While the state of the U.S. job market has been a topic of debate since the start of the recent recession, the conversation has become even more heated throughout these summer months. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has revealed the job market to be relatively stable with the number of jobless claims at a 40-year low, along with the number of unemployed persons per job being 1.6. This is both good AND bad for you as a job seeker. The good news is that more companies are hiring as faith in the U.S. economy is restored. Now for the bad news. That same faith is being shared by employees who are voluntarily leaving their current positions to work elsewhere. So when once there were more unemployed job seekers in the job market, there are now “passive” candidates willing to risk leaving their jobs for a new one.
But now is not the time to fret. Regardless of whether or not you have a job today, we can
offer some sound advice on how to find a better one tomorrow. It all starts with the job
search. And in today’s competitive landscape you must exhaust all options if you’re
determined to find something better for yourself. That means relying on traditional, time-
tested methods as well as newfound tactics for properly positioning yourself to potential
So where does one start a job search? Besides identifying precisely what it is you want to
do and what kind of company you want to work for, your next step is to compile your “job
application documents”. By “job application documents” we basically mean your cover letter and resume. Although the process of creating a cover letter and resume can be daunting and downright intimidating, rest assured you will not get very far in your job search without these two pieces of work. Furthermore, your job application documents have to highlight your skills and accomplishments in a way that will make you stand out above everyone else that is applying to the job.
“How do I do that,” you may ask. A Job.com member asked us just that when posting a
question along the lines of “How do I get a company to notice my cover letter and resume?”
First you must research the person in charge of hiring at the company whose job you wish to apply to, and address your cover letter to that person. Next, write an introduction that is unlike any other generic introduction found in a common cover letter. You can read our recent news article post “How to Remain Professional in Your Job Search – Without Boring the Hiring Manager to Death” to learn more.
Next up is your resume. Your resume is a documented list of your history of work. It
should contain relevant information regarding your education, skills, qualifications and
accomplishments. In essence, your resume is your own personal marketing document necessary for applying to jobs. This means that your resume should only contain your attributes that are most relevant to the job. If you’re unsure of what to include in your resume consider this: Studies have found that recruiters spend an average of 6 seconds reviewing a resume before deciding whether or not to call a candidate in for an interview. Check out, “The Art of the Resume” series here on our blog to get more advice on how to craft the perfect resume.
If you think building out your cover letter and resume is a one-time task, think again. If
your end goal is to land a new job by standing out in a heaping pile of job applications,
your cover letter and resume MUST be tailored specifically to the job you’re applying for.
No two companies are exactly alike and the same should go for your job application
So there you have it. We’ve uncovered all of the best ways to find a job in a recovering job market. Well, not really but we at least provided you with plenty of tips for making a cover letter and resume that gets seen by employers and recruiters. We’ll continue to dish out our top tips and tricks as the weeks progress. Stay tuned!
Do you have a job search question you need help with? Let us know in the comments.