Bad News and Good News:
The Bad: You need a job and, typically, finding one isn’t easy, fun, or exciting.
The Good: This is absolutely the best market in which to find a job! We are in what’s called a ‘Candidate’s Market,’ meaning that candidates have a bit more of the upper hand with employers. Right now, companies are experiencing difficulties filling their jobs so they can be more flexible…and there is the high demand for good candidates – that’s where you come in.
There are plenty of jobs currently available – you just have to get yourself out there and do it in the best way possible. Here are a few suggestions that can help you do just that:
EARLY BIRD GETS THE WORM
When jobs are posted, it’s helpful to apply as soon as possible. Employers and recruiters often gather all the resumes and applications they want to go through soon after posting, so the earlier you apply, the better the chance to be seen. Look at the job boards daily if possible and apply to the positions you want. Don’t give up or become discouraged if you don’t get immediate results. Treat ‘finding a job’ as your current job. Keep coming back – being diligent in this area will help tremendously.
These days, many resumes are being read by AI (artificial intelligence) software. Or they are being skimmed by busy recruiters and hiring managers. It’s estimated that most resumes get an initial glance lasting 7 seconds before the initial decision is made to pass or dig in deeper. Because of this, a few items are key:
- Format: use a simple, readable format – here’s a good article from Indeed: https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/resumes-cover-letters/simple-resume-format
- Key Words: use key words so the AI or person reading can pick you out of the crowd – Monster has quick article here: https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/how-to-use-keywords-resume-0916
- Time Gaps: don’t leave time gaps in your work history. If you took off a year, two or three off from work, list those dates and give it title such as ‘personal time off,’ or something creative and accurate; just don’t leave it blank
- Skills: related to key words, list as many skills as possible, such as any software you are familiar with like Office, Word, Excel, etc.
- Slick Resume: for a good example on what a Resume should look like in the 2020s, check this out: https://www.themuse.com/advice/what-your-resume-should-look-like-in-2020
Once an employer is interested in your resume, they may look elsewhere online to get a better picture of who you are, so I would recommend the following on your media:
- Personal social media – make sure it’s squeaky clean. Check your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tik Tok, and any others – ensure there’s nothing inappropriate, crude, or questionable on them. Whatever is on your feeds should be suitable for your grandma or future boss to see.
- Business social media – LinkedIn – if you don’t have it, get it. LinkedIn is the premier site where employers go to learn more about potential candidates and often to actually find candidates. Make sure to have a good, well-lit picture, and be dressed in casual business attire…and don’t forget to smile for the camera. Lastly, make certain your work history is as accurate as possible. Here is a good article called 20 Steps to a better LinkedIn Profile in 2020+ https://www.linkedin.com/business/sales/blog/profile-best-practices/17-steps-to-a-better-linkedin-profile-in-2017
THE ROAD TO OZ
Finding a job is a journey so pick the best path, or paths. Since you’re a candidate conducting an active search, you will be hitting the job boards. Make sure to pick the most appropriate ones suitable for the type of job(s) you are looking for. Some of my favorites are LinkedIn, indeed, Zip Recruiter and these days even Facebook & Craigslist are listing jobs; but there are many other good ones. Here’s a couple of articles that will help you narrow down the job search websites appropriate for you. Using as many of these as possible will widen your net for landing that right job.
- The Balance Careers – Best Job Search Websites – https://www.thebalancecareers.com/top-best-job-websites-2064080
- Betterteam – Best Job Boards for 2021 – https://www.betterteam.com/job-boards
AT THE END OF THE ROAD TO OZ
Once you’ve applied and sent in your resumes, you may feel that’s all you can do. Well, you can go a step beyond for a more persistent and personal touch. Look for employer and recruiter company names and even for personal recruiters themselves. For example, on LinkedIn, I will include my company contact information and at times candidates will email me directly to enquire about a position. I appreciate the extra effort and may give them a second look. So, try to find the source of the advertisement and attempt to connect with them. Don’t be afraid to stand out.
I’m with you; finding a job can be frustrating and intimidating. If it’s a journey, find some friends to accompany you – rely on support, share your wins, hopes and frustrations with family and friends, let them in on the process with you. Many people love to help. There are also job-finding centers at community colleges and non-profits, check those out, they can be of great help and provide useful knowledge. Another thing to also consider as you’re finding your dream permanent job, is to work at a Temp Agency – this can help you get through this search time while making some income.
Finally, be encouraged! Many companies right now are in serious need and are looking for good talent; smart, capable, honest people they can depend on – like you. Remember it’s a ‘Candidate’s Market.’
About the Contributor:
After graduating with his undergrad from Cal State Long Beach, Will Carreras has been part of startups in real estate, sales and advertising for most of his career. His latest venture has been a staffing & recruiting firm, Ensis Corp in San Diego, where he assists corporations in securing hard-to-find talent. Within this history, Will garnered his master’s in divinity from Azusa Pacific and started and pastored an urban church for almost a decade. He is dipping his toes back in the ministry waters by becoming a part time, intern pastor at an established Presbyterian church in San Diego. Will has always had a heart to make the world a better place, especially for the needy, downtrodden, those abused and forgotten by society and hopes to take a greater role in the non-profit world to serve this end. He lives with his wife, two amazing daughters and cat, Khaleesi, mother of dragons.