Everyone knows that the application process can be your worst nightmare. In fact, it’s commonly referred to as the ‘Black Hole’ of the job search due to the number of job seekers applying to the same jobs. There are so many different documents such as your resume, cover letter, references, etc. that you need just to fill out your application properly. With the standard application template, it becomes difficult to stand out from the crowd. Luckily for you, with a bit of effort and some job seeker “magic”, you can set yourself apart from the application and hack your way to that new job.
Here are 5 Job Search Hacks to Avoid the Application “Black Hole”
1. Follow Recruiters on Twitter & Engage: Do you have a Twitter account? If not, then you should create one as soon as you can because Twitter isn’t just for fun, it can be effectively used to set yourself apart during the application process. Many marketing gurus, PR professionals and bloggers use Twitter to create a name for themselves.
- You should create a Twitter account with a professional name and profile picture. Keep in mind that recruiters will be able to see your account so it’s always better to keep it professional and clean
- Follow companies within the industry you are passionate about and are looking for a career in
- Follow influential people in the industry and re-tweet what they tweet so you can keep up with the trending topics
Get yourself engaged and create a name for yourself as well. Once recruiters notice you, see if you can send a Direct Message and ask about their openings or any other career opportunity. 2. Spend 3 Hours a Week Making Linkedin Connections: Building your Linkedin profile and making connections is one of the easiest things you can do for your career. Keep in mind I said ‘career’. Linkedin should not be used just for a job search. The point of Linkedin is to build up your connections overtime and expand your personal reach. Spend time connecting with recruiters in your field and make it a point to send a message from time to time. Keep track of whom you connect with and what their responses are. Spend your 3 hours finding groups, connecting with people who work at a company you’d like to work at, and sending private messages to people. It’s crazy how quick time goes when you start doing these little things that will have a big impact. 3. Attend Career Fairs: Check out if your school and/or town is hosting any career fairs that you can attend. Plan to attend the career fair and scope out the companies you want to speak with ahead of time. Most companies try to attend career fairs at least a couple times a year, so take advantage of the opportunity! One little trick I have for you is to bring a box of donuts or coffee for the team working the event. The company representatives are usually stuck at their table all day and forget to pack food. This is your chance to make an impression and stand out. Practice what you want to say during the short amount of time you have with the representatives. Remember to dress to impress – a suit and tie for men and suit/dress for women is always the best route to take. 4. Attend Network Events: Scope out the best networking events for your field and go! If you’re not a big talker, try listening. Remember, extroverts need introverts, so if you’re not a big talker, there’s still a place for you at these events. Also invest in business cards and bring them to the events to help solidify the connections you make. Then remember to go back and add people to your Linkedin to keep the conversation and relationship going. 5. Send a Video Introduction: Technology has broadened our horizons and allows us to try new things such as sending a video to a company as an introduction. Many companies are using Skype as an interview platform these days. Receiving a quick video “hello” with your résumé shouldn’t be all that weird for the company. A video puts a face with your name and recognition is always good.
- Make sure your video is appropriate. Have your friends and family take a look at it before you send it to recruiters
- Be creative with your video – Don’t just read out your resume
- Keep the video short – 1 or 2 minutes max
The most important thing to remember is that setting yourself apart from the crowd will take a lot of time and effort. The more time you spend, the more connections and opportunities you’ll create. By guest author Rich DeMatteo