They say that the job market is heating up again, and it may well be. The competition for jobs however is fierce. Today’s job seekers have more tools available to them than ever before. Job portals such as Monster, Carreerbuilder, and Dice are becoming as ubiquitous as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. Nowadays you need to know how to use these sites to your advantage or risk getting lost in their millions of resumes and among their thousands of jobs. Following are 4 tips for navigating those job boards on your way to finding your dream job.
Tip #1 for finding your dream job – be prepared to be specific
The job boards of today versus even 2 or 3 years ago are flooded with job descriptions. While many of these job descriptions are real, some companies post job description purely as a fishing expedition. They actually do not have an available position but are interested in seeing who is responding to their online postings. While it is impossible to filter those companies who have posted job descriptions for non-existent jobs, your ability to come up with the right mix of keywords will help.
Consider some of the more specific requirements of your search. For example, are you interested in relocating? If so, where (north east, south, mid-west, west)? Are you willing to become an expatriate – an American working permanently abroad? What about salary requirements? What are the titles of those positions you are seeking?
Write these elements down on a piece of paper and keep it close at hand as you will need this information to create your profiles on each of the job boards.
Tip #2 for finding your dream job – get comfortable with the search site’s advanced search capabilities
Many individuals using job boards today believe that they can type in simple keywords to gain access to all of the jobs pertaining to them. You would be surprised by the diversity of titles used by different firms to describe the same role. Are you a project manager, or do you work in a PMO, or perhaps you’re a product manager. Are program managers in technology, or part of a health care function, or perhaps the head of a learning center? If you manage portfolios, are those portfolios referring to finances, real estate, or projects? Building your keyword searches and using the advanced search functions offered on the more prevalent job boards will allow you to better navigate this sea of postings.
Tip #3 for finding your dream job – the resume is still what sells you
Recently I attended a seminar with representatives from several major recruiting firms attending. The overwhelming request was for each job seeker to format their resumes functionally and chronologically. Does it matter? Well, according to these individuals, by the way they, recruiters are the number 1 reviewers of resumes in the US, they typically toss resumes that are not formatted in this way. Why? Because it creates more work for them. This work comes in the form of trying to “figuring out” what you are trying to hide.
Tip #4 for finding your dream job – bring your “A-game”
Finding the next opportunity is still about building a personal marketing plan and successfully executing against that plan. Even with all the tools available on-line, you still need to build your personal networks and work to position yourself just right. While many people “luck-out” and find that next job by simply posting their resumes on a job board, the more lucrative positions require significantly more effort. Utilize the job boards as a component of your overall search but don’t rely on it as the only way of finding your next position.
Remember it is the effort that you put into the front end of your job search that will determine the difference between taking the next step in your career and finding your next job.