By Ericka Simpson
Unemployment in the United States was at 5.9 percent as of September 2014. Hiring has increased, so too have salaries. National job salary index averages have also increased, exceeding $44,000. Organizations like the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) share that salaries are expected to increase by approximately 3 percent during the 2014 annual salary increase cycle.
Go and get the jobs you really love
It would appear that getting hired into a better job would be relatively easy. It would appear. . . However, anyone who has been searching for a better job for several weeks is familiar with how long and frustrating it can be to work your way to receiving an offer letter. Including the recruiter’s or hiring manager’s first and last name in your job cover letter is one way to give yourself a better chance of getting hired into jobs you really want. Other practical steps you could take to possibly land a job you truly want follow.
- Add two to three keywords to your resume and cover letter that are listed in the job description. You’re going to have to read through the job description to spot two to three keywords. For example, if you want to get hired as an administrative assistant, you might include keywords such as “administrative assistant,” “office manager” or “administrative associate” to your resume and job cover letter, depending on the words that the hiring manager or recruiter used in the posted job description. Why do this? Companies, particularly large companies, use automated tracking systems (ATS) to search through hundreds of resumes. Keywords are a major part of that automated search process.
- Proofread and edit your resume and job cover letter before you finalize the documents. Believe it or not, one typo could put you out of the running for a job.
- Read through job descriptions from start to finish. Be honest with yourself. If you don’t have the work experience or skills that match the job description, it might be advantageous to move on to another job. Instances when this may not be the case are when your work experience is close to the experience required for the job. For example, if the job description calls for four years of supervisory experience and you only have three years of supervisory experience, the hiring manager might find that you have sufficient experience, combined with your education, to meet the job requirements.
- Draft a cover letter and resume to fit each job you’re applying for. If you have graphic design skills, but you’re applying for a copywriting job, a graphic design resume may hamper your chances of securing the copywriting job.
- Set up job alerts with job boards that you regularly visit. This saves time and search effort.
- Visit niche and general job boards daily, so you become aware of new jobs quickly.
- Apply for jobs you want within one to three days or as early as possible.
- Get necessary training, including licenses and certifications, you need to get jobs you want.
- Network with former colleagues, relatives and other professionals, alerting them about specific types of jobs you want to work.
- Join professional organizations and forums that are geared to people who work in the industries you want to work in.
- Follow the directions included in job postings and at job application websites.
- Ask someone you know to recommend you for jobs you apply for (if you know someone who already works at the company you’re applying for a job at).
- Follow up with recruiters and hiring managers if they reach out to you to schedule interviews.
- Study hourly and/or annual wage rates for jobs you want to avoid asking for a salary that’s too low or too high.
- Dress professionally and approach telephone interviews (they are becoming more common) similar to how you approach face-to-face job interviews.
- Arrive to face-to-face job interviews 10 to 15 minutes early. Arriving to early could cause recruiters and hiring managers to feel as if they are being pressured to start interviews early (even if that’s not your intention).
- Ask questions during job interviews.
The more job interviews, both telephone and face-to-face job interviews, you conduct, the better you may get at interviewing. The less nervous you’ll likely get about interviewing. You’ll come to know what to expect from interviews, how to best answer questions and the signs to look for that clearly show that you have a good chance of getting a job.