One word - Strategically.
We have all had those days when you think, “Right, today is the day I am going to apply for a new job!” My advice is to take a deep breath and book some time in your diary to sit down and think about it.
The WHY you are looking for a new job is an important question and a conversation for another day, but assuming you are clear that moving to a new role is the right decision for you, most people have some homework to do before they send off their first resume.
Firstly, be clear on the type of role you want to apply for. Typically, they fall into three buckets.
A sideways move into a similar role, a
A step up into a role with more responsibilities or
The stretch role where you may be considered the left of field applicant.
Once you decide on the type of role you are looking for, then you can move onto the two R’s that underpin a successful job search – Your RESUME and RELATIONSHIPS.
Let us start with the RESUME. Throughout my many years of recruitment, I have seen some incredible resumes that stand out from the rest, all of them had these things in common.
Clear and Keyword Focussed
Your resume needs to be clear, peppered with keywords and provide evidence for why you should be considered for the role that you have applied for. Depending on the length of your work history it should be between two and four pages long.
I differ from many professional resume writers who recommend lots of colour and fancy graphics (unless you are a designer). Content is king. It needs to be easy to read and every word should count.
When looking for what to include in your resume, reading advertisements for roles you are interested in is a great place to start because you will see what the employer values and wants to know about. It will also give you the keywords to embed in your resume to improve your chances if it is a machine reading your resume first and not a human.
Easy to understand, but sense check technical jargon
Once you have finished your resume, make sure you give it to a couple of people to proofread. Apart from spelling mistakes and grammatical errors they can also sense check for context and jargon. Remember, sometimes the first person to screen and read your resume may not have the breadth of experience as the hiring manager, so you need to make sure your resume is easy to understand to those who may not be familiar with technical jargon.
An Updated LinkedIn Profile
Your LinkedIn profile reflects your resume. As a recruiter, we love to see who you are, so make sure you have a current professional photograph that represents you in the workplace. Think about the ‘About’ section as a brief summary of your experience, your key skills and that it includes those keywords. If you are unsure where to start, look at different profiles on LinkedIn, you will soon notice the difference between a great and average profile. Our Marketing Coordinator, Lauren Markovski, has also put together a short video on how to optimise your LinkedIn profile that can get you started.
Be selective and tailor your resume
Apply for roles where you can make a real case for consideration for the role. You do not want the person reading your application wondering if you had even read the job advertisement before you applied for the role.
I always suggest you create a master resume that you can ‘save as’ and tailor for each role that you apply for. That way you can highlight your most relevant experience and achievement for that role. If the advert asks for a cover letter, take that opportunity to show a bit of your personality and the reasons why you are suitable for the role, but please keep it short and succinct, no more than one page.
Once you are clear about the roles you wish to apply for and have a fabulous resume that clearly articulates your experience and achievements with evidence and not fluff, you are ready for the second R – RELATIONSHIPS.
Yes, you have to be discreet, but people can’t help you if they don’t know you are looking for a new role. You never know who knows who:
Your current employer. Your perfect job may be in a different part of the business
Your family and friends, especially those people who work at companies that you want to join
Your professional network. Use LinkedIn to contact people who have previously mentored you or who’s leadership style you admired, former colleagues who work at companies you want to join
Recruitment agencies. Identify specialist agencies in your area of expertise and build a relationship with them
Target Companies. Yes, the direct approach can be the hardest, but it is also the shortest route. Look on their career pages and see if you can find who recruits the roles you are suited to or call reception if it is a generic email address.
Beaumont People provide specialist recruitment services in the Charity, Associations and Memberships, Health and Social Care, Education, Call Centre and Business Services sector.
We have developed an extensive and complimentary resource library to help people search for, and transition into, a new sector or role.
For a more personalised, one on one experience with supporting tools and documentation, our Career Coaching and Transition team offer expert support and online training with packages starting at $324.