You may be sabotaging your own job hunt if you cannot answer these three big questions.
1. Can your resume be understood by a stranger?
Print out your resume. Tear off the bottom two-thirds and then hand the top one-third to a stranger and have them read it.
Will they be able to tell you without knowing you or asking any additional questions, what is the job title / career / what you want to do next?
Probably not. You know that HR people have told us they spend as little as 7 seconds scanning a resume. This is just about enough time to read the top one-third. If you are not clear and focused here, how will anyone know what you want to do next?
Strangers do not know you and you will more than likely be hired for your next position by a stranger.
Did you talk to a live person today?
If you hare spending most if not all of your time in your job hunt by sitting in front of a computer, you are missing on the key tactics in finding the job of your dreams…NETWORKING.
We often talk about how applying online will have a 5% success rate in landing a job. Networking will yield an 805 success rate.
Then why do most people avoid networking since it will be the fastest and best way to land a job?
FEAR. Fear of stepping out of your comfort zone. You would have to actually have to talk with real people. You know they put their clothes on the same way you do in the morning. When networking you have to have to 30 second elevator pitch ready. You can read more on the Elevator Speech here.
What comprises your network? We talk about your FRAN network. This is an acronym for:
- FRIENDS – your circle of friends that you are close to.
- RELATIVES – yes, you should be talking with relatives about your job search.
- ASSOCIATES – your former co-workers. You have built up a great network with former co-workers and they know what you can do and how you can help a business.
- NEIGHBORS – Yes, the guy next door, but neighbors is a group of people much bigger than next door. Neighbors are anyone you run into at a restaurant, grocery store, chamber event, etc.
It is easy to stay glued to your computer on a daily basis, but you really need to get out too.
Is your Email Address communicating something about you in a negative way?
Part of personal branding 101 is to create an email address for your job search. Use one of the Free services like Gmail. Yahoo, Live, or Outlook. All these would have a DOT COM after it and this makes it easier for people to type and remember.
We suggest you avoid email addresses by AOL, Hotmail and perhaps your internet provider, especially if it is CenturyLink. Nothing against CentuiryLink, it is just the email address gets a bit too long. Cox is OK, but sometimes you want an email address that is not tied to a service provider. Why? You may move, you may have to cancel your service if you cannot pay for it, then you will not be able to use this email address nor be able to access it for any other emails. Another reason is to avoid having to go and change the email address you used to sign up on any services you were using like Careerlink, Indeed, LinkedIn, etc.
AOL and Hotmail also date you as being perhaps more mature, but also less tech savvy and not comfortable with new technology. GMail by far is the most popular free email available, but that might add to you not getting what you want. Then try Outlook or LIVE which are both Microsoft products. There are other free services out there if you look. Just google FREE EMAIL ADDRESS.
Try to get an email address that is just your name and nothing else. Sometime it is hard and the services may add a series of numbers. DO NOT USE ANY NUMBERS IN YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS. This will give the recruiter or hiring manager something to think about. What do those numbers mean? High school graduation year? Wedding Anniversary? Year of your birth?
One time someone came to a group meeting a few years back and shared his email address with me. It was something like firstname.lastname@example.org. I asked him if he was born in 1946 to which he said, “Yes!”
Also do away with any funny email address that may be personal in nature. Like the chevyluvr46 example. We have seen others that are Biblically based in addition to those that promote you as a party animal. Again, an email address is part of your brand and you should make it your name and not what you do or want to do. FirsnameLastname@, LasnameFirstname, intitialsLastname. just keep trying until you get something that works. Use a hyphen between your names, include the middle initial. Avoid the use of periods and underlines as separators and sometimes those are not seen when you add it to a resume and Word converts it to a hyper link.
Do not sabotage your own job search. Beef up your resume and be focused on your objectives. Get out and network. And create a professional email address.