I’ve shared hundreds of tips on LinkedIn based on my experience as a recruiter, and was even named a LinkedIn Top Voice for it.
This article is a compilation of my best job hunting tips and advice, taken from my posts that have received the most positive feedback from job seekers and other career experts.
If you read this entire article, you’re going to know a wide range of great job search tips and techniques that most other job seekers don’t know.
These aren’t just cookie-cutter tips. My goal here is to share unique, modern online job searching tips that can be difference-makers in your job hunt and career… whether you’re a student, new graduate, manager, or executive.
Let’s get started…
1. Where Employers and Recruiters Look First on Your Resume
Let’s start with some important resume advice for job seekers…
The first two places a recruiter looks on your resume:
It’s not skills. It’s not education… unless it’s 100% required for a job.
But otherwise… recruiters look at these two areas:
1. Your career intro/summary
This tells me who you are as a professional and some of your key accomplishments, all at a quick glance. It’s very useful for hiring managers and recruiters, and therefore one of the first places they’ll look.
To help you write a good summary, I have 10 examples contributed by various career experts (including professional resume writers) here.
2. Your most recent work history
This is the next place I’m looking as a recruiter, and it’s where I’ll judge whether you’re a fit for the job you’ve applied for.
Make sure this appears on the top half of page 1. Don’t make employers go “digging” for it.
For 3 examples of real resume work history sections that got job interviews, go here.
2. Nine Ways Your Resume Looks Outdated
1. You’ve listed a home address
2. You have an objective or statement of purpose
3. The template is text-heavy
4. There are too many stylistic embellishments
5. You included references on your resume or wrote “references available upon request”
6. You list basic skills like Microsoft Word
7. You have inconsistent formatting, which suggestions you’ve added bits and pieces over time but haven’t created a new resume in many years
8. You share personal details like marital status, hobbies, etc.
9. Your resume is too long – it should really be a highlight reel, not a list of everything you’ve ever done (Further reading: How many pages should a resume be?)
3. Your Resume Isn’t About You…
It’s about the employer.
When a hiring manager reads your resume, they’re thinking one thing:
“Does this person have the background needed to step into this job and succeed?”
They’ll decide the rest (like whether you’re a good cultural fit) in the interview.
When you realize that they’re thinking all about their job, and write your resume with the single goal of demonstrating how you’ll fit into that job, then you’ll have a resume that’s in the top 5-10% of all applicants.
And yes – if you go apply for a different type of job tomorrow, you should adjust your resume for that, too.
Tailoring your resume does take a bit more time, but it’ll get you far more interviews.
If you’ve only been sending out applications with a general resume, please give this a try.
It should help you immediately.
Applying for a high number of jobs doesn’t mean you’re being productive.
It’s all about getting interviews. This is how to get more.
4. Numbers and Data Are Key to Grabbing Employer Attention
Adding numbers and data to your resume:
You probably don’t have a great resume if it has no numbers/data.
It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in.
If you’re a content editor for a publishing company you can say, “Edited and published 20+ articles per month for the company blog, read by 200,000+ monthly readers”.
If you’re an admin assistant you can say, “Assistant to the VP of Finance, who oversaw a 20-person team responsible for $19MM in annual revenue”.
I could go on and on with examples, but you’ll need to find the metrics that work for you.
My point is: They’re out there. They exist.
This is NOT just for people in sales.
Every single person with any work experience whatsoever should have numbers on their resume.
Here’s one last example, that I could have put on my own resume, from my first job as a cashier at Whole Foods Market:
“Served 100+ customers per day, handling thousands of dollars in cash with 99%+ accuracy”.
Anyone can do this. Everyone should do this. If you’re a recent graduate, then find numbers and accomplishments from your internships or even academic work. Did you lead any projects? Give any presentations? What did you do? That’s your work experience if you have no work experience!