A set of statistics compiled by glassdoor for employers indicate that an average of 250 resumes are submitted for every corporate job opening in the US. Jacquelyn Smith of forbes.com put the figure at 118 for any given job. The glassdoor's statistics further revealed that only 4 to 6 of the 250 people will get a call for an interview.With the increase in population in most country and the rise in the number of graduates every year, it is safe to say the competition for any entry level job will continue to get stiffer.
As a result of above, HR managers now seek for more than the right set of skills in filling a vacant position. Asides skills and qualifications required for a job, the recruiters tend to focus more in identifying candidate that culturally fits into their company culture. Thus, to stand out among the crowd, there are couple of tricks a job seeker need to learn and implement in job search effort. Here are 5 tested tricks a candidate could use to beat competition in their job hunting quest.
1. Smart Resume Building
If there is one thing about your job search you cannot afford to mess up, it is your resume. Your resume is your selling point, it is simply your life on a piece of paper. Since it will determine if you will get called for an interview or not, utmost care needs to be taken to avoid blunders that can undermine your job search effort. Remember, the HR has less than 6 seconds to spend on your resume, thus, you want to make it count. Here are some key points to note in crafting a captivating resume that will make the HR glued to your resume and increase your chance for an interview.
- Use a headline and summary that showcase your success/accomplishment etc.
- Flaunt your skills and achievement, make them glaring. If possible have a list of top achievements in your previous employments
- Quantify/Monetize your work achievements. HR are generally attracted towards this.
- Make sure your resume is littered with important/relevant keywords. Remember, over 75% of resumes are discarded by the ATS.
- Improve the resume's "skimmability". Not only HR are guilty of skimming through documents, most of us prefer skimming than reading. Thus, make it easy for the HR to locate important information from the resume.
- Try to have a customized resume design. Aside tailoring the content and keywords of your resume to the particular job, having a unique design for your resumes is another way to increase your chance. By organizing your resume in a unique way, you are communicating innovation and out of box thinking to your prospective employer. I have seen many candidates using customized resume templates in order to increase their chance of getting interview. You could give it a try as well.
2. Volunteering Work
The art of volunteering is one of the strategies job seekers could employ to position themselves for better chances in the job hunting process. A study compiled by Helene Jorgersen of Center for Economic and Policy Research revealed that people that volunteered between 20 and 100 hours in the year had roughly 7% more chance to be employed by the following year, compared to those that did not volunteer. Volunteering while you are still jobless is a great way of increasing your chance of getting hired amidst the competition in the job market.
3. Your Contact in The Target Company
This is where the professional networking comes in. LinkedIn's 2015 recruitment trend showed that out of 4,125 hiring decisions spread across 14 different companies, referral was the main source of quality hires. Thus, to stay ahead of competition, job seekers needs to establish a strong professional contact in their target company. Contact of staffs could be gotten via LinkedIn or Twitter or even friends. This inside contact could play a big role in keeping the candidate informed of job opening and also following up on the application process. Hiring managers are scared of mistakes because A bad hire could ruin their reputation. As a result, they rarely turn down referrals from reputable staff. Use this to your advantage in getting ahead of the competition.
4. Your Professional Network
One the facts revealed in an article published by Esther Cruz on Linkedin last year is that social professional network is the number one source of quality hires in the US. Over the past 4 years, professional network, majorly LinkedIn, has become the top source of quality hires. The study further revealed that almost half of the companies in the US (46%) site social professional network as one of the most important sources of their quality hire, followed closely by employer referrals (44%). While you could be limited to just 2 pages on your resume and might have to leave out some crucial points about yourself, LinkedIn differs. You have the opportunity to talk about everything relevant about your work life. This kind of information could give you an edge in the job hiring process, as HR manager tend to visit the LinkedIn profile of any serious candidate.
5. Your Public Professional Profile
Fine tune your public professional profile to the taste of the job you want. Your facebook page, twitter account, and especially, your LinkedIn profile are open to the public. So, fine tune and develop them in a way that properly represent your personality. Some applicants even go further to pimp up their profile with the development of personal website. There are many free web software, like WordPress, that anyone can use to create a beautiful website or blog. Likewise, there are many professionals on freelance website, like fiverr, that could help you set up personal website with low budget. The technological advancement of the 21st century as level the playing ground in such a way that almost anyone could have a personal website ruining within few days at low or even zero cost. You could even go ahead to make such website optimized for some of the keywords that are relevant to your target industry. Contact any local SEO company in your areas for help or guidance, you will be surprised at the kind of services they might be willing to render for a job seeker like you for free.
With thousands of job-seekers applying for only few positions that are advertised, the job search competition can be overwhelming. To win the competition, it is important you conduct your job search effort like a marketing campaign. The tricks mentioned above may help you stand out from the competition.