Improve your odds of getting recruited
When looking for a change of jobs – externally of within your existing company – 6 good practices can improve your chances of success. These are:
Aim for good fit roles
A well written resume counts
Talk to your network
Do your homework on the job & company
Be enthusiastic about the job
1. Aim for good fit roles – The jobs you chose to pursue will drive the direction and focus of the subsequent search. Make those choices carefully to enhance productivity and effectiveness of your search.
With experienced hires, hiring managers are looking for rapid productivity. They tend to look for relevant recent experience matching the role they are looking to fill.
Hence, when prioritizing which roles to pitch for, objectively assess your recent experiences / accomplishments and what types of roles you will quickly productive in. This will help narrow down where you are more likely to get the attention of recruiters and hiring managers and therefore where you want to first invest your job search efforts.
Younger candidates with say less than 5 – 6 years or experience may have greater portability across industries or roles. However, they too need to think of roles where they will be rapidly productive. If they have been working in a particular industry, odds of their getting roles in that industry are the highest. Next would be role types i.e. if they have worked in a horizontal stream like accounting, technology or HR, that is where hiring managers will see them most likely to hit the ground running and earn their pay.
2. A well written resume counts – This document is your pitch on which role(s) you are most likely to be productive in. That should be the theme of the resume.
Keep the summary focused on key accomplishments which bring out what you will be quickly productive in. Avoid cluttering it up with multiple skills and disjointed experiences. These can convey an impression of lack of specialization and purpose.
Use adjectives like "enthusiastic, team player, passionate, people leader, goal focused" only if you can back them with specific examples of related accomplishments.
In a next section, outline of past roles and experiences chronologically. Since you have already presented a summary of your accomplishments, use this section to outline where you have worked, how long, and what you accomplished there.
Again, think about the role(s) which you are applying for and first outline accomplishments which are relevant to that role. If you can bring out a recurring theme of experiences/accomplishments across multiple jobs, do it. It demonstrates that you have tenured experience in a type of work and will hence be productive at it.
For example, if you are applying for a sales role, bring out relevant client pursuits / order wins / business growth in each role. Similarly if you are applying for a project delivery role in say IoT, highlight IoT specific or contiguous experiences/accomplishments in past roles.
3. Get visible – In a majority of job searches, recruiters search external databases to find matching candidates. For business / mid-level candidates LinkedIn is the popular repository. For technical and more junior roles, Dice and Monster are popular choices.
Improve your chances of being found in these searches by ensuring a comprehensive profile on the site relevant to your profession & experience.
For a job board profile, you can use abridged content from the summary and role chronology from your resume. Since this information is more public you might want to mask any company or client confidential content when highlighting your accomplishments. e.g. instead of writing – won $ 5 million deal for billing services with Verizon, replace "Verizon" with "A top 5 US Telecom company".
Very importantly - if you do chose to have a profile on a job board, ensure that it is well written and current. This is your public face to the recruiting and professional world, so ensure that you have presented yourself well.
4. Talk to your network –Your network is a very powerful resource when looking for jobs. Reach out to it – for advice, feedback and insight into job opportunities. Some may give you pointers, others may put you in touch with another resource, and yet others may sponsor you for roles in their company. And there may also be some who may not be able to help. Reach out, talk to people who will talk to you. Every conversation counts.
If you do not want to make your job search public, talk to those who will respect the confidentiality, but still – reach out.
5. Do your homework on the role & company – Before speaking with a recruiter or hiring manager, research the company and the job. With most companies, there is a lot of public information available on their websites and public media. Read it up.
This preparedness makes a very positive impact in conversations. It shows that you are interested in the job and company and have done your homework. It also reflects that you were diligent at the stage of a job search and by extension, will also bring similar diligence on the job.
Do not get into a conversation in saying "tell me about the role and your firm". You may have just diminished your chances of getting recruited.
6. Exhibit energy and enthusiasm for the role & company - If you have done your homework and want the job, sound enthusiastic about it when interviewing. When all else is equal, the one who is more hungry will always have an edge.