Managing Your Job Search: Organization, Diligence Are Key to Winning Spots in Today’s Companies

Twenty years ago, most newcomers to the job market typed out a resume and a stock cover letter, made some copies, and sent them out to prospective employers when a job was advertised.

This process was so ingrained, in fact, that job seekers who sent unsolicited resumes where no job existed were considered quite innovative.

Today, such a passive stab at trying to win a position is unthinkable. Thanks to the Internet, candidates have access to many more available jobs in a day than they’d probably see in a year back in the days when the newspaper want ads were the main method of advertising by employers. In addition, they can send responses to these electronic want ads instantly – which means that you may not just be competing with the other job seekers in your neighborhood.

Candidates could be applying for your dream job from anywhere in the world.

However, with a little bit of effort and organization, there’s no reason that any qualified candidate can’t have a successful job search.

Job boards have been around for some time now, and employers have become very savvy about using them to their best advantage. They utilize keywords that describe the position they are trying to fill to narrow down the list of resumes they’ll view. If your resume doesn’t contain their keywords, including geographical location, it’s unlikely your resume will even make the weed-out pile.

Even with the right keywords, the plain truth is that the sheer volume of resumes an employer may retrieve may be so great that if there’s a qualified candidate whose CV pops up before yours, you may not get an interview.

If you’re looking for an industry-specific job, you might choose to start your search on a niche board that will only advertise positions in your industry. Many niche boards do an excellent job of matching a candidate’s skill set and

professional level to available jobs. By confining your focus on the jobs you actually want, you can spend more time fine-tuning any resume details that need defining.

You might also consider utilizing the services of a recruiter. Recruiters generally work with candidates who have demonstrated a proven track record of success in an industry. They are trying to match open positions in their portfolio to candidates who will be considered valuable to employers. Because they know exactly what they are looking for in a candidate – and because they “pre-market” you to an employer – a recruiter can be an excellent ally in your job search.

Thanks to the Internet, it is incredibly easy for job seekers to network with other professionals in their field. Message boards and networking sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn allow a candidate to develop relationships with peers – which could lead to tips about available positions and professional recommendations. Try utilizing such services as VisualCV, which allows clients to post not only their resumes, but also video and portfolios. By offering you a “front page” on which to post your traditional resume requirements, but providing links to specific components of your experience, sites such as VisualCV give you the effect of a number of custom-tailored resumes with a minimum of effort.

Dave Saunders helps people stand out and "Be the Brand" as a personal branding and marketing specialist. Manage your career online: Create, Enhance and Share a better resume, free at

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