1. Reconsider a cover letter
In order to understand how best to appeal to employers, one must understand the current recruiting system. Resumes, cover letters and portfolios are collected from jobseekers and passed on to recruiters.
The recruiter then reviews the resumes, interviews the candidates, and passes both the resumes, along with any additional information, to the hiring manager. In short, the recruiter will be doing the work of your cover letter — selling you and your experience to the hiring manager.
Instead of a cover letter, include your selling points throughout your resume. Here is how you can do so:
- Create a list featuring your accolades: If you’re worried about sacrificing resume space, don’t be! One way to feature your accomplishments is to include it together with your experience.
- Use a career portfolio instead: A portfolio is not reserved for creative and artistic roles. It can also be used to showcase the different projects, skills and accomplishments you’ve accumulated throughout the years. Think of your portfolio as a way to prove your skills.
- Write a winning elevator pitch instead: Did you know that an average recruiter takes less than eight seconds to decide if your resume has potential? Now think of one standout accomplishment or skill that you feel will be a great selling point (e.g. I am always looking to learn new skills). Use this to pitch yourself on your resume.
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2. Treat your LinkedIn page like a resume
Social media is an important part of your job search. Recruiters are known to trawl through various forms of social media such as LinkedIn to find candidates to fill open roles. Much like other forms of social media, the most important aspect of your LinkedIn page would be the profile page. It’s the page that attracts recruiters and connections.
Don’t have a LinkedIn page yet? Follow these tips to help improve your LinkedIn page:
- Include your current and ideal job titles in your LinkedIn header: Sure, many individuals tend to treat their LinkedIn profile like they would a resume. But what most users fail to do is to include keywords that recruiters can use to find them. So, think of the job you’d like and include the keywords in your LinkedIn header (e.g. use keywords such as ‘marketing’ and ‘digital marketer’ in your header).
- Put a face to it: Don’t be anonymous, upload a professional picture of yourself! Put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter – you spend so much time sifting through profiles for the ideal candidate, it can be easy to forget whom each profile was attached to. A good resolution picture of yourself reminds an exhausted recruiter of who you are and what your personal brand is.
- Find a way to express your passions on LinkedIn: What are some things that you’re passionate about? Do you enjoy coming up with interesting app ideas? Or do you spend your free time graphic designing or volunteering for a cause?
Include a short write up highlighting your passions and the steps you’ve taken to pursue them. Even linking your portfolio to your LinkedIn profile can help you stand out from the crowd. But don’t stop there! Keep your profile updated by sharing posts, articles or even your general thoughts with your connections.
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3. Befriend recruiters
Networking is perhaps the best thing anyone can do to excel at their job hunt. However, instead of solely networking with people from your industry, befriending recruiters can also be beneficial.
Think of recruiters as gatekeepers of talent for companies. Their knowledge and insights can influence a company or hiring manager’s decision. In short, a recruiter who believes in your abilities, experience and talent can convince a company to hire you.
Here are some ways to cultivate a closer relationship with a recruiter:
- Set your expectations: Before you start connecting with recruiters from companies like Meta and Google, it’s best to set realistic expectations. What are some smaller companies that can help you get your foot in the door to your dream job or industry? Identify those companies and which social media platforms their recruiters tend to use.
- Connect with in-house recruiters: Found your ideal job or company? Identify the company’s in-house recruiter and introduce yourself to them. Alternatively, ask your colleagues or friends to introduce you to recruiters they’ve networked with.
- Connect with agency recruiters: If you’re unsure of your next career move, we recommend connecting with agency-based recruiters. Unlike in-house recruiters, agency recruiters source candidates for multiple companies. Additionally, agency recruiters are more inclined to fill roles quickly compared to in-house recruiters.
However, there are some similarities too. Just like in-house recruiters, good agency recruiters spend their time gaining industry insights. As such, the best way to connect with them would be to share some valuable industry updates and information with them. You can find out more about befriending recruiters here.
- Maintain the relationship: Now that you’ve captured the attention of a recruiter, here comes the tough part – maintaining the relationship with the recruiter. Some ways to do it would be to engage with their social media posts – share relevant articles with them, or offer to exchange your insider knowledge with them!
Of course, these are just three different ways candidates can speed up their job-hunting process. Candidates should also remember that having a good resume and practicing their interviews beforehand will be helpful in their job search.
This article is contributed by BGC Group.