If you’re struggling to find opportunities in a tight market or if you’re looking to get out of a dead end career, there are ways to get a better job fast.
You do not have to reinvent the wheel; a resume, an online profile and other credentials remain the standard qualifications to land a good job. You just need to find ways to stand out among others looking to land the same job as you.
Here are 8 ways to get a better job fast:
1. Create a Compelling Resume
Recruiters go through several resume every day. They’ve learned the art of scanning resumes for important keywords and know which ones are worth a job interview.
If your resume does not generate interest within the first 10 seconds, yours could be headed into the filing section.
Given the short window of opportunity your resume has for being noticed, you have to put in more time and thought to make it compelling. Here are some tips:
Structure. Make sure your resume is easy to read. Use good-sized fonts that are popular to recruiters. These include Calibri, Arial and Times New Roman. Font size 12 to 14 would be highly readable.
Recruiters scan the following information in this order:
- Personal Information – Name, address, e-mail, LinkedIn address.
- Work Experience – In chronological order starting from latest employment.
- Educational Attainment – Start with your highest educational attainment.
If you have an online profile, this has to be updated to match your resume.
Content. Within the first 6 seconds, the recruiter would expect to get an idea of what you can do for the company, how you can contribute to the department and why they should hire you.
Many recruiters will go straight into your work experience and find out what you have done with your current or latest employment. Make sure you get the important details written down. Be as specific as you possibly can; cite figures, dates and statistics if possible.
Creativity. There are websites that provide services to enhance the look of your resume and online profile. These include the following:
You don’t have to produce an extravagant looking resume which may detract focus from its content.
You can make one that will stand out but still maintain a professional look. The recruiter will appreciate the extra effort spent in designing your resume.Further Reading: Top 9 Resume Builders
2. Fine-Tune Your Resume
Put more thought into your content. Try to stay away from clichés and standard phrases such as “motivated”, “tasked”, “hard working” and “references available upon request”.
It may help your case to do a bit of keyword research to get an idea of the best words or phrases to use.
Take the time to continually review your resume from top to bottom. Ask a friend, associate or trusted consultant to give it an honest look. You can even check some resume samples for your job position and make your resume stand out.
Finally, run your resume through RezScore to see what else you may need to do to make it stand out.
3. Narrow Down Your Job Search
If you don’t know what type of job you want, how would you know what you are looking for?
There are online sites that can help you narrow down your job search by matching your profile with companies looking for similar skills and qualifications. These include:
All you need to do is complete your online profile with these sites and they will do the rest. These websites also have companies that utilize these services to look for potential talent.
Once your profile has received interest from a prospective employer, you will receive an e-mail from the website advising on next steps. Chances are you will get different offers from companies across varied industries. It will give you the opportunity to assess which job appeals to you the most.
4. Focus on the Company Instead of the Job
Another way to approach the job market is to look for a company that you wish to work for. Getting the ideal job isn’t always finding an opportunity that fits your passion.
Often it is a matter of finding an employer that provides the best culture for work and productivity. When you work for a company that encourages a productive work environment, it will inspire you to become better.
A good way to learn about company culture is to visit Glassdoor. This is a website where community members are more than willing to share their experiences with previous employers.
You may even get insights on salary rates, compensation and benefit packages.
5. Learn to Spin Your Experience
What if you wanted to apply for a job as Customer Support Officer in a telecommunications company but your previous job was as a Team Leader in a fast food restaurant?
The jobs are in widely diverse industries and your experience as Team Leader may not be relevant. But there is the commonality of extending support to customers.
You could focus on this in your resume and highlight how you were able to improve customer experience for patrons of the restaurant. Include programs that you conceptualized and implemented and cite the gains generated by the restaurant.
Spinning is not lying; it is a way to finding a common thread which you can capitalize on and connect with your current experience.
6. Look Professional
Even in job interviews, first impressions do matter. The first contact with a recruiter will be visual. How you look and present yourself will instantly formulate impressions to the recruiter.
The best way to view dressing up for the interview is to dress for the part. If you are applying for a managerial position, a business suit would be appropriate.
If it is an entry level position, dress shirt and tie for men and a blazer with pantsuit for women would suffice.
7. Watch Your Body Language
More powerful than how you dress is how you are perceived in the interview.
Recruiters are highly experienced in reading body language. From the moment you walk in, a recruiter can formulate expectations on your personality and attitude.
The first thing you need to do is to greet your interviewer with a warm smile followed by a firm handshake. A smile always breaks down walls and helps ease tension in the interview. A firm handshake is a sign of confidence.
When you are seated, keep a straight and strong posture and maintain eye contact. Avoid fidgeting and other nervous gestures as recruiters can easily spot these and view them as lack of confidence.
8. Prepare for the Job Interview
Everything that you have done and worked for at this point will be meaningless if you did not take time to prepare for the job interview.
The biggest mistake applicants make is overlooking the importance of rehearsing for the interview. It is a fundamental mistake that could cost you the job you’ve always wanted.
Here are tips on how to prepare for the job interview:
- Research on the most frequently asked job interview questions. The more questions you can compile the better.
- Find out the best ways to answer these frequently asked questions. Do not memorize; instead understand the context and apply to your own experiences.
- Practice your answers as often as possible. A good exercise is to look into the mirror so you can see cues that your facial expressions may give away. Another is to record your answers and play them back. Honestly assess if you sounded nervous or unsure.
- Ask a friend to role play as the interviewer and to go through the list of questions.
- Review your resume and make sure you know all the details that you had written on it.
The bottom-line is to be confident during the interview. All your statements must come out sincere and natural.
Finally, show up at least 20 minutes ahead your scheduled interview. It will give you enough time to review your notes and do a quick run-through of the interview answers.
It may sound like you need to do too much to get a better job fast. Keep in mind that what you do from the time your resume has been accepted, reviewed and qualified to your interview may determine your career for the next few years.
It will certainly be time well-spent.