application puzzle which prompts a hiring manager to schedule an interview. A reputable LinkedIn profile writer also serves the important role of providing advice and guidance on how to use the site in an effective manner. Look for writers that provide ongoing assistance or LinkedIn use and maintenance guides!
- Your information is inconsistent
Applying for a position is typically not a one-step process. Instead, it usually includes submitting the application itself, your résumé, and a cover letter. Not only does the employer have access to this information, but they also can see any content on your LinkedIn profile. If the information across these components contradicts itself or is inconsistent, this may leave an employer confused, or worse, wary of your background.
Information such as dates, names of employers, job titles, job descriptions, and even degrees or certifications are all common pieces of information that tend to lack consistency across employment documents or profiles.
Maintaining consistency is may often be easier said than done but, when achieved, many find that not only are the details lined up, your personal brand becomes stronger due to the unified message being sent. Many professionals offer résumé, LinkedIn, and cover letter packages along with coaching on how to accurately transfer this information to applications. Consider asking for more information on such services if hiring a professional is in your future.
- You do not focus on your own brand
When people think of a brand they tend to think of a product or a company. What many seem to forget is that YOU are your own brand. Throughout the application and interview process, you are required to sell yourself either on paper, on the phone, or in person.
In order to adequately sell yourself, having a clearly defined brand is essential. In order to sell a product a sales person must know what the product can do, what it has achieved for others who have used it, and how it works. You must be able to do the same. Do you know what skills you bring to the table? Do you know in what fields you would be a best fit? What have you achieved with previous employers?
If you are unsure of how to brand yourself and translate that into your résumé, LinkedIn profile, or during interviews, a career services professional can assist in defining your brand. Look for a professional with a background in personal branding for job seekers, training related to the field, and the ability to provide coaching on how to translate training into results.
- You do not get to the next round of interviews
Getting an interview after countless applications is exciting, which is why when you do not get to the next round of the interview process it can be heartbreaking.
Oftentimes, job seekers take this denial personally when in most cases it comes down to how you presented your skills in relation to the postion or how you presented yourself as a professional. Take the chance to ask your interviewer why you were not chosen and how you can improve in interviews.
If time after time you find yourself not making the final cut, consider engaging in mock interviews or pursuing written exercises that will hone your skills in line with your personal brand.
* About the Author:
Brittney Beck, CCELW is Senior Associate Résumé and LinkedIn Profile Writer and Recruitment Strategist for Vocamotive, Inc. She has an education in strategic communications, as well as considerable experience in writing, career development, and personal branding. Brittney is highly talented in assisting her clients achieve their professional goals and the materials she creates quickly result in interview opportunities. Her dedication to her craft and expert business writing abilities result in top-tier products.
Follow Brittney on LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/beckbrittney/
Contact Brittney via email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Obtain professional Résumé and LinkedIn profile writing assistance by contacting Brittney directly, visiting Vocamotive’s website or by calling (630) 789-2519 to schedule a free consultation.
* Research and Editorial Assistance Provided by Adam Zajac, NCRW and Luke Myers.