5 Tips to Get Your Freelance Job Application Noticed

Working remotely has been a trend in recent years, with companies even allowing their regular employees to telecommute a certain number of days in a week. Freelancing is becoming even more popular, with 53 million Americans working remotely. This translates to 34 percent of the American workforce! So how do you get your freelance job application noticed as a career changer?

While the freelance lifestyle may have significant differences from a 9 to 5 desk job, every worker has one thing in common: looking and applying for jobs.

In fact, freelancers have to do this more often than regular employees—something to consider if you’re looking to make a career change to join the freelance ranks. The great news is that technology has made it easier for employers and clients to provide blogging opportunities, content writing gigs, and copywriting jobs, among others. But this also means that there are more job seekers in this niche.

The competition is tough. The inboxes of potential employers are swamped with job applications, and they don’t waste precious time going thoroughly through each one. Speaking from experience, when I post a job ad, I am usually overwhelmed with responses, many of which get thrown in the “irrelevant bucket.” Only the ones that catch my eye are opened.

How, then, do you increase your chances of making it to the “relevant bucket” and getting the job, especially when you’ve just switched careers and are just starting out?

Here are some tips for career changers on how to get your freelance job application noticed.

Tailor your cover letter/resume to the job ad.

What does this mean?

Say you are changing careers and applying for a blogging gig. Get straight to the point and mention how long you’ve been blogging, what niche(s) you are experienced in, and which sites you have written/are writing for.

Mentioning your stint as a college newspaper editor, an English tutor, or your previous unrelated career experience doesn’t add value. If anything, your application will get chucked.

Proofread, and then proofread again.

I can’t highlight this enough. Even if you’re not applying for a writing-related job, typos and grammar errors are a big turnoff for most clients. Most of these mistakes can be fixed by proofreading your application. By not being careful and sending in an application with mistakes, the message you send across is that you don’t pay attention to detail and that you do not take pride in your work.

Follow these tips and make your job application stand out from the rest. Even if you don’t get the job, you might be included in the client’s pool of potential workers in the future.

See all 5 tips and the complete FlexJobs article

5 tips to help you land your perfect job by using social media research

So much has been made of big data for business – and rightly so, it’s a paradigm shift for traditional marketing and communications process. But less discussed are the benefits of social media and big data for individuals.

‘Thought leadership’ is the term we most often hear – how to utilise social to position yourself as an expert in your chosen field. But what about ways you can use big data and social media for the more basic aspects of introduction and interaction. Like, for example, getting a job? And of course, it can be used for just that purpose.

Here are five ways to utilise social and online data to better position yourself as the ideal candidate for any position.

1. Analyse the wording of the job ad

Everything online is about keywords and context. You might think job ads are less so, as they’re designed to locate candidates with specific skills, rather than have the job ad rank well in Google, but the key terms are still crucial, even in this context. How an advertiser words a job highlights the language they use internally, as well as the needs and possible pain points they’re looking for the right candidate to cover.

So let’s take a random job ad. Most of the time you’ll get a generic introduction paragraph about the company, then a basic description of the position title, then you’ll get into the needs of the role. We’ll use an ad for a content marketing job in the banking sector.

‘The role is to help build, execute and manage content marketing strategies. The successful applicant will deliver best practice strategies that cover all content forms, including video, blogs and tool. The successful applicant will have a deep awareness of market trends, emerging technologies and innovations that can be leveraged to meet customer and business demand.

The position is responsible for growing traffic, engagement and sales by identifying opportunities through insight, analysis and stakeholder collaboration. The successful applicant will think and deliver content stories, and will be able to deliver high quality storytelling that delivers the right content in the right format to the right channels, in alignment with best sales and servicing opportunities. The position will work closely with business stakeholders including Marketing, Product, and CX to understand business drivers, help articulate them as customer opportunities and develop strategies that will support business goals. They are responsible for communicating and managing stakeholder buy-in for strategies proposed.’ 

From this, we need to identify the main keywords of focus in the description, as these terms are likely to be considered highly relevant by the company, particularly in relation to this role. One way of doing this is to create a word cloud of the ad text to see which terms are mentioned the most – you can do this via Wordle:

Social Media Research for Job Seekers – Five Tips to Help You Land Your Perfect Job

From this, we can ascertain that the following keywords are of high relevance to this role:

– Content
– Strategies
– Business
– Stakeholder

Using this info, we can re-check the specific words against the description to see if we can qualify them even further with related terms:

– Content Strategy
– Content Marketing Strategy
– Stakeholder Buy-In
– Content Marketing Opportunities

This provides a good guideline as to what elements of the role you’ll need to be across; the crucial skills the company requires from this position. While the keywords identified in this example are the ones you’d probably have gleaned from a basic read-through, the word-cloud can highlight important areas of focus – an account position might focus on ‘compliance’, for example, a management job on ‘change’. The more text in the job ad, the better, as it will uncover the employer’s key points of focus for the role.

These are also the terms you want to highlight on your own LinkedIn profile, résumé, and any other social media properties that you’re using to build your professional profile. A good way to test this is to enter your own LinkedIn profile or résumé text into Wordle too and see what terms are most prominent and how they match up – if they don’t, might be worth reviewing your wording to see if you can update to match the relevant terms.

4. Look at the types of people they’ve already employed

LinkedIn gives you access to such a huge amount of data in this regard, more than most people might realise or even consider.

A recent discussion noted that as data depth on LinkedIn continues to grow, there may come a time where we’ll have a system that can accurately suggest a person’s ideal career path, based on their attributes and interests. That’s how much data LinkedIn has access to – the suggestion of assigning roles most likely to provide each individual with optimum job satisfaction, based on their interests and attributes, is no longer some crazy scheme confined to the realms of science fiction.

For the purposes of job search, one way to use LinkedIn’s data is to search for employees of the company you’re hoping to join. Using the advanced search functions, you can narrow down your search to job title and location.

Social Media Research for Job Seekers – Five Tips to Help You Land Your Perfect Job

From this, you can get a full overview of all the people you’d likely be working with, their career experience, their interests, etc. This info can give you great insight to the people the company employs and where you might fit (you may or may not want to switch your LinkedIn settings so you don’t show up as viewing all these people’s profiles, up to you on that front). It’s also advantageous if you know who’s going be conducting your job interview – checking out their LinkedIn and other social media properties can give you a sense of who they are, what they’re interested in, and how you can connect.

I read a post recently on LinkedIn where the author, Bronwyn Cook, switched telco providers based, in part, on her new provider paying attention to her Twitter bio, in which she professed her love for Bon Jovi. The new provider noted this and used it as a theme in their initial interactions, opening the door for further discussion and, subsequently, gaining them gaining a new client.

See all 5 tips and the complete FireBrandTalent article

7 ways Twitter can help you land your dream job

Posted by Amanda Augustine

If you’re looking for a job, chances are someone advised you to set up a LinkedIn profile – and with good reason. A social recruiting study by Jobvite found that 94 percent of recruiters use LinkedIn as part of their recruiting strategy.

However, LinkedIn isn’t the only social media resource available to job seekers. I recently came across an article on Social-Hire.com which mentions a number of social media alternatives that are giving LinkedIn a run for their money. One of these resources is Twitter. The online social networking service was founded in 2006 and has rapidly grown to over 288 million monthly active users!

I became a Twitter convert in 2012 and absolutely love this tool. If you’re new to Twitter and would like a crash course, check out this free tutorial by GCF Global. If you’re already familiar with the tool but are not yet using it for your job search, now’s the time to take the plunge. [TWEET] Check out the many different ways you can use Twitter to help you find the right job, sooner.

 1) Expand your digital footprint.

Twitter can be a great place to extend your online personal brand. As with any social media account, if you decide to use it for personal branding, make sure the head shot you upload is professional-looking and that any information you provide about your job title, location and career goals aligns with your resume. Use this profile to share industry-related content and interact with other thought leaders in your space. Click on the following link for more tips on customizing your Twitter profile.

3) Receive job-search advice

There are many Twitter accounts like mine and TheLadders that are dedicated to sharing job-search advice and career tips with their followers. Check out this list of top Twitter handles to follow, courtesy of BusinessNewsDaily, and subscribe to my Twitter list of over 150 job-search and career experts to get started. In addition, you can run searches for hashtags such as #JobSearch, #Career, #JobTip, and #CareerAdvice to receive quick job-search tips in 140 characters or less.

See all 7 tips and the complete TheLadders article



Three Ways to Spark a Stalled Job Search

By Lee Hecht Harrison

Conducting a job search can be intense—even overwhelming. To avoid falling into that trap, the most successful job seekers are those who approach the search just as they would any work project—breaking down a large project into manageable subprojects so that their strategy is focused and takes them to their goals. In order to achieve your career goals, you’ll need to harness your desire, craft a plan with actionable goals, make a commitment to taking action, and measure and evaluate activities along the way.

If your job search is lacking focus, feels stalled or unproductive, it may be time to evaluate your own strategy and refocus your activity:

  1. Be prepared to invest 30 hours per week to find a new job. LHH research indicates that an effective search can be conducted in 30 hours a week—provided the job seeker concentrates on meaningful activities. To determine the activities with the greatest ROI, maintain a spreadsheet or tracking report that captures the activity, the completion date, the amount of time invested, and outcomes. Track activities like networking calls, meetings, and letters; job board responses; calls to hiring managers; discussions on social media; research; and job fairs. On a weekly basis evaluate your activities to see which are generating the best results. Then adjust your strategy accordingly.
  2. Make 30 networking connections each week. – see the rest of #2 and the complete article

5 Simple Ways to Get Your Resume Past the ATS Gatekeeper

by JobScan Blog

You spend a lot of time on your resume. And yet that resume is hardly ever seen by human eyes.

Today, most companies use a gatekeeper, an Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), to handle the volume of resumes they receive. That ATS, simply put, decides which resumes get passed on to the hiring manager or recruiter – and which do not.

Here, we present five simple tips you should use to get past the ATS gatekeeper:

2. Lots of White Space (and No Tables or Graphs)

Colorful, eye-catching images (including tables and graphs) and fancy typefaces often confuse Applicant Tracking Systems.
Headers and footers are best left empty (leave your contact information out of there!) with standard 1-inch margins.

For all job seekers applying to creative positions, such as web designer or architect, save the color and creativity for the in-person interview and times when you’ll use a paper copy of your resume (for example, a job fair).

3. Echo Resume Keywords Exactly

If anything on a resume can beat Applicant Tracking Systems, it would be those trusty resume keywords. Resume keywords are the skills and qualifications in the original job description that should be included in a resume (e.g., communication skills, Microsoft Word, and academic degrees).

However, simply using any form of these keywords will not win over an ATS: keywords must be formatted to echo the original job description exactly (to an ATS, there is a difference between “Microsoft Word,” “MS Word,” and “Word”).

Jobscan is an excellent online resource to make sure you have included all your resume keywords and formatted them correctly.

See all 5 ways and the complete article

How to Ace a Phone Interview

Often the first step in the interview process, is a phone interview, which could be between you and a recruiter, hiring manager or a team lead. The purpose of this initial call, is to do several things.

  1. Ask you some basic qualifying questions
  2. Check out your interest level
  3. Check out your communication style

This may be your only opportunity to get your foot in the door for a full interview, so you’ll want to impress your caller. Here are some tips:

Prepare for Your Phone Interview

Just like an in-person interview, you should do your homework before the call. Take 30 minutes to organize your thoughts and information before you speak with the interviewer.

1. Research your caller by looking at their LinkedIn profile and look for something you have in common. Perhaps you attended the same school or have a common connection. If the opportunity presents itself, make a comment about this commonality – it will warm them up to you.
2. Research the company and the position. Look at the company website and at the very least, know what market they serve and what their key products are. Read recent press releases and be aware of what they bring to their market. Also look for a detailed job description and have it handy during your phone interview.
3. Compile a few questions for your caller. It’s always good to have two or three questions ready for when your interviewer is done with their questions and they ask you “do you have any questions?” If they don’t, they could be pressed for time and it is perfectly ok to allow them to end the call. You can save your questions for the next step or the next interview. Check out our post on Interview Questions here.

During Your Phone Interview

See what to do during the phone interview and read the complete article