Individuals, even accomplished business professionals, often wonder why they may never hear anything back after sending out a cover letter and resume for a seemingly ideal position for their skills. There are recruiters who admit that they only respond to 30 percent of applicants. The odds
are good you’ll be in the considerable majority who hears nothing a lot of the time. But why is this? Is it your application not up to par? Is their hiring policies putting you at a disadvantage? Is it just a part of the hiring process that you must accept? The answer is not always cut and dry. For some individuals, they are not as qualified as they believe they are. For others, outside factors may be in play. No matter the unique circumstances, however, don’t take this personally. Instead, take this as an opportunity to refine your job searching skills and better prepare your candidacy. Consider these key aspects that may be holding back your professional prospects, and put measures into place to become one of the select few who excel in the executive job market.
Inefficient resumes It is natural to want your resume to stand out from the pack. You might think that using a distinctive formatting style will help you achieve this quality. However, this could actually be impeding your prospects instead. Automated programs don’t care if your resume is more visually appealing. All these programs care about are keywords and “scanability”. Therefore, make your documents focus on consistency in formatting. It is also important to remember to structure application documents that are customized to the individual position. Job postings are filled with keywords specific to the skills and attributes that each organization is seeking in its applicants. A close read of the job description is a necessity to keyword optimize your resume and cover letter. Also keep in mind that if the job description lists keywords in a particular order, use the same order in your documents.
Timing does matter No matter how high-end a position’s qualifications are, there will still be hundreds of applicants. If an organization receives 300 resumes for one position, and yours was the 297th to be received, the odds will not be in your favour that someone of a similar quality is not identified first.
Being early with your resume or application does matter. To avoid such a timing disadvantage, it is vital to improve your job-hunting research. Have an idea about which companies you want to work for and which organizations you sense a cultural fit. Once these groups are identified, scour their job openings every morning. Doing so will enable you to jump on any positions as soon as they are available. Further, check back often in the first few days to make sure the posting hasn’t changed. Often a company will post a job and halfway through the process change the job responsibilities and qualifications.
Recruiters need to notice you The personal touch can still make the difference, even in the world of technology and automation. However, catching the eye of recruiters and hiring managers is not as simple as having a profile on LinkedIn. It requires putting in some extra effort to go above and beyond. Consider some of the following methods to become noticed:
Do your research on social media Find out who the recruiters and hiring managers in your industry and niche are. Follow them on social media. Many will post about new openings, so watch their streams and jump on anything for which you are qualified. And if they post news/commentary saying the company has had a great quarter, re-post the news with a positive comment. Use previous connections Personal referrals to a recruiter via colleagues, business associates, or former classmates who have existing relationships with the individual are always preferable. Use every tool at your disposal to succeed. However, it is also important to differentiate yourself from your peer referrer. After all, if the recruiter already has developed a relationship with this individual and they have a virtual identical background, what benefit is there to pursue you instead?
Demonstrate expertise Use social media to establish your credentials as an expert in your discipline. One of the ways to accomplish this is by creating a blog that centers on your professional interests and areas of knowledge. The goal here is to write something that will get read by the right people- in this case recruiters. Make sure that you are credited with your name, title and organization at the end of your literature; this will make it simple for the recruiter to look you up for future reference. Make sure you’re ready to to take your career to the next level and succeed. Sign up to the CI Executive Career Management program and get access to a Career Coach to guide and coach you through your executive career journey. Also don’t forget to keep a lookout for the top roles that become available in emerging markets.