The good news is that we are fortunate here in Massachusetts to have an unemployment rate that is significantly lower than the national average. The challenge is that as our economy continues to slowly gain and more jobs become available, there is still a large pool of people looking for jobs - and our goal at John Leonard is to help every job seeker be more effective in standing out in the crowd.
Just like in the movie “Jerry McGuire “, we go to bat for our candidates and strive to get them the right job with competitive compensation and great benefits. Our Staffing Consultants will always say to you: “Help ME help YOU!” and you can do so by giving us the tools to help us market you as an outstanding job candidate.
Everything today has gone high-tech, including the job-hunting game, and utilizing some sophisticated techniques can help you gain the attention of the hiring managers and land that interview for your dream job.
There are so many new technologies and ways to make your candidacy "stand out" among the crowded pack of resumes invariably submitted for any given job opening, and here are a handful of ways to get you started on the right path. Tech-savvy resumes, personal websites and a defined online presence as an expert in your field are becoming game-changers and can be a huge benefit in helping John Leonard market you as a candidate. It’s all about enhancing your personal brand…here is a quick-start list you can get going on right now!
1. Create a personal website – but keep it professional
Advice from one of our experienced Staffing Consultants Jonathan Singleton: “Depending on your industry, be sure to showcase your specific talents and skills so that people can see for themselves what you are technically capable of doing. For instance, I had a client candidate who is a master marketer and he made a “Museum of Me” video to demonstrate his skill with cutting-edge video editing and brand messaging. For potential employers, it was powerful.”
2. Update your resume
Make it easy for your future employer to know your background by including hyperlinks to companies where you’ve previously worked as well as to your professional associations. Since many HR departments use resume scanning software, be sure to use industry-specific and job-specific keywords that the scanning software will parse out and use to flag your resume.
3. Blog about your core competency
A friend of mine is in charge of data security for his company, and his blog explores and debates the newest trends and standards in his industry. He thinks, writes and has online discussions about this subject; in doing so he is revealing himself to be an inquisitive expert in this evolving field.
4. Create a Video Resume
Sometimes called a Video Interview, it is a chance for a decision-maker to see the “real” you, (almost) in person. So get out your Flip video camera and introduce yourself, making sure you show how articulate you are and how well you communicate. You should make a short 2-3 minute introduction and talk about how you see yourself contributing in your next role. Always end by asking for an appointment and giving your contact information. Practice makes perfect!
A note of caution: Keep to topics that employers want to know about, and leave out the personal aspects of your life. “This can be a great way for employers to really see who you are and how you communicate, but I recently saw one that just got way too personal, the candidate talked about her family, how she grew up, her likes and dislikes – and it was just far too personal. I discouraged her from even using it,” recalls Jonathan Singleton from John Leonard. However, done with a proper focus on bringing your professional persona to life, this tool can really break the ice.
5. Bulk up your LinkedIn profile
Go ahead – jump in if you haven’t already and leverage the #1 social media tool in business today. Show you stay up-to-date by posting industry-relevant articles and commentary, demonstrate how networked you are by building up your LI contacts, and ask former managers, coworkers and customers to write recommendations for you on your Linked In page. Also, participate in LinkedIn discussions “Taking part in discussions gets you noticed as a viable job candidate well as keeps the conversation going and the sharing of information, viewpoints and knowledge,” according to the online advice website www.newgradlife.blogspot.com.
Have you been reading books on your Kindle about your field? Add those to your “Reading List by Amazon” section, which is an available application to add to your LinkedIn profile. Books you have read or are reading are easy to add and demonstrate your continuing interest in your field of expertise.
6. Forewarned is Forearmed (especially about Facebook)
Almost everyone has a Facebook page that chronicles daily life, vacations, political views and may even reach back into the good old college days – none of which is relevant to your job search. Or is it?
Increasingly, companies are searching the internet for information about prospective employees. During you job search, do yourself a favor and “lock down” your Facebook page. Modify your security settings so only your friends can see your status updates, photos and your Facebook wall. In our increasingly interconnected world (think Kevin Bacon!) you never know who your friends know, or who their friends know… check your security settings to keep your private life just that – private.
Now You Tell Us… How much did this help you?
- How many of these tools, like LinkedIn or your own blog, do you already have?
- Which tech tool do you see yourself starting with and why?
- What do you most want potential employers to know about you?
Written by guest blogger and John Leonard Account Executive, Laurisa Neuwirth.