March is the perfect time to spruce up your game tactics to secure a job.
Here are five job hunting tips to help you win the job title that you want.
1. Fast break. Most hiring is done between Feb and May. Many Companies have a fiscal calendar that coordinates with the calendar year, January through December. In this case, firms finalize their budgets in January and start implementing hiring strategies in February. March is a key time for hiring. By June more people are heading out on summer vacation.
- Make a short list of target firms that match your experience and skill sets and are realistic for you.
- Shorten the list to eliminate obvious long shots (commute too long, requires moving out-of-state etc., obvious experience and skill mismatch)
- Reconnect with hiring managers on your contact list with whom you have interviewed in the past. If there is a new budget they may have new openings.
2. High percentage shot. A common error in job hunting is to apply to every and any job instead of the ones for which you are qualified. Some recruiters refer to it as "spray and pray." In today's competitive environment, hiring managers are looking for a direct match in terms of industry, experience and skills.
- Job postings usually have a similar format: Exciting job description on top, a blurb about the firm in the middle, the specifics requirements of the job at the bottom usually in a bullet format.
- Develop an objective approach to analyzing a job description to help you distinguish between the jobs you wish for and the ones for which you are a direct match.
- When you review a job description, start at the bottom. This is where the specific requirements of the job are listed such as experience, skills, education. If you do not match at least 70% of the requirements on the list it is not a match and you should move on.
3. Technical foul. Don't write your own resume. Resumes have changed. Many of us have not updated our resumes in a number of years and are unaware of the current format requirements.
- "Consider having a professional resume writer or HR professional help you with your resume" say Gary Daugenti from www.juststaff.com
- It is best to work with a professional who has experience in recruiting, human resources or some hiring function and can help you articulate your strengths in a format that will be clear to hiring manager.
- Resumes must pass the 10 second scan. Keep your resume to two pages, three if you are a seasoned professional. Most managers will only scan the front page so make sure it clearly tells your story.
4. Back door. The ultimate goal in job hunting is to secure the attention of the hiring manager. Often this person is buried behind a number of job boards, recruiting professionals and screeners. Many people have had success by going directly to the hiring manager or through the back door.
- If a company is advertising for a position do some due diligence and find out who the hiring manager is and send him or her your resume directly.
- Use Linked-in and other social media networks to find out about the person and network with others who work for that person.
- Cold call. This can be highly effective if you are pursuing a sales or business development position.
5. Slam dunk: Slam dunk your interview by being prepared. Set yourself apart from other candidates by over preparing for your interview.
- Review the firm's website in full. Watch the videos and read sections on what kind of person is the ideal fit. Develop questions that relate to the website so that the person interviewing you knows that you have done advance research.
- If the firm is public look up news releases on finance sites such as Google or Yahoo finance. Review the annual and 10K reports and Listen to the past earnings calls.
- Prepare a list of intelligent questions to ask the hiring manager/interviewer to help you understand more about the position and how you can fit in.
- Be prepared to answer questions such as what is your biggest weakness in a manner that shows your strengths.
For more Career tips and pointers www.traceywilen.com
Follow Dr. Tracey Wilen-Daugenti on Twitter: www.twitter.com/traceywilen