Updated: Mar 2
Ok …… I really want to rant here on this subject but that is not going to help you, so I am putting on my big girl panties and moving on with that focus. I cannot help you with Interview Coaching unless you get an interview so that is why I am covering this a bit. Also, I am going on the assumption that we are heading out of COVID on all of my blogs …..
Yes, the on-line resume submission processes and systems suck! I have yet to find or utilize one that is a good option. However, we need to deal with what we are given.
I am going to try and discourage you from putting your resume on sites that are a bit of a “free for all”. These include sites like Indeed, Monster, Workopolis, etc. You have no control over who sees your information and where it ends up or when it might come back to bite you. Be careful with these sites, make sure if you are applying to a posting on one of these sites that your resume is going directly to that company that has the opening. People do put their information on those sites and if you decide that is something you want to do, go in with your eyes wide open.
After you have done some thinking and research and decided which businesses you want to apply too, grab a BIG COFFEE, TEA OR WATER nothing stronger as you need to be clear headed for the next several hours. I do recommend you use your laptop instead of trying to do resume submissions via your phone. Give yourself a pep talk and away we go!!
With that in mind here are a few things you need to know:
1. Enter in your information accurately and spend the time doing a good job. Typos matter. That means:
a. Be as detailed as you can.
b. Attach as much information as you can (degrees/diplomas/certificates, safety tickets, reference letters/emails (these are making a come back) even performance reviews or award notifications. We HR people love that stuff. There will be size limitations a lot of time so watch for that.
c. If the job requires certain tickets to be up-to-date --- get them up-to-date.
d. ALWAYS include references and if you know someone at that business try and get them to be a reference for you. Include emails, phone numbers and cell phone numbers of your references. Double check that you have current information on them and that they know you are looking for work. It shows organizational and detail skills.
e. Make sure you understand how the application system works. Do you have to apply to every job you want in that organization or is there a process that forwards candidates already in their system to new vacant roles they are qualified for.
f. Keep your information updated. If you change your cell phone number or move update that.
2. After you have spent what feels like 19 hours applying on-line, reach out to contacts in that business and let them know you are interested in working there. A disclaimer here; this is a good option if you are unemployed currently, not so much if you are still working. The industry is a small world, be careful with letting many people know you are looking when you are still working. You need to determine who you can trust and let them know your employment status.
3. Internal contacts may offer some advise on how to get noticed in their system, ask for that advise. Use your friends, relatives, teachers, etc. to try and get your name inside that organization. It used to be a “taboo” thing to have your family reach out on your behalf but these days you need to pull out every card in your deck.
4. Be open to Temporary/Contract and Term roles. Because we are going into a strange time this is even more important as businesses just aren’t sure what is going to happen in the next year.
5. Do you want to set up your own Independent Contractor company? There are some benefits but certainly some risks. Educate yourself and find out how the organizations that you are interested in working for prefer to do their hires.
6. Is a Recruitment Firm the answer? Most people do not know exactly how Recruiting Firms work so some use this as a last resort and apply everywhere then go to them when they aren’t getting a response. Not every firm operated like I did but there are some big similarities.
a. Business’ engage Staffing firms to offer Temporary/Contract/Term Employees or what is commonly known as Headhunting/Executive/Direct Hires. Find out again how the companies you are interested in working for do their hiring. If they use a Staffing Firm do not go to them last, go to them early on in your job hunt. There are some proprietary candidate stuff that happens (which means more than one firm presents you to a client) so don’t also go to a bunch of Recruiting Firms. It is complicated! Find a recruiter/firm that you trust and have the connections you need in your field. Sometimes you won’t jive with someone ….. move along there are a lot of options out there.
7. If you are lucky enough to be interested in working for a small business that doesn’t have one of these honking big resume application systems …… man are you lucky! There are still places you can go and drop your resume off and see a human! Be presentable, kind and enthusiastic, or simply send your resume to a person with a name. So cool. Do that! If you are lucky enough to have an email of a hiring manager, another cool option is to get your references to send them an email and encourage them to have a discussion with you. Do not over do this. Stalking is a thing.
I should talk just a minute on resumes. Yes, they are important. There are some fantastic templates available and if you take the time and do a thorough job it will pay off. Lots of firms do this so it is up to you how you get the best result but do the best you can.