Whether you’re launching into a new career or you’re on the job search after years of steady employment with the same company, putting yourself out there with the hopes of landing your ideal position at the right organization is tough. It takes patience and effort.
Everyone’s job search experience is unique, depending on the field you’re in, your network, your experience, and how much time you have to dedicate to the job hunt.
Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that from April 2021 to August 2021 the majority of unemployed people took four to seven months to find employment.
Fortunately, there are simple ways that you can improve your employability, stand out from other candidates, and accelerate the process of acquiring a new and exciting job.
1. Get Active on LinkedIn
According to Forbes, 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to search for job candidates! LinkedIn works as your online resume and portfolio to demonstrate your education and work achievements to peers and interested recruiters.
Recruiters may locate your profile as a search result when they’re looking to fill a position or they may use your LinkedIn profile to learn more about you for a position that you’ve already applied to.
We’ve listed some tips to optimize your profile, start getting noticed, and present yourself as hireable in the eyes of recruiters.
Your Profile Picture
Attaching a photo of yourself improves your connection with the people in your network and adds credibility.
Select the right LinkedIn profile picture with the following criteria:
- Choose a quality photo with a solid, neutral background color and natural light
- Avoid low-resolution, out-of-focus, and dark photos
- Make sure you’re the only person in the picture
- Use a recent photo
LinkedIn provides space for a banner image on your profile. More than a picture, this is a space to express and promote yourself, whether it be about your education, interests, or specialty.
Writing and sharing articles on LinkedIn is an excellent way to appeal to recruiters and connect with people with similar interests.
Sharing your thoughts and writing your own posts demonstrates a degree of expertise in your field. It can open interesting conversations with like-minded peers and serve as a means of networking and finding out about industry events.
It’s important to keep it professional at all times and avoid controversial or polarizing topics that wouldn’t be appropriate for a work environment.
Your Keywords and Statistics
Although writing a profile that’s creative can help you stand out, it’s important to remember that clear is better than clever. In your profile and posts, you will want to use the vocabulary that’s common in your field.
By using the keywords relevant to your job search in your profile, you make it easier for recruiters to find your profile when they search for potential candidates for a related position. You can use the LinkedIn search bar as well as a keyword research tool to help you decide which terms are more commonly sought.
If you have metrics that can strengthen your profile, put them to work. Statistics are a quantitative way to show hiring managers how well you’ve done in previous roles. Some examples of ways to use statistics in your profile are, “reduced recruitment costs by XX%” or “increased efficiency by X hours per week”.
2. Keep Your CV Fresh
Your CV should be a living record of your experience that you update regularly. The need for an updated CV can arise when you least expect it. You’ll be happy you’ve added to it over time instead of trying to backtrack and remember all of your accomplishments.
Whether you’ve recently completed a training course, taken on more responsibilities in your role, or received an award for outstanding work, it’s always important to showcase those skills and experiences in your CV.
Remember that a CV is not one size fits all. Your CV will need to be adjusted according to the specific job description.
3. Start Networking
Jobvite's 2019 Job Seeker Survey indicates that job boards, career sites, and social media are the most popular places for employers to post job positions. But nearly half of applicants actually hear about jobs via word of mouth from friends and 37% from their professional networks.
This tells us that finding a job isn't just about what you know and where you look, it's also about who you know, ie your network.
If there's a particular industry or role you are interested in, broaden your network by connecting with professionals in that field.
For example, if you're curious about finance roles in the sports industry, search for finance professionals in the sports industry on LinkedIn and follow them to observe what they do. Gain their insight from their posts, articles, and suggested readings. Comment on their posts with your perspective and dare to reach out to them with questions you might have. Odds are they will post about webinars and conferences in the industry where you can further widen your network.
4. Develop a Growth Mindset
A growth mindset is a tool that you can use to develop positive habits and behaviors that can lead to success and career advancement.
A growth mindset allows you to become more curious and open to learning from your experiences and mistakes, which is essential in coping with change and thriving in today's ever-changing business environment.
A growth mindset also entails continual self-improvement whether developing soft skills, such as communication or collaboration, or taking courses in different topics that interest you. Your interest in personal growth will help you stand out as a candidate when applying for a position.
5. Prepare for the Interview
You often only have one chance to interview and prove yourself as a prospective candidate. Preparation helps to calm any nervous feelings and remember your key points.
Research Your Target Employer
You need to know about the organization before the interview: the industry it operates in, the services or products it offers, etc.
Go through the organization’s website and social media platforms: read its annual reports, editorials, future goals, etc.
Prepare Responses to Potential Questions
When you’ve finished your research, it’s time to prepare your responses to common interview questions. Prepare your responses to questions about your experience, strengths, goals, conflict resolution, etc.
This preparation can help you remember to communicate the most important information you want the interviewer to know about you as a candidate.
Create a Narrative
You should never underestimate the power of a good story. Creating a narrative that showcases your skills is an effective way to engage your interviewer.
Practice talking about your career experiences, highlighting your skills, and articulating your plans for the future in a concise and emotionally engaging way. When the listener is interested (and when what you have to say is interesting) they are more likely to remember what you've said, helping you stand out from the other applicants.
- With 95% of recruiters now using LinkedIn, it’s important to optimize your LinkedIn profile for success: A clear headshot, a personalized banner, regular engagement, and industry-specific keywords. LinkedIn is also a great place to begin professional networking.
- Update your resume regularly instead of putting it off for when you’re job searching. An easy way to keep track of your accomplishments online is to update your LinkedIn profile with each new course, award, or new responsibility in your role.
- A growth mindset is a powerful tool that leads to self-improvement. It helps you learn from mistakes and develop new skills. It’s also a highly sought-after quality in candidates.
- Never go into an interview unprepared. Research the company where you’re interviewing, prepare your responses to common interview questions, and practice relating your job experience and goals as a narrative.
About Encora Jobs: Come Grow with Us
To further develop your soft and hard skills to improve your employability, visit Encora’s Talent Hub. The Talent Hub is a public education platform and resource library for tech professionals at any stage in your career. Our mission is to provide virtual learning with industry specialists.
When you’re ready to apply, Encora’s department of People & Culture is prepared to help you engineer your ideal career! Visit us at Encora Jobs. More than a job portal, Encora Jobs is an online platform designed to give you an insider look at Encora’s people and culture. Get to know the benefits, growth opportunities, and environment before you even apply.