5 Dirty Little Job Search Secrets Print E-mail

by Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC

Do you feel as though you have followed all the career advice you can find, but still aren’t getting the job? The dirty little secret about job searches is that there isn’t any template guaranteed to work for everyone! Just like tailoring your resume for specific positions, you must also individualize various aspects of your career search in order to be successful.

1) One size does not fit all.

No matter the latest job search trend, if you follow it without making it fit your experience and goals you are likely to fail. Nothing will protect you from every bias of the hiring manager nor get you the job when an internal candidate is already slated for the position. Don’t delude yourself into believing there is something wrong with you because the strategies don’t work. Seek out the advice of a recruiter or trusted colleague to objectively review your resume and help you remove old experience and irrelevant descriptions that may be hurting your chances. Use a broad combination of networking, traditional, and online strategies to improve your odds of landing a job.

2) The interview is not all about you.

Despite the fact that most career advice encourages you to practice responses to expected questions, that preparation may not benefit you in the interview. Instead, a shift in your mindset may be your greatest asset in improving your odds of performing well during the interview. The best way to make a positive impression during the interview is to demonstrate your clear ability to solve problems for the company and the hiring manager. Do your homework and determine the major obstacles the person in your targeted position needs to solve and take your plan to the interview to show that you are the one candidate who can make a difference!

3) Your resume does not need to be one page.

If you feel compelled to keep your resume to one page, you could be sabotaging yourself. For most candidates it is unrealistic to think you can present yourself well in such limited space. Hiring managers want to get an idea of your accomplishments and the challenges you faced when you solved problems in previous positions. Don’t sell yourself short by overlooking this sabotaging secret!
You can also augment your resume by including important details in your online presence. Be certain to include accomplishments on your website or in social media profiles. Links can be included in your cover letter or resume.

4) Personal biases can affect hiring decisions.

Although there are laws against discrimination, personal biases often cloud the judgment of even the most objective hiring managers. Simply by being aware that your extensive work history may make you vulnerable to ageism can help stack the odds in your favor. Reviewing hiring trends of major companies in their online profiles may also give you a better understanding of the workplace dynamics that may work for you or against you. Something as seemingly benign as your undergraduate alma mater or a service fraternity may uncover a hidden bias as well. Be prepared to emphasize your accomplishments to avoid the impact of this dirty little secret.

5) Applying everywhere does not increase your chances of getting hired.

If you post your resume online to every position you can find, you are likely to earn a reputation as someone who is either not serious or too desperate in the job search. This information travels quickly to hiring managers and companies with openings. Target your job search so that it aligns closely with your experiences and accomplishments to avoid this negative perception. Carefully research openings and target those for which your experience is a good match. Think about what problems your experience and talent can solve for the company.

Increase your odds of getting a job by being aware of dirty little secrets in the search that may sabotage all your hard efforts. Not all advice will fit for you. But you can step ahead of the competition by sifting through the advice to apply what works best for you.