June 7th, we held the first ever Groundswell Open House — a conference-style, all-day event featuring talks from HR professionals, sales and marketing mentors and recruiters on topics for startups and job-seekers alike. Didn’t make it? No problem — we’re sharing our notes on the talks that we went to.
Today, we’re talking How to be Found When Applying for Jobs, a topic covered by Ryan Modica, Founder and Managing Partner of WhyHyre, a startup firm that helps companies find qualified candidates for job positions.
Sites such as Indeed, Handshake, and Monster have made it much easier to search and apply for jobs in a specific area. However, for all of the jobs that you apply to, you still have to ensure that you stand out to employers. HR departments don’t spend much time with each of the job applications they receive, so it’s important to take initiative and tailor your resume and application to get the attention of recruiters. Here are a couple tips to help you plant seeds that will get you noticed.
More than half of candidates are eliminated by applicant tracking systems, the systems that recruiters and HR departments use to find and track the progress of candidates. The systems filter out resumes that don’t match up with the job description — usually through keyword searches. So it’s important to carefully read through the job description and tailor your resume to match. Saving the posting might be a good idea as well, in case the company takes it down in the later stages of their search.
Here are a few of our best tips on resume-writing:
- Move all experience in related fields to the top — that way employers can quickly see what relevant experience you have, even if they don’t read the entire resume.
- Incorporate keywords from the job description into the objective section of your resume.
- Save your resume as your full name — saving your resume as “Resume” can be confusing for recruiters who have dozens of resumes on file. They might even ignore yours because it’s hard to file or find.
- Save your resume as a PDF to avoid printing issues common with Microsoft Word or other file types.
After your resume, focus on a cover letter. Cover letters let you speak directly to the recruiter and can be a great opportunity to shape your messaging to the person reviewing your resume.
“Look at the vision and culture of the company and answer WHY you fit into the company in your cover letter.” — Ryan Modica
If you’re feeling gutsy, you can make a YouTube video to explain who you are and why you’re interested in the job. Not only does this help you stand out from the rest of the applicants, it gives you a chance to show your personality and explain why you’re right for the position.
Today, social media can also help you land a job. Intentionally marketing yourself on social media allows you to create a platform where you can stand out from the crowd and share your passions with the world.
Marketing yourself on social media can be as easy as sharing articles relevant to your industry and interests, or reaching out and getting involved in communities relevant to what you do (or what you want to do). Of course, because you’re drawing attention to your social media accounts, you should make sure that you want recruiters and potential employers to see everything you post (i.e. keep it clean).
When most people think of social media, they may not consider LinkedIn. Recruiters use LinkedIn bios to find potential candidates and it’s important to tailor your profile to the jobs you want to be considered for. Only the first 150 words on your LinkedIn bio will be searchable, be sure to keep your bio brief and the most important information at the top.
All of the tips that we shared are great for getting noticed and invited to an interview, but the most important thing to keep in mind is keeping your communication professional and straight to the point when emailing or talking to recruiters. Both before and after the interview, it’s important to be responsive and courteous — even if you don’t get the job.