In today’s job market, the first thing many job seekers do is start searching Indeed for a job. Some of these jobs are posted by corporate recruiters or HR staff making internal hires, but a significant percentage are posted by independent recruiters seeking candidates for the employers they represent. I recently asked a group of independent recruiters what a job seeker should do before going to Indeed and applying for jobs. Here are the results of those conversations:
- Update Your Resume/CV – Make sure it accurately captures your recent work experience, has been triple-checked for grammar and spelling, and is truthful and accurate regarding all time periods and employers.
- Resume/CV Properly Formatted – Make sure you have a document that is parser-friendly. You will be parsing your resume into many applications and sites. It needs to have special formatting, characters and special fonts removed. Get a copy on DropBox or other easily accessible services so you can apply on the go.
- Self-Assess – Know your strengths and weaknesses, understand your performance and capabilities relative to all employees in your field, and be honest with yourself. Soul searching needs to be done before the search, not at the time of an offer.
- Clean up Social Media – Google yourself and see what others will see. Do what you can to reduce or remove less-than-flattering content.
- Know Location Preferences – If your search will include relocation, discuss this with family, friends and any significant relationships in your life. Now is the time to find out your partner will never move to Texas, or China is out of the question for a relocation. Independents working on global recruitment services will need to know you have a clear path to jobs overseas.
- Reason for Leaving – Be prepared to answer many routine questions, but few are more important than why you are interested in a change. Your answer to this question will be key to your candidacy with many independent recruitment services.
- Target Appropriately – Maybe you want to be the CEO; do not waste time applying for jobs outside your level of PROVEN experience. Baristas do not become nuclear engineers without a few steps in between. Be realistic and use your time wisely.
- Prepare a Cover Letter – Be ready to have a targeted cover letter describing your skill match and fit for each job you apply to. A generic letter will not do. Be ready to document your reason for making a job change.
- Build a Support Network – Find your fans and supporters to encourage you. Treat anyone that is supporting you — recruiters, HR, administrators — with respect. This support team needs to see your appreciation and respect.
Do these things before searching Indeed for a job. I welcome your thoughts on things I have missed.