If you are searching for a job, you’ve probably read a few articles offering tips on job hunting best practices.
And while much of what you read was likely helpful, you may have also noticed that a lot of the advice was a little repetitive.
Rather than provide more general job search advice, we thought it might be helpful for you to know some of the lesser known employment search realities.
Adding this to what you already know – or have learned – about looking for work can help increase your chances of getting your dream job.
Here’s what you may not realize about the job hunt:
- Soft skills are important.
- Your resume may not be seen by a person.
- Your job search might take time.
- Social media matters.
- Networking gives you a strong advantage.
In this article, we’ll break down each of these points, why they matter, and how they impact your job search.
3 things people never tell you about looking for work
1. Soft skills are important.
We all know that hard skills matter. After all, you can’t be a forklift driver without knowing how to operate a forklift. But job seekers often forget to highlight their non-technical skills, or soft skills, on their resume. As a result, they miss an opportunity to stand out.
Your soft skills differentiate you from candidates with the same qualifications. While they are harder to measure, they are often used by hiring managers to decide between similar applicants.
Set yourself up for success by making sure your resume advertises everything you have to offer. For example, if you’re a good problem-solver, emphasize occasions where you used your problem-solving skills in your job.
Use phrases such as, “Identified X issue and came up with 3 solutions to improve Y.” This will show hiring managers how you can be an asset to their team.
Not sure where to start? Look for jobs that seem interesting to you. See if they mention any soft skills and, if you can, sprinkle these skills throughout your resume. That will give you an edge compared to other candidates!
2. Your resume may not be seen by a person.
According to Forbes, 75% of resumes submitted to a job are never seen by an actual recruiter.
That’s because recruiters often use Applicant Tracking Software (ATS) to sort through resumes before they read them. These software filter out resumes that don’t have keywords and phrases included in the job posting.
So if you want a recruiter to come across your resume, you will need to align it to the job description.
Take a look at the skills required for the role. Do they match what is listed on your resume? If they don’t, do you see skills from the job posting, that you possess, to possibly incorporate into your resume?
That should ensure that recruiters not only find your resume, but consider you a qualified candidate for the role.
3. Your job search might take time.
Depending on what field of work you are looking for, your job search length could vary. Niche or highly technical industries tend to have fewer jobs available, while booming sectors such as manufacturing and warehouse always need new people.
It’s also worth noting that some jobs in popular industries are highly competitive so you may be up against people with more experience than you. And, some of these popular industries also have peak seasons and slow seasons during which they hire differently.
So depending on what job you are interested in, and what time of year you are searching, you may have more or less luck finding something fast.
Your own job hunting activity also influences how long your search takes.
- Are you applying to many jobs or only a few?
- Are you only looking online or are you using other sources?
- How selective are you being?
The key takeaway is this: the job search is a marathon, not a sprint. It will vary in length for everyone. So don’t be discouraged if it takes longer than you’d like, and keep your eye on the goal.
4. Social media matters.
People often assume that LinkedIn is the only social platform that hiring managers and recruiters use to screen applicants. While LinkedIn is one of the first places they’ll search, it’s not the only social platform they will use as a screening tool.
According to a recent study, 90% of recruiters screen applicants with social media. That includes your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
So before you start applying to jobs, be mindful of your personal social media usage and what you are posting online. Consider deleting anything you wouldn’t want people to see.
If you’re really worried about how your social presence may look to an employer, think about setting your profiles to private.
5. Networking gives you a strong advantage.
They say it’s all about who you know. And there’s truth to that. Networking is an incredibly important part of the job search process.
Not only does it help you expand your reach and visibility, it can help put your resume top of mind.
That’s because employers are a lot more likely to hire someone they already know, or who has been referred to them by someone they trust. Having strong relationships in your chosen industry can increase the chances that your name comes to mind when an opportunity opens up.
Connect with friends, family, former employers/coworkers, teachers, and past or present clients and customers. People that are working within your desired industry will probably be your best resource. Not only might they have job leads, they can give you great advice that you may not be able to get otherwise.
All in all, there is no perfect recipe to getting a job. But being aware of factors that can impact your job search can help set you up for success — and possibly give you an edge when looking for work!
Interested in more employment search tips?
Check out these helpful articles:
- 8 Job Search Strategies That Actually Work
- 9 Tips to Stay Motivated in Your Job Search
- Dump These Job Seeker Bad Habits — and Set Yourself Up For Success
How TERRA Can Be a Resource
Finding work on your own can be challenging. And sometimes it helps to have an ally in your corner.
If you are interested in getting some support with your job search, consider teaming up with TERRA. We specialize in temp, temp-to-hire, contract, and permanent staffing and are connected to lots of great companies in a variety of industries. Some of which only hire exclusively through staffing!
Our recruiters are eager to help you find the right fit and will be with you every step of the way. They will provide job search support, prepare you for interviews, and check in on you regularly after you’ve started working.
Due to COVID-19, we are limiting the number of visitors to our office. Please call, email or contact us through the TERRA app.