Sometimes the greatest opportunities come from being in the right PLACE at the right TIME. Fortunately for you, getting front page ranking when recruiters look for candidates doesn’t have to be a random event. Technology has tipped the hand of fate and, with a few strategic tweaks, you can make sure that the time and place are ALWAYS right.
Recruiters use EVERY means available to them to find the best people – we’re talking scouring Google (and other search engines!), Twitter, Facebook just to name a few not to mention a live LinkedIn ticker on their desktop. So why wouldn’t YOU use every online tool available to you to get found? Play the game…you CAN get found at just the right time by exactly the right people if you learn a few new tricks.
Here’s how to supercharge your resume’s “search power” in the top 5 ways that REALLY MATTER!!
Titles and Keywords
In the land of job hunting TITLE is King. Everything else you write in the copy serves as your title’s very important but supporting cast. It’s essential to make sure it contains keywords that relate to and support the titles you have chosen and that they ACCURATELY describe who you are and WHAT YOU DO. (I could write an entire post on the importance of knowing what it is that you “do” in all areas of the job search — oh, that’s right…I have! Read more on this here >
The goal of a search engine is to quickly cut through mounds of data and instantly deliver the most relevant results. Whilst titles and keywords have their place, Relevancy is the key point here so make sure the keywords you choose reflect your actual experience. Being relevant in search terms means being delivered as the exact result that was searched for. (I mean, OUR JOB is to find the most relevant candidate for a position. Search is the PERFECT tool to weed through hundreds of resumes.)
If you WANT to be an SVP but your experience is that of a Senior Manager, DON’T pack your resume full of keywords that will put you top of the list for a job you are still 10 years away from being ready for! It’s the quickest way to highlight yourself as someone who’s not right for a job and, possibly, to be dismissed for other opportunities that could lead you to your coveted SVP Title. Time is a recruiter’s most precious commodity so make sure you are worth the time we’ve invested in finding you!
Showing up number one in Google, Yahoo, Bing (for the right reasons) is great. More critical to your job hunt, however, is optimizing your resume for Job Sites like Monster, LinkedIn, Hotjobs and The Ladders. Use these sites well and use them all.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile, post your resume on Monster, Hotjobs, DICE or whatever other site suits your background. I coach candidates to use these sites strategically, to post their resumes at all times even when they aren’t looking for a job. Many jobs posted on Monster are there to comply with certain regulations or have already been filled by the time you apply. Even more likely is that you will get lost amongst the hundreds of other, likely unqualified, people who have applied for the same job. Turn the tables – use the sites pro-actively. Tighten up your resume and post it for the tech savvy recruiters to find. Not looking? Even if you are happily employed right now, there is nothing wrong with a little proactive advertising!
You’ve stood out from the crowd! You’ve been found! Your background looks relevant and recruiters are banging down your door! And that was the easy part… The whole point of getting found is CLOSING THE DEAL. And that is down to skills – interviewing skills that is. Get prepared, get focused, brush up your interview techniques – practice makes perfect!
You have reached celebrity status. And just like Demi Moore, you can’t even go to the grocery store without being talked about…at least online. The majority of hiring managers (and absolutely all recruiters) will dig up anything they can about you before you get a job offer. Your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (doesn’t matter if you don’t use it anymore) and even forums you have participated in are ALL fair game. Your personal life simply isn’t personal anymore and the “digital you,” that dressed-too-sexy, picture-loving, partying trollop will destroy your career if you don’t take control. Here are three important rules to giving good Google and getting a handle on how you look to potential employers online.
1. Tighten Up Your Personal Branding
Who do they want you to be when they find you online? One thing is for sure: They don’t want to see a cell phone pic of their potential candidate getting sloppy en route to an after party. I mean, come on…this is easy stuff. Would you hire you based on what you can find in a Google search? What are you about? Respectable, responsible, someone who has gotten press for their accolades…this sort of online rep can only help you get hired. Put positive stuff out there and delete all the rest.
2. Privacy For Dummies
Unless you are on reality TV, a huge star, or got in the news for being an actual criminal, most online content about you is 100% under your control. First, make sure any online profiles that are strictly personal are set to the most private settings. Even then, don’t feel comfortable about posting what a psychotic bugger your last boss was. Anything you ever post can easily be captured in a screenshot and sent to just the wrong person. Do you think Perez Hilton simply forgets when Kim Kardashian ***deletes*** that nasty post? NO, he takes a picture and re-posts it to the world. Your best defense is always to keep your nose clean in the first place no matter how private you think things are.
3. Put Yourself Out There Before Anyone Else Can
Having profiles online is not necessarily a bad thing…think of managing the “online you” like managing your credit score. Positive profiles can help counteract any minor oopsies. LinkedIn is like the credit card you have paid on time for 10 years – a great tactic for boosting your professional credit. LinkedIn walks you through posting your “elevator pitch,” resume/experience, and even recommendations from professional contacts. It is free to post a profile so there’s absolutely no excuse not to use it. Plus, it will likely come up on the first page when someone Googles your name and push out older online entries like the cocktail they named after you in college.
Remember, the HR-azzi is always looking for a juicy story and, honestly, reasons why they SHOULDN’T hire you in the first place. Trust me. Take charge of your online reputation or someone else will.