If you’ve been at your current job for more than 10 years and are thinking about starting the arduous task of finding a new position, you may be in for a slight shock as you begin your search. Even the last five years have brought dramatic changes in how you search for a job as well as how to make yourself stand out in a sea of resumes and applications. If you don’t take the time to research how these changes affect your ability to secure a new job, you may end up just spinning your wheels and hitting a wall with each application.
While the internet has been firmly established for several decades now, job hunting via the internet has continually evolved. Every year brings new ways to search for jobs, new employment-related search engines and new digital ways to promote your profile. If you’ve been resistant to the changes, the time of no-return is here. Even entry-level and manual labor positions require some form of digital presence to apply.
In the past sites like Monster.com and Careerbuilder.com have been the most popular, and though these are still very relevant sites, Indeed.com has taken over the job search engine in a big way. One of the most convenient aspects of these sites is the ability to upload your resume directly to the site for immediate access when applying for a position. You will also have the opportunity to add a cover letter that is specifically tailored to the specific job. You literally have the entire application process at your fingertips.
It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Well, that isn’t entirely true, but knowing the right people or at least having contact with the right people is an important aspect of finding employment. Social networking sites have brought the networking experience to your home. One of the most popular sites, LinkedIn gives users the opportunity to present their skill-sets, employment experience and insights directly to their individual page. It also allows users the ability to search for like-minded individuals and connect with them. A simple search for your particular job industry or job title will garner instant results, allowing you to reach out to these individuals. The site also features current job openings and delivers recommended jobs based on the qualifications you have identified. One of the best features of this site is the capability to be endorsed by your peers for specific skills. This allows employers the chance to reconcile your resume with actual feedback from individuals who have worked with you directly in various capacities.
Cover letters – Yes, No, Maybe?
In the past, cover letters were an important way to get noticed among a throng of candidates. These days it is hit or miss whether a cover letter will play any part in helping you stand out. Many recruiters and hiring managers say that they don’t have the time to scour through both resumes and cover letters. While that school of thought holds true for many, there are those who still believe that if you want the job, you’ll take the time to introduce yourself via a cover letter. When a job opening is posted, employees understand that you probably have applied for dozens, if not more, of other positions. They want to know you’re not just throwing spaghetti against a wall to see if anything sticks. A personal cover letter allows you to state not only why you’re the best candidate, but the opportunity to explain why you are interested in that particular company. This is the chance to compliment the company, show what you know about it and explain why you’re the best fit.
It’s hard to say which companies will read cover letters. Typically, you can expect that recruiting agencies will not read through these and you can eliminate them when applying in that fashion. In all other cases, it is probably wise to include a cover letter – just in case. If it’s not read, that’s alright. If it is, it may get your application moved to the top of the pile. This is a case of better safe than sorry.
The cost of hiring and training new employees has become increasingly expensive for companies. This means that employees want to be absolutely sure you’re the right candidate before investing in you. Resumes and interviews will only go so far in establishing your true value and for that reason, having reputable recommendations is more important than ever. Be ready to list at least three sources that will give you the recommendation needed and also, be sure that these people know you have listed them. Don’t let your sources be surprised to get a call about you from a prospective employer.
Background checks have become part and parcel to the employment process. Most companies do some type of preliminary background check once they narrow the candidates for a position and you must be willing and ready to comply with these checks. If you’ve never had a background check done on you, or it’s been a long time – now is the time to run a self-check on yourself to ensure all of the information is valid. There have been countless cases where criminal charges have shown up on the wrong person’s background check or where someone with a popular name has been searched incorrectly. You can run your own background check ahead of time and review it for inconsistencies or invalid information ahead of time so you can ensure a clean background check during the employee background check process. Sentinel Background Checks gives individuals the opportunity to have their own background check run at an affordable price. To find out about the different levels of checks available, visit clearcandidate.com or call (888) 725-2535.
Job searching is a time-consuming task that can leave you drained and discouraged. Taking the time to understand the process can save you some time and allow you to present your best self to potential employees. Update your social profiles, or create one if you haven’t, get your endorsements and recommendations in order and background check yourself. The time you spend doing these things upfront can save you time on the back end and hopefully get you noticed quicker.