By Cindy Schinke, Senior Consultant
We are in a fully digitized world and job searching is no different. Everything is keyword driven so it’s important as a job seeker to understand how to enter the market with the right tools. If you don’t know where you are going, expect delays and detours along the route.
A robust and holistic job search should include four stages of job search:
- REFLECT: Reflection will give you the opportunity to take inventory of your likes, interests, and values to help look for work with inspiration and not desperation.List both your short- and long-term life goals, followed by what you value most in life. Also think about what you hope to pursue in your career, what responsibilities your ideal career may entail, and which qualities you’re looking for in your future job.
- EXPLORE: What’s out there? What industry, company, brand, or sector do I want to work for? What is the work environment (hybrid, remote, in office)? With values and goals determined from reflection, you are better positioned to brainstorm what an ideal company might look like for you. Explore various companies for their vision and mission statements. Consider which company cultures and values resonate with your own.
- RESEARCH AND GOAL SETTING: Define your plan A, B and C also known as LOVE, LIKE, COULD. Set weekly goals to optimize your job search in order to navigate the roadmap. Research alternative job titles. Expand your vision a little and be open to other titles that you would enjoy, or excel at, or be able to grow into.
- EXECUTE: Enter the market with a keyword driven resume and digitized tools backed by an in-depth understanding of how the market works today.
If you are not following a plan or an outline you run the risk of getting into the mindset of “I’ll take anything” or “I need a job” versus being deliberate and finding a role according to your current priorities and preferences. If you follow this map, the odds are high that you will not only find your next role, but it will also be the role that is more closely aligned to your skillset and one that brings you joy.
Resumes, job postings, and cover letters used to be a laundry list of all the great things you have done in your life – a career history. For a 21st-century job search, things have changed. Job postings, resumes, cover letters, and social media are driven by keywords. Compare it to a lock and key that opens your front door. There is one key that opens one lock. This key is cut with precision – if our resumes, cover letters, and social media are not crafted or cut precisely to meet the job posting requirements, then the key won’t open the door.
In a 21st-century job search, it is important to realize and embrace the fact that we are applying to two distinct audiences. The first is the robot (applicant tracking systems/ATS) and the second is the human. As many as 75% of applicants are eliminated by the ATS as soon as they submit their resume, despite being qualified for the job! Tip: Evaluate the job posting and align the resume to highlight keywords, accomplishments, and relevant experiences.
Failing to plan is planning to fail and it may take you down this road:
- Searching out of panic or desperation
- Applying for anything and everything online (just clicking and attaching your resume)
- Creating one generic resume and hoping for the best
Defining and following a roadmap while incorporating the most relevant keyword-driven tools and strategies will clear the road of obstacles and help you arrive at your desired destination. In the current climate, keeping an open mind and approaching opportunities with curiosity is the best course of action for success.