How to Optimise Your Job Search – Part One
Since the onset of COVID-19, the job market has continued to get tougher, and jobseekers need to evolve. Unless you really focus your energies in the right direction, especially in a fragmenting market, you can never expect to achieve success with your career. You need to be smarter than ever, smart enough to beat out the competition. You need to be able to optimise your job search strategy so that you can grab a job opportunity before anyone else does.
The very first thing that you need to focus on is to start building your value proposition right away. The world has now become a global village, where it only takes a couple of minutes to connect with employers, hiring managers and recruiting agencies. What is a value proposition? In its basic form, it is an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company or product attractive to customers. When applied to an individual, the innovation is your skills, and in a resume, it means the layout and how it all serves to present ‘Brand You’ as an attractive asset to an employer.
Basically, think of the value proposition as a branding message, marketing strategy, and sales pitch all in one. You, the applicant, must deliver a succinct, consistent, and persuasive message to the HR manager. This message is your value proposition. For the absolute best chance of landing an interview, you have to deliver this proposition holistically throughout the entire document. This includes the cover letter, which should never be viewed as an add-on, but as an integral part of the process. The cover letter acts as a virtual handshake – a brief but powerful introduction of you, your qualifications, work history and your ambitions for the future, and how that all ties in with your prospective employers’ own company ethos and vision. The letter’s content will work on its own merit, but the narrative will flow organically into the resume, which will flesh out your achievements, reveal your key skills and professional attributes and deliver a career objective before outlining your qualifications and work history.
If you can follow this notion of the value proposition right through your resume, you will be cutting a line right through a vast majority of other applicants who are unsure how to present themselves in these uncertain times.
If you are a smart job seeker, you will know that potential employers can find you on LinkedIn. Even after you have submitted your resume to an employer, they might just go and check out your profile there anyway. Do not just create your account on this professional network, but be more active to connect with influential people, industry experts and potential employers. If you have not created your LinkedIn profile yet, you may be wondering what all the fuss is about. Simply put, LinkedIn is a social network specifically designed for career and business professionals to connect and is a great way to optimise your job search efforts. LinkedIn is ideal for building connections for freelance work, a customer base, potential partners, or simply to keep your job prospects open. LinkedIn allows you to connect with your work friends, old colleagues, and you can see where they work and where they have been. LinkedIn showcases your abilities and recommendations. You can connect with your old University friends and find out where they have worked and where they are now.
The truth is that in certain industries, human resource professionals scan your LinkedIn profile in more detail than your resume. Many people simply copy and paste their resume into their LinkedIn Profile. This can be an effective way to adopt a ‘belt-and-braces’ approach to hitting the job market, but also, you are missing the opportunities the platform can offer by way of engagement.
Think of your LinkedIn profile not as a mere replication of your resume, but as an online business card. Your LinkedIn profile should provide a brief but impactful summary of your background that gains the interest of hiring managers and persuades them to begin a conversation. This conversation can lead to the resume and a more detailed discussion around your relevant skills, experience, and accomplishments.
In our next blog, well highlight more tips to help you be more focussed and ready to tackle the new work paradigms that COVID-19 is forcing on all of us. If you can optimise your job search strategies, adapt to new models of approach, you will finish 2020 in a stronger state than when it began.