Research shows that only 20% of job seekers actually get a face-to-face interview, and 75% of resumes are rejected before they even reach the hiring manager. Given these statistics, we can confirm one thing: most people are simply horrible job seekers. Whether you’re a current student or recent graduate, eventually you’ll have to face the “real world” and start applying for jobs. Maybe you’re already applying for jobs and want to improve. Or maybe you’re looking to hire a job search consultant to help you save time and achieve your dream career. Regardless what stage you’re at, it’s important to take a moment to self-reflect:
- Can you identify, target, and close job opportunities?
- Do you know what career opportunities match your profile?
- Do you know what your target companies look for in a candidate?
- How many jobs have you applied for?
- How many interview requests have you received?
Your ability to effectively search for jobs and get interviews depends on many different factors. Maybe your resume needs work, or perhaps your cover letter is too long. Maybe your cold emails to hiring managers are ineffective. With time, you can improve all of this. However, if you hire a job search consultant, you can save weeks, months and even years of your time.
Improve Your Job Searching Skills
“There is much more to a successful job search than simply submitting a resume,” says Ivy Chen, CEO of Alba and experienced job search consultant in Vancouver, Canada. “You must strategically market yourself to obtain good job opportunities with the least amount of time possible.”
1. Determine Your Career Objective
Be honest with yourself. If you enjoy to work in silence and keep to yourself, working in a client-facing and fast-paced environment probably won’t be suitable for you. Consider your skills as well. If you are good at writing but are lousy at math, don’t go into accounting. Once you have chosen the career you’re interested in, explore a little further.
What specific job positions are available within this career? For example, within banking, there are investment banks, retails banks, merchant banks, private equity, and more. Do some research into each area and find the one that appeals the most to you. Also, consider the industries, geographic locations, and career requirements for each career type.
2. Prepare Job Search Documents
The 3 most important documents you need to prepare are your resume, cover letter and job references (which many employers will ask for in Canada). Since employers only spend roughly 7 seconds scanning each document, it’s important to ensure that your job application documents are professional, consistent, and error free.
At Alba Inc, our consultants spend hours reading through resumes and cover letters each day. Nan Mu, co-founder of Alba says “Make sure you tailor your resume and cover letter to match what the employer is looking for. Keywords are especially important since most companies now use software to filter through the resumes.”
3. Find Hiring Companies
When a company is looking to fill a position, they first look internally for recommendations. “Take any opportunity you can to meet and reach out to an employee at the company you are interested in,” says Ellen Zhang, career advisor at Alba’s Vancouver office, “you can connect with employees through social or professional networks, or at local job fairs or conferences. If you meet the right person, he or she might recommend you internally for the next available position.”
Of course, the other most common way that companies fill job positions is through job search engines like Indeed.com, SimplyHired.com, and Monster.com. These job search websites allow you to filter through positions by keywords, so you can apply to available positions that fit your skillset. They are also a good way to find jobs that are available immediately.
4. Ace the Interview
If you want to make a great impression and stand out from the crowd, you need to practice. There’s no way around it. Here are some things you will want to prepare before the interview even begins:
- Study the job intimately. What does your day-to-day look like?
- Know your selling point. What are your strengths? What makes you special?
- Know the company. How does the company make money? What are their goals?
- Prepare follow-up questions. Choose questions that allow you to showcase your knowledge of the position and the industry.
- Practice, practice, practice. Try mock interviews with yourself and with friends.
- Relax before the interview. Get rid of those butterflies in your stomach.
In the end, interviewing is a tough skill to master, and no one does it right 100% of the time. It’s hard to show who you are and what you’re capable of in less than 60 minutes. Following these strategies will help you eliminate nervousness and ace the interview.
Effective Job Search Techniques
1. Spend Plenty of Time on Your Resume
Unless you know the hiring manager or someone in the company, your resume determines whether or not you get an interview. On top of that, hiring managers usually spend less than 30 seconds reviewing your entire application, so it makes sense that you should spend some time to make it memorable. Use the right keywords, tailor your resume, and make this 1-page document stand out.
2. Get an Insider Referral
Another highly-effective way to get your dream job is by getting an insider referral. According to Topresume.com, around 33% of external hires are attributed to referrals. And 80% of all job hires (internal and external) are not posted online.
In other words, not only will you benefit by being considered for a job that isn’t even posted online yet, but the hiring decision will be stacked in your favor because someone from the organization referred you.
If you know someone who worked at organization you are interested in, don’t wait for a job posting to be made. Ask for an introduction to the hiring team and make your case via email or a coffee meeting.
3. Hire a Job Search or Career Consultant
For many people, applying for jobs or interviewing is a completely new experience. It can take weeks, months, or even years to master the job search process. Rather than spending all this time learning the tips and tricks yourself, and maybe settling for an undesirable job in the end, why not hire a career professional who can provide you with job search coaching? For example, if you’re based in Vancouver, hire a career advisor in Vancouver. If you’re based in Toronto, hire someone based in Toronto.
A strategic career coach will help you:
- Plan and execute your job search using updated techniques and websites
- Perfect job search documents (resume, cover letters, etc.) using modern style guides
- Use proper keywords to influence employer decisions and by-pass computer software
- Navigate opportunities and position yourself strategically in your target market
- Approach the interview with effective strategies, tools, and information
- Shorten your job search, get faster results, and obtain the job offer you imagined
- Gain confidence in the job search process that will last your entire career
At Alba, through job search coaching, you’ll gain the knowledge and tools to develop and execute your plan to perfection. The tips and techniques you’ll learn are lifelong tools and strategies that can be administered as you move forward in your career.
Alba Career Advisors and Job Search Consultants in Vancouver
Partner with Alba to learn how to perform a more effective job search. We have consultants ready to help you.