For anyone embarking on a job search, it can be comforting to know that there is tons of information available online to assist with the process. But for some, the sheer volume of information can be daunting — and hard to keep track of. If you’re managing a cancer diagnosis, you’re already juggling a lot (understatement). And if you’re experiencing “chemo brain,” remembering even the most basic steps of the job-hunting process can be challenging.
Thankfully, The Muse has compiled what it calls “a short list of sound, timeless job-searching tips” in its article “6 Job Search Tips That Are So Basic People Forget Them.” We’ve listed them below, and provided additional guidance.
Make Yourself a “Smack-in-the-Forehead” Obvious Fit
Review the job post carefully, then make sure your application and resume include key words and experiences that synch up with what the role requires. As The Muse says, you want to “make it very simple for both the computer and the human to quickly connect their ‘Here’s what we’re looking for’ to your ‘Here’s what you can walk through our doors and deliver.’”
Don’t Limit Yourself to Online Applications During Your Job Search
In most cases, simply submitting an application isn’t going to suffice. You have to set yourself apart from the rest of the candidates — you have to get yourself noticed. One way to do that is to “get on the radar of the very people who might influence you getting an interview.” That means digging around (on the company’s website and on LinkedIn) to see how you can connect with someone who works there. Alternatively, as The Muse suggests, you could “approach an internal recruiter and ask a few questions” about the open position and the organization as a whole.
Remember That Your Resume (and LinkedIn Profile) Is Not a Tattoo
Crafting a strong, compelling resume takes time and effort. And while it may be tempting to want to think of the process something you can fully complete, the fact is, your resume is a “living, breathing document” that needs to be continually revised and refined. No resume (or cover letter, for that matter) is one-size-fits-all; rather, it needs to be tailored to the specific position you’re applying for. (For additional help with resumes, see below.)
Accept That You Will Never Bore Anyone Into Hiring You
While you always want to behave appropriately (read: polished and professional) when interacting with hiring managers and recruiters, you also want to let some of your personality and authenticity shine through. You don’t want to come across as staged or staid. According to The Muse, “memorable, likable candidates are almost always the ones who go the distance.”
If You’re Not on LinkedIn, You Very Nearly Don’t Exist
These days, the majority of recruiters consider this professional-networking website to be their most effective tool when vetting candidates; so if you’re looking for a job, you need to be on LinkedIn. Period. If you need help creating your profile, check out Cancer and Careers’ “Guide to Linked In” or listen to our archived webinar on “Creating an Effective LinkedIn Profile.”
Thank You Matters
A vital step — which a lot of job-hunters fail to take — is to send a thank-you note. It doesn’t have to be long, but writing “original, genuine thank you notes (one for each interviewer) the moment you get back to a computer, following the interview,” is incredibly important. Acknowledging the time they took to meet with you demonstrates a level of professionalism and respect. A thank-you note also gives you another chance to emphasize your interest in the job and why they should hire you.
To read the full Muse article, click here.
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