Friday, July 30, 2010

"I've been eagerly job hunting for months, but to little avail. What's wrong?"

One of the most common inquiries we get on Linkedin and Facebook. Is this problem also bothering you? We want to ask you a few questions.

First things first, does your resume highlight your skills properly? Are you sure? Employers will judge you not by your name or birthplace but by your skills. By how much you can benefit their companies. This is the reason why we're advocates of "specific resumes". Employers will appreciate it a lot if you send them a resume that answers their queries straight. Another benefit worth mentioning here is that it'll show that you have initiative. Too troublesome? You'll reach places with putting in effort!

Does your resume scream of over-creativity? If yes, this can be the one causing your slump. Make your resume stand out by highlighting your strengths and achievements and not by making it artsy. Even those applying for art jobs are expected to send a formal list of their qualifications. Leave your portfolio to present your creativity! No to fancy fonts or papers!

What email address did you use for your applications? Maybe now is the time to lose that "sassyempress101" address? Get a new one -- something professional sounding.

Did you include cover letters in your applications? Did you "tailor" these cover letters? Cover letters are supposed to increase your chances of getting the job, but adding a template one in your application can give you a lazy personal brand. You don't want that, do you? Put yourself in employers' shoes. Would you find a generic resume and cover letter interesting at all? Here are our tips:

  • Address the HR manager with his name.
  • Base the content on your research about the company.
  • Include there the reason why you're the best fit for the job.
Did you also apply to jobs for which you don't qualify? Yes? Do yourself a favor -- stay away from this mindset. It feeds your need at the start, but making aimless applications can only frustrate you as much as recruiters. Employers make their job ads as detailed as possible for a reason -- it's for you to have things to contemplate on. If a job ad asks applications from individuals with X, Y, and Z qualifications only and you're lacking Y, it's not very smart to still pursue it. If you don't meet the requirement, wait for a suitable job opening to come.

Are you afraid to follow up? Don't. Assuming you're really qualified for the job, following up will increase your chances of getting it. For your next batch of applications, follow up by phoning after three business days.

Have you been applying ALONE? A large percentage of jobs are hidden. If you have contacts, use them to ask for help. Networking will help you keep in right touch with the job market. Never underestimate the ability of networking to help you find a good job.

Are you an avid user of social media sites? There are employers who google names. Play it safe. Think of your accounts on Myspace, Blogs, Facebook, and Twitter. Remove everything that's potentially damaging. Think twice before making new updates. Singapore would like to remind you that it takes a lot of work to conduct a successful job search. We hope this short commentary has helped you pinpoint what's causing your slump.

Another piece of advice! Start keeping a job hunting log. Keeping track of where you've sent your applications will help you know if you're doing something right or wrong. If nothing else, it's going to be a good wake up call. Singapore
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For career tips, we recommend Career Advice. From job hunting tips to career development guidelines, get advice from experts @