A successful job search isn’t like the Infomercial that shouts “Fix it and forget it!” You need a tightly integrated strategy that will help you secure a job that you love.

Your Resume? If you are applying for job after job but you aren’t getting interviews, revisit your resume.

Make no mistake, the job market is competitive. To get noticed, you have to build the hiring authority’s confidence in you as a candidate by proving your value.

Action: Review your resume through the eye of the employer. Is your resume targeted (or is it a one-size fits all – general listing of your skills and experience)? Does it align your skills and qualifications with the employer’s needs? Does it demonstrate how you’ve contributed by quantifying your results? If not, update your document now!

Your Cover Letter? Are you utilizing a cover letter? If not, you should be! Your cover letter gives you the opportunity to connect with the employer on a more personal level and it also provides a way to further stand out from your competitors. (Believe me, there are a lot of people who do not take the time to create a cover letter.)

Your cover letter should enhance your résumé, show some of your personality, and explain how your experience directly applies to the position you are applying for.

Action. Use your cover letter as a selling agent that presents you as the candidate for the job, explains why you are interested, and further demonstrates how you can contribute.  Forego stating how you are seeking a new opportunity and use a strong opening that quickly aligns you with the employer’s needs!

Solely Relying on Job Boards. Did you upload your document to an online job board and then start waiting for the phone to ring? There are hundreds of jobs posted online every day and thousands of applicants waiting to be found. This method of job searching is comparable to the one-size fits all resume and makes it harder for you to be found!

Action. Take the time to identify the top companies you are interested in working for. Do you know anyone currently employed with them? If so, reach out by sending a short message or email that lets the individual know you are interested. Sending a note or making one follow-up call will work in your favor. Please avoid contacting the employer again and again (and again!) – multiple calls will work against you.

Lack of Confidence. Being laid off or, quite frankly, fired can hit a person hard and affect their attitude. Be intentional about how you present yourself! Are you projecting negativity, cynicism, or “woe-is-me”?

Action. Find someone to talk to that can help you turn that negativity into positive energy. You have to be able to put the past behind you and present yourself to a prospective employer as “the candidate” for the job. Blaming your last employer isn’t going to help your cause. Unfortunately, we live in an era where downsizing happens on a frequent basis. Focus on your achievements and leave the ‘blame game’ to other candidates.

Errors. Check and double check your documents for errors. They are easy to make and hard to catch as the human eye is trained at reading between the lines. Don’t rely on Spell Check to catch your errors (it won’t flag you wrote Manger instead of Manager!).

Action. Put your document away for a few hours and then read it for errors. Again, BE INTENTIONAL. Make sure every word is correct.

It is natural to think you should paint yourself as an employee who can do many things. Don’t! Take the time to research and pursue opportunities that interest you. Industries, specific companies, jobs.

If I can help in anyway, please let me know.

“Ask me how to write a top-notch resume and break through barriers by infusing your living, breathing success stories into your career communications documents.”

Tammy Shoup, www.breakthroughresumes.com

Positioning VPs and Managers for Jobs They Love! Helping You Beat Your Competitors | Shorten Your Job Search Time | Get Better Job Offers | Experienced. Trusted. 3x Certified