Monogrammed stationery. Rolodexes filled with business cards. The Sunday want ads. These, like many job search tools, have given way to more modern must-haves. While the fundamental task of reaching out to potential employers and making a positive impression hasn’t changed, the tools are different. Job seekers who have a thorough understanding of how to best promote themselves in today’s competitive environment have an edge.
Following are the “ins” and “outs” of the job hunting scene today:
|Overly detailed resumes||Streamlined resumes that list relevant accomplishments|
|An “objective” statement on resumes||A “summary of qualifications” that highlights applicable skills|
|Blanketing employers with your resume and cover letters addressed “To whom it may concern”||Researching prospective employers and applying to companies or agencies where your skills and interests match their needs|
|Stilted language in application materials (“Please find my resume attached in response to the PR job posting …”)||More natural prose that provides a sense of your personality and genuine interest in the job (“When I learned about the PR specialist position, I was excited by the …”)|
|Canned responses to interview questions (“My weakness is that I work too hard …”)||Authentic responses that provide insight into your thought processes and how you can contribute to the organization|
|A set reference list||A customized reference list for each opportunity|
|Networking occasionally||Networking constantly using tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as in person|
|Using unusual resume formats to hide employment gaps||Filling potential gaps through freelance or volunteer work|
|A narrow focus in your job search||A broad view of how your skills might be useful in various roles|
|Ending the interview by asking when they’ll be contacting you||Ending the interview by asking for the job on a trial basis|
|Post-interview thank-you notes that tell the interviewer how much you want the job||Post-interview thank-you notes that provide more insight into why you are the best person for the job|
The Creative Group is a specialized staffing service placing interactive, design, marketing, advertising and public relations professionals with a variety of firms. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and TCG’s award-winning career magazine, can be found at roberthalf.com/creative group.