Job Hunting 2.0

Technology is evolving every day, and it is up to you to try and catch up—even if you aren’t the most tech savvy person.  When it comes to resumes and finding jobs, you can’t think of traditional tactics anymore.

If you are on the job hunt, no matter your age, you need to stay current in not only your industry, but the game itself.  You have to make sure your Facebook profile isn’t portraying you in a bad light, and also figure out how to set yourself apart from the other 10 or more people applying for the same position.
Recent graduates have the tuff job of competing with people who have more experience.  People who were once account managers for instance are now applying for entry-level jobs.  Here are a few tactics to help you set yourself apart from the competition in your job search:

E-mail Greeting

When applying for a job, most of us start off by e-mailing the employer.  This is your first impression, so it needs to be a good one.  Whoever is reading the e-mail may not have time to read a long drawn out email, cover letter and then your resume.  Instead use the email as your cover letter.

Be short, but effective.  Make them want to learn more about you (i.e. open up your resume).  Think of ways to be creative, yet professional.  If you have a LinkedIn profile, put your profile link in your e-mail signature.  This way they can learn more about you, and you aren’t filling up the e-mail with “filler” information. Blogs are also another great way to showcase your skills, so again include that URL in your e-mail signature.

For the tone of the e-mail, make sure you are still being professional, and never use exclamation marks.  You may have won a very prestigious award, but you might lose the employer when using an exclamation mark.

LinkedIn

This is a great resource for many reasons.  You can network, show off your resume and a myriad of other things.  It is also a great way to do some investigation work.  Many times employers won’t give their names on their job ads.  If they mention the company, go onto LinkedIn and search the company using the advanced search feature.

Doing so should generate anyone working for that company, and usually you can figure out who would be reviewing your resume.  If you address your e-mail with their name, it will show you know how to research and you are able to think logically about problems.
Skimming
When an employer is reading a resume, they don’t have time to read every single sentence.  The easier it is to find your skills, and past experience, the easier it will be for them to pick up the phone and call you.  Bold your headings and use bullet points.  When you are skimming an article what do you look at?  It’s probably the headings and first few sentences after the headings.  Use your knowledge to your advantage—bold your previous employment and put your most useful skills first, and then go down the list.

Get on the Phone

After sending your resume, give it a few days before following up.  Unless the ad specifically says do not call, go ahead and call.  You will be surprised at how many people do not do this.  If you get the employer on the phone, it is harder for them to deny you an interview.  By calling you are showing you know how to take initiative, and you are already setting up an initial relationship with them.

After the phone call, (and hopefully lined up interview) quickly write down some points you talked about.  When you meet face-to-face you can bring up these points, and this should build the relationship even further.  You don’t have to turn your home into an inbound call center, but making a few phone calls never hurt.

If you have some great advice, let us know what worked for you in the comments below.
Shannon Suetos is an expert writer based in San Diego, California.  She writes extensively for an online resource that provides expert advice on purchasing and outsourcing decisions for small business owners and entrepreneurs such as telephone answering service at Resource Nation.