A lot of people need help looking for a new job, but you feel trapped, unqualified, or you never hear back no matter how much you modify your resume. You were taught in school to build the perfect resume and to trust in your resume to land you a job. I’ll be honest, my resume has NEVER landed me a job, and it never will. As a matter of fact, some jobs I have had never even got a resume from me until after I was hired to do the job. What inspired me to write this post is that I am assisting a friend in his hunt for new employment. He fell into the same traps that everyone else does. He built his resume, submitted it to dozens of jobs, and never heard back from most of the jobs. The one he did hear back from offered him the gig, but he told them he would take the lowest possible salary and somehow they managed to hire someone else. I’m going to tell you what you need to know to get the next job you are wanting. Stop wasting your time with websites where you will be 1 of 1,000 and instead start competing against yourself.
1) DO Use Sites Like Indeed.com
Wait a minute, you might be asking. You just said not to use Indeed.com. Yes and no. It is a great place to start looking for positions and if you want you can apply for them there as well, but your job search doesn’t end when you submit your resume through a job board like this. That’s just the beginning. You need to separate yourself from the hundreds or thousands of people who are applying for the same positions you are. You need to find a way to get connected to the people who are making the hiring decisions for the job. The best way to do this is in my next point….
2) Create a LinkedIn Profile
Creating a linkedin profile will help you look more professional, give you a space where potential employers can look and find your social media presence, and a place where you can network with others in your field online. I do not like any other social media platform for networking, but I know some people use facebook and twitter for this as well. The benefit to Linkedin is that you know the people you are connecting with are business people and you know what they do for a living. This gives you a competitive advantage when looking for a job. Start by looking for people you know and connecting with them, all of them. They may have a connection that can help you land a job in your field or with the company that you are wanting to work for. Post a professional, dress in working attire, photo of yourself on your profile. Fill in as much information as possible and make sure that you keep your information current. Nothing turns off a potential employer like an outdated profile.
3) Add Value To Conversations On LinkedIn
Follow topics and add valuable input to conversations on LinkedIn with news and articles related to your field. You want to show people you are an expert at what you do. This is a great way to connect with people you haven’t met in person, but also a great way to show you have interest in your career and it isn’t just a job for you.
4) Contrary To Most Advice, Accept Recruiter’s Invites
One of the ways I have found a lot of connections on my linkedin account is through recruiters. Sure, I get an email about once a week telling me that they have the perfect position for me, but I have met so many people through their connections that it is definitely worth it. Also, I have met people in person who know the recruiter and has helped me network in person as well. It’s always great to get to know as many people as possible. You can never know too many people! Yes, it does take time and effort to get out there and meet people, but it is vital to you finding your next, and maybe even the job after your next, job.
Now, make sure you don’t waste this person’s time. I am upfront with these people and let them know that I am currently not in the market for a job, but in the future when I am I want them on my side. I also feed them leads, and they will sometimes send you a bonus check if the lead works out, to keep the relationship alive. Typically the leads I send them are friends who have not read this post and are telling me that there are no jobs in my field… After I bombard them with hundreds of jobs in a matter of a week, they typically feel stupid that they didn’t know about these jobs.
5) Go Directly To A Company’s Careers Page
If there is a specific company you want to work for then hit up their careers page. Just because you don’t see a job opening that matches your skills, it doesn’t mean that they don’t have an opening available. Dig through your connections and see if anyone has an in with the company. If they don’t directly, see if there are any indirect connections that may know who would be the person responsible for hiring your position and ask if they can submit your resume to this person. A recommendation from a co-worker goes a lot further than a resume submitted by someone with no connections to the company.
6) Be Nice To Friends & Current Co-Workers
You absolutely never know when a friend or an old co-worker will be the deciding factor in whether or not you get the job you want. I can tell you that in a city of over 1.5 million people, I have never had a job that I have gone to where someone at my last company didn’t know an executive of my new company. It’s a small world. Take care to treat people well, but also talk to the people you work with. Get to know them. They may leave for a new company and you may want to go to that same company a few years down the road. You want them to smile when they remember you, not frown or scratch their head trying to remember you.
7) Apply For Jobs You Are Qualified For
This is one of those that just makes me wonder sometimes. A lot of people with less than 10 years of experience as a computer programmer will apply for senior level positions, team-lead positions, or even management positions. They almost always get thrown out of the pile and laughed at. Sure, they may have applied for the programmer job as well, but don’t waste their time or yours.
Sometimes job postings have really long lists of requirements that you may not meet all of them. Most of the time applying for jobs like this are ok, especially if you are currently doing the same job at your current company. It’s not a problem to apply for jobs that you should be able to do, it’s just a problem to apply for unrealistic jobs like senior level positions and team lead positions when you don’t have any experience in those positions at all.
8) Seek A Raise Before Looking For Other Jobs
Some people will tell you that this is unethical, but in my opinion what is unethical is that your current salary can determine your salary at your next company. If you are planning on finding a new job solely based on money, then you may get the raise you need to stay at your current position.
Do NOT go in asking for a raise or threatening to quit. Instead, schedule a meeting with your superior and let them know that you wish to discuss your compensation. In the meeting, tell him / her how you desire a salary at $X and that you feel that you have earned the raise because you have gone above and beyond your job requirements.
If you are planning on staying at the company, tell them you are looking for more responsibilities and would consider a move up to justify the raise (as long as you really are).
Don’t say you deserve the raise… You don’t. If you agree to do a job for $5 a day, and you do that job you deserve $5 a day. Saying that you deserve $6 a day for the same job you agreed to do for $5 a day is just wrong. Instead, show why you are worth more than $5 a day and show that you are eager to give even more value to your employer. Things like you are able to do quality work faster, you are more productive, you are innovative, you can bring your team together and are a leader (even when you aren’t paid to be a leader). If you have found ways to save the company money, make the company money, doing something that is not really tied to your job.
9) Consider Salary Last
There are a LOT of things that go into a job, and while money is important, it should be the least of your worries. Most people focus on salary more than any other aspect of a job, but there are a lot more important things than just salary.
What is the health plan being offered a the companies? How much does the company contribute to those health plans. Are there 401ks, pension plans, bonuses, stock options, etc… These benefits can increase or decrease your overall salary from a company. Once you have these all figured out, then you add your salary to the mix to see what your total package is. This is your compensation package.
Other than compensation though, is it going to be a good working environment for you? Do you like the people who will be on your team? Is it close enough to home or will the commute be too long? What are the hours for the position? How often do you have to work weekends if at all?
These are all questions, and not an exhaustive list, that you need to know the answers to before making a final decision about the job you will accept.
10) Give Yourself Positive Reinforcement
You are valuable. You are intelligent. You can do this. We sometimes get into a bad position and need to find a new place to work. When we get here we feel stuck. How will the company survive without me (Not your problem if you aren’t an owner but 99.9% of the time they will and it will be ok). I don’t feel qualified for that position (you probably are). There aren’t any jobs in my field (Maybe, but most likely you don’t know where to find them). These are all questions, thoughts, and doubts we place in our minds because we as humans really don’t like change. We like to know that we have a job on Monday morning. We don’t want to take a chance. You can do this. You are capable, and you can be the person who leaves the bad job, or the great job, for another company that will be better for you, or for your family.
11) There’s More To Life Than Money
Remember that your happiness and the well being of your family is more important than cash. Don’t leave a job you love for one you hate for more cash. Your kids don’t need the latest gadget, they need time with you.
I hope this was helpful and encouraging for those that are working to find a new position. I know it can be overwhelming so take a deep breath and focus on why you are doing this. Make sure that you can’t get what you need from your current company first, and then look to take the leap if they can’t offer what you are looking for. I left my last company not because I didn’t love the company, but there was no path upwards. I left for a company that had more vertical room for me to grow and for me to better my career. It was something that they couldn’t offer me, and it was something that I needed for my family and myself.