If you are one of the 9.8 million unemployed persons as of April 2021 in the US looking for a job now that businesses are finally beginning to ramp up hiring efforts, you know that you have a lot of competition. Fortunately, the below 5 tips are tried and true and if used in conjunction with the online job search efforts will help you land a job faster in any job market, coming out of a pandemic or otherwise.
1. Utilize Recruitment Agencies and Staffing Companies
Recruitment agencies and Staffing firms work to get you hired at no cost to you. They typically have corporate clients on hand with jobs to fill which means faster interviews. They also work fast to get you hired because they are often competing with other recruiters to fill open positions and they don’t make a commission if their candidates aren’t hired.
Recruitment Agency costs account for 22% of corporate recruitment costs
Employers are spending considerable amounts of money to find qualified candidates through recruitment agencies. Companies are dedicating 52% of their recruitment budgets to external recruiting and job boards and 22% of that is dedicated to recruitment agencies. It’s also common for recruitment agencies to negotiate your salary, and it’s in their best interest to get you a higher salary because their fee is often a percentage of your salary.
Realize that when you interview with a Recruitment Agency, you should interview with the same level of professionalism as you would when interviewing with any employer. When you communicate and interview with a Recruitment Agency, the recruiters are screening you to determine if you are a worthy candidate to pass along to their hiring clients. Remember, with each candidate they pass along, their reputation to produce quality candidates is at stake. If they rank you as a quality candidate and you don’t get the job, they submit you for, they will keep your information on file so for future clients with similar hiring needs.
2. Networking + New Circles = Referrals
Socialize, cultivate friendships, meet new acquaintances, and find out who is hiring, but most importantly who will refer you. Referrals are 5 times more likely to be hired. This is because statistics show that referrals garner the most above-average quality applicants. For this reason, top companies have referral programs and will even pay employees who refer a new hire.
Networking in social groups may lead to referrals Photo by ELEVATE on Pexels
Talk to people, network with professionals or join groups with common hobbies or extracurricular activities you are interested in. There are bound to be professionals among them. Talk to friends, family, social groups, church groups, and if you want to meet new people online, sources for new network circles include Meetup.com and Facebook Groups. Connect and get to know people well enough for a referral because not only are companies statistically more satisfied with referred hires, but they also hire referrals 55% faster.
3. Be Among the First to Apply & Interview
Search jobs online daily and apply quickly. Many jobs hire until they have the right candidate, people who apply early have a better chance because the employer may hire one of the “early birds” before they ever view the later applicants. Many online job boards allow you to filter by most recent job openings so that you can easily spot new listings. Apply early and when you receive requests for interviews accept the earliest time slots possible.
Choosing the earliest interview slots means you get the opportunity to impress an employer before other applicants. Interviewing candidates is usually a time-consuming and grueling process for hiring managers and once they have a favorable candidate, they want to hire them as soon as possible. If they have mentally made a choice on a candidate, they often lose interest and enthusiasm to interview more candidates. By interviewing earlier, you have the opportunity to be that favorable candidate and also stopping an interview with a more favorable candidate who chose a later time slot from outshining you.
4. Follow Instructions
When applying for jobs, read the entire job description and follow the instructions. If phrases like “won’t be considered without a cover letter” or “must include salary expectations” then those items should be included. I know recruiters who have eliminated top qualified candidates because that candidate didn’t bother to read the entire job description and fulfill the application requirements and additional requests.
Some jobs make it clear that candidates without specific qualifications need not apply. If this is the case save yourself the trouble (and embarrassment when they find out that you lack the qualifications) and continue searching for better prospects. Applying for jobs in which you meet most of the necessary qualifications will produce much more responses than applying for jobs for which you barely qualify.
5. Stand Out (In a Good Way)
Find ways to stand out in a manner that is professional and impressive. Research, practice, and invest in yourself so that you stand out amongst the other 250 candidates on average vying for each open position. Opportunities to stand out include Professional Premium Resumes, Cover Letters that showcase your personality and achievements, dynamic LinkedIn profiles, Personal Branding Sites, Social Media presence, and memorable Interviews.
Adversely, you may be standing out in a less favorable light in ways that are not obvious, but hindering employer callbacks. If you have a social media presence that is inappropriate, highly politicized, sexually explicit, shows recreational drug use or biases, recruiters or employers interested in you may be looking and "swiping left". If your resume may have spelling or grammatical issues or may be framed in a way that leads to negative assumptions about your work history, consider getting your resume reviewed by a professional. If you interview and don't know enough about the company culture, the company itself, or the job, don't expect a follow-up call. Get hired faster by standing out in a positive manner.
Taral Flippen is the Founder & Executive Advisor for Resume Consulting Firm at RCFresume.com, an online premium resume and career services firm. As an experienced Executive Resume Writer and Hiring Manager, she now trains and certifies top Resume Writers and Career Advisors.