May 10, 2016

“Are you working harder or smarter?” This question can be applied towards countless aspects of the professional world, but are you wondering how you can work smarter during your job search? At York Solutions, we’re passionate about helping those in their own job searches, and although there is no one-size-fits-all approach to landing your next role, there are certain things you can do to give yourself a lead in the race. As Vice President of Consulting Services, Tom Parker shared some interesting facts about the job search arena as well as a very powerful tool to utilize: your network!

Originally posted on LinkedIn.

Do you feel like job postings have been around forever? From “Help Wanted” signs outside businesses, the classified sections of newspapers, to postings on websites and social media. Yet you hear countless stories of unhappy job seekers and employers that are disgruntled with the hiring process. Applicants typically never receive any feedback from employers and companies are inundated with applicants who are nowhere close to being qualified for the position. With as much time and money that is put into finding the right candidate, it’s interesting that job postings are still the most common medium for companies to begin their search for talent.  

Let’s start with the facts:

  1. There were 5.4 million job openings at the end of 2015. About 80% of those available jobs were never advertised.
  2. On average, 118 people apply for any given job. (Forbes, 2013)
  3. Many companies use talent-management software to screen resumes, weeding out up to 50% of applications before anyone ever looks at a resume or cover letter. (Forbes, 2013)
  4. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 70% of all jobs are found through networking.
  5. 98% of job seekers are eliminated at the initial resume screening and only the “Top 2%” of candidates make it to the interview”, says Robert Meier, President of Job Market Experts. (Workopolis, 2015

If you’re in the market for a new opportunity then you should ask yourself two questions. What are you doing to get the job postings to start to work in your favor and what are you doing to grow your network? 

If you are submitting your resume to job postings take the time to educate yourself on each company’s hiring process. Are they using a talent management software? If the answer is yes, don’t expect to get an interview unless you have at least a 90% match on your resume. Meaning, about 90% of the keywords that are in the job description are also on your resume. There are a few great services to help you determine how well your resume stacks up, including Jobscan, which offers 5 free scans to try out their software.

Even with the emphasis that is put on the job postings nowadays, employers are more likely to hire someone with the same values, work ethic and experience that “fits” within their organization than take the time to screen resumes. Being that you can’t ever determine someone’s values by viewing their resume, it’s probably in your best interest to use networking to land your next job.

If you have a 70% chance of getting the job through networking then common sense would tell you to start tapping into your professional network to learn more about the companies that you would like to work for. 

  • Get a referral and build your network.
  • Meet someone in the company to learn more about what they do and have them get your resume to the right person.
  • Apply online and make sure that you are tailoring your resume to the specific position using those keywords.
  • Reach out to the hiring manager/ HR directly – mentioning any relevant news you may have heard about the organization and what you can do to help them, rather than just reaching out to inquire about the position.

Whatever you’re doing during your job search, you need to ask yourself the age old question: Are you working smarter or harder? If you’re submitting your resume to companies make sure you truly understand the process and don’t blindly submit. And, while you’re waiting around for a response, get out there and network your way to your next dream job.

What do you find to be most effective when searching for a new role?

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Posted By: Jaclyn Roman

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