Optimize your job search and get noticed

Are you making the most of your job search efforts? Job seekers commonly spend a disproportionate amount of time in front of a computer screen hoping to find the perfect job – often with little or no success.

If you go through the usual application process, it is likely that your resume will be screened by a computer programmed to search for key words, not to connect dots or translate your experience from another employer or industry. If it does not find what it is looking for, you do not get an interview.

You can optimize your search efforts by using keywords and phrases that will increase your chances of getting noticed. Take note of the language used in the job description and add the required competencies to bolster your resume. Develop accomplishments that include those words and match your qualifications to the employer’s requirements.

Sell it. Internet job postings receive a high volume of applications from qualified candidates. To optimize your chances of standing out in an increasingly crowded job market, use your resume to demonstrate your potential through value-based accomplishments. Instead of listing job duties and responsibilities, focus on challenges you have managed and targets you have reached. Past experience is a powerful predictor of future success.

Humanize the process. In other words, spend less time on the computer and more time engaging with people who might take an interest in you and what you have to offer. It may be helpful to get to know people who are doing things that interest you. Help them help you by letting them know who you are and what you want. Ask your contacts for information and advice. To find the right people, utilize your already developed network – a warm contact or referral is almost always an easier ask.

Take a targeted approach. Avoid wasting valuable time applying for every job opening you see. Put your time and effort into focusing on the jobs you really want and for which you are qualified.

Looking for more? Check out our website for further supports, resources and opportunities to connect with alumni. Western Alumni Career Management.