Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Job Hunters: Here's How You Can Stand Out From The Pack - 7 Ways to Get Yourself Noticed

Nancy Collamer

Though the economy is beginning to improve, many employers are overloaded with job applicants and extremely choosy about who they’ll hire. So if you want to land a position, you’ve got to find a way to stand out from the pack.

That’s especially true for anyone over 50, who often faces the added burden of being viewed by hiring managers as overpriced, overqualified or out of touch.

How can you set yourself apart from the masses?
To answer that question, I turned to my colleagues in the career advice world — authors, coaches and job-search strategists — and asked for their recommendations. As you’ll soon learn, just making a few small changes in your approach can increase your odds of getting hired.

7 Ways to Get Yourself Noticed

1. Tweak your resumé’s keywords every time you apply for a job. The vast majority of employers use computer-based applicant tracking systems to screen and filter job applications. That’s why it’s essential to include specific keywords and phrases from their job postings on your resumé.

“Smart job seekers stand out by customizing their resumés to reflect the appropriate terms used in the job descriptions — after carefully reading them,” says Susan Joyce of Marlborough, Mass., editor and publisher of Job-Hunt.org and WorkCoachCafe.com, two popular job-advice sites.

By customizing your resumé to fit the job profile, your application is more likely to get through the initial screening process and into the hands of the hiring manager.
For example, if you’re a computer programmer, you might cite your expertise with the particular software programs or programming languages named in the employer’s posting.
Yes, continually tailoring your resumé to the jobs you want takes work and a little time. But that’s the point. If it was easy, everyone would do it.

6. Attend a conference in your industry or the field you want to enter. Conferences provide an easy way to meet valuable contacts who might be able to help you get a job. You can buttonhole them during meals, coffee breaks and on the long lines at the women’s rest room (sorry, guys).

Even if you get to engage with these people for only a few minutes, there will be plenty of time to follow up after the conference is over. (As an added bonus, the information you learn at the conference will help you impress at job interviews.)

One of my career-coaching clients, a stay-at-home mom, used this strategy brilliantly when she wanted to re-enter the IT industry. She went to a tech conference near her home and actively networked during the breaks. The day after the meeting ended, she sent follow-up emails for informational interviews. Six weeks later, she landed a full-time job in her former field.

I realize that traveling to conferences can be expensive. To keep costs down, look for one-day events near your home. You can hunt for them by consulting the website for your industry association or going to EventsinAmerica.com, an online trade show and conference directory.

Tips 2,3,4,5, and 7 and the complete Forbes article

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