It’s not your imagination, jobs are now hunting for you, not the other way around. In fact, the bulk of new hiring isn’t coming from candidates applying to positions but rather companies scouting individuals through active recruiting and referring or as we like to call it “talent acquisition.” In a hot job market, it pays to be at-the-ready if the right company comes a-calling. Here’s how:
1. Update, and keep updating your Linkedin profile, which is now (vs. your resume), the first and often only information a recruiter or hiring manager uses to suss out your initial potential strength as a candidate. Work hard to get your profile to 100 percent, which Linkedin rewards by enhancing your findability on its platform. And, for the love of God, please use a professional photo for your profile. Click here for surprising mistakes you might not realize you’re making on LinkedIn.
2. Research Commonalities Across Job Descriptions and Profiles. Figure out what message your LinkedIn Profile is sending to the universe of companies looking to hire people with your background? A good way to figure this out is to find job postings for 5-7 positions at companies you are most interested in working at. Then, look for commonalities across the postings. Once you’ve spotted them, dial up those aspects on your profile. Next, do a search in Linkedin for the profiles of candidates who are in the positions you want (aka your competition). Look for consistencies across these profiles and dial up your own profile to attract the right hiring managers.
3. Key words count. Amp up the SEO-tenacity of your Linkedin Profile and Resume so that recruiters, hiring managers and referrers from your network can find you. Don’t puff your profile with excess Industry jargon your profile. Do use important keywords and titles that are important and timely in your industry.
4. Lather, Rinse and Repeat on your Resume. And while resumes are becoming less important than Linkedin, for the near term, keeping a short and sweet one up to date is still key. If you get scouted, an employer’s next request will be to ask you for your resume which will then be parsed into their applicant tracking system – think of this as a big gigantic internal database that companies search. Top companies are now adding Sourcing teams to their Talent Acquisition efforts. The net benefit of this is that companies are investing in building in-house talent networks (aka Bench Building of qualified talent) so that they can keep tabs on and quickly engage passive candidates for their roles (yet another reason to keep your resume up to date).
5. Be a Genie, Forecast Your Future To Your Network Beyond keeping your Linkedin profile and your resume spruced up and ready to go, you should enlist your network to further enhance your discoverability. To do this, you need to always be extremely specific with everyone in your network about your career wants and needs. If you can mobilize the people who know you best to do your bidding for you, you will certainly get far better referrals for more appropriate jobs. This can be further fine tuned by knowing what you want in your next position and company, which is a post for another day!
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