Improve your job application ROI

Posted by Amanda Augustine

May 15, 2013 @ 04:00 AM

Before you hit the “apply” button, make sure the application is worth your time.

TheLadders Sheds Light on the Black Hole

As a career coach I often talk to job seekers who are frustrated over the lack of response from employers. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as the “Black Hole,” and leaves most job seekers discouraged with no updates on their application’s status and no feedback to help improve their future applications.

While you can’t control the recruiter’s actions, there are things you can do to combat the Black Hole and improve your application’s return-on-investment.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Application & Follow Up, Resume & Cover Letters

Make timing count in the job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

April 17, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

In the job search, timing can mean everything.

Timing CountsEarlier this week, droves of U.S. taxpayers headed to their local H&R Block® office or logged on to TurboTax to file their federal tax returns or request an extension before the April 15th deadline.

As I watched a number of my colleagues scramble to send their returns in on time, I started thinking about timing as it relates to the job search. Wouldn’t it be nice if the job search had such clear deadlines? “Call the recruiter back no later than 3:00 p.m. today,” or “follow up on last week’s application by noon tomorrow.” Everything is easier when there’s a set schedule to follow.

I often receive questions from job seekers about when they should follow up on a job application or an interview, so I think today is a good day to talk about timing. Here are a few guidelines to help you follow up on job leads at the right time.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Job Application & Follow Up

Stop the madness with the right job-search strategy

Posted by Amanda Augustine

March 27, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

Carefully prepare your job-search strategy and you’ll be one step closer to success. 

Stop the MadnessA survey conducted by TheLadders found that nearly 70% of its members considered their job search to be “top priority” right now. However, after carefully reviewing the survey responses, it became clear that not everyone is as prepared for the search as they need to be in today’s marketplace.

This got me thinking. For the last week or so, our office has seen a flurry of emails going back and forth about March Madness. Folks are standing around the water cooler (literally) discussing their picks for the NCAA basketball tournaments. In fact, I found dozens of articles online that explain different strategies for building a winning March Madness Bracket.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Networking, Job Search, Working with Recruiters, Job Application & Follow Up, Job Goals

Sweat the details of your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

March 04, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

When your job application is competing with many others, it’s the little things that count.

Grammar Day

Did you know that March 4th is National Grammar Day? The holiday was established in 2008 by Martha Brockenbrough, founder of the Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar (SPOGG) and author of Things That Make Us [Sic], to remind people to ‘speak well, write well, and help others do the same.”

In today’s saturated job market, it’s in your best interest to treat every day like grammar day. When your application is competing with hundreds of others, the smallest error can be used to eliminate you from the pile.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Interviewing, Job Search, Personal Branding, Job Application & Follow Up

5 ways you’re sabotaging your job search

Posted by Amanda Augustine

January 30, 2013 @ 02:00 AM

If you’re not getting results, reevaluate your job-search strategy and make changes.

Skippy_Clock_TimeEvery February 2nd, the town of Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania celebrates the holiday with early-morning festivities to watch their beloved groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, emerge from his burrow. Legend has it that if Phil sees his shadow, he has predicted six more weeks of winter. However, the phrase “Groundhog Day” has come to mean much more. For many, it’s a time of self-reflection.

For instance, take the movie Groundhog Day. Bill Murray plays an arrogant TV reporter who is forced to cover the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawny, only to find himself trapped in a time loop, repeating the same day over and over again. It’s not until Murray’s character starts evaluating his life and reexamining his priorities that he can finally move forward to a new day.

How many of you have felt like Bill Murray’s character? You wake up, search for jobs and apply, reach out to recruiters and hear nothing. Then you wake up and do the same thing all over again with the same results. I hear this from job seekers all the time. “I’m doing everything I’m supposed to and getting nowhere – what should I do?” 

Below are five questions to ask yourself the next time your job search stalls.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Job Search, Personal Branding, Job Application & Follow Up, Resume & Cover Letters

In the job search & over 50: Part II of III

Posted by Amanda Augustine

October 04, 2012 @ 08:30 AM

The second article in a three-part series on conducting a job search later in life.

20130619_AskAmanda_Job_Application_Checklist_v2After you’ve determined the right job goals for your search and developed a resume to support them, it’s time to begin your job-search campaign. Below are tips on how to advertise your brand on and offline, as well as pursue opportunities through multiple channels.

PERSONAL BRANDING

In Jobvite's 2012 Social Recruiting Survey of 800+ HR professionals and recruiters in the US, it was found that 92 percent of employers and recruiters use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for recruiting. The survey reported that 73 percent of companies found a new hire through social media (the largest percentage – 89 percent – came through LinkedIn). This means the job seeker never even submitted an application – the employer or recruiter found them because of their online presence. In addition, 86 percent of recruiters admitted to reviewing candidates’ social network profiles – whether or not the candidates gave them that information.

Bottom line? If you’re not utilizing these channels to brand yourself and pursue opportunities, you’re missing out on a number of job leads that may not be published anywhere else. Building a strong online brand that supports your job goals, aligns with your resume and highlights your accomplishments and areas of expertise is imperative in today’s job market.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Personal Branding, Working with Recruiters, Job Application & Follow Up

How to harness the power of 3: techniques to find job opportunities

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 26, 2012 @ 02:03 AM

Harness the 'power of three' by using multiple job-search methods to find the most job leads.

Social_Media_Skippy_Smartphone

QI'm not having much luck with the on-line application process. What else can I do to get my resume reviewed by employers? - Eunice J., Babylon, NY

A: A while ago when I wrote the post about searching for a job while employed, I mentioned that you should use multiple methods in searching for opportunities. This means: (1) applying to (and properly following up on) online job listings, (2) networking with your social and professional contacts, and (3) engaging with recruiters. By incorporating all three methods into your search strategy, you will maximize the number of leads – published and unpublished – you can pursue.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Networking, Job Search, Working with Recruiters, Job Application & Follow Up

How to follow up on job applications without stalking

Posted by Amanda Augustine

September 18, 2012 @ 11:48 AM

Differentiate yourself from the competition by following up on your job applications.

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Most job seekers do not follow up after they hit the “submit” button on a job application. By following up at the right time and with an appropriate message, you differentiate yourself from the competition.

Here are five rules to help ensure that your follow-up tactics are greeted with appreciation, rather than resentment:

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Application & Follow Up

Perfecting your cover letter to a "T"

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 14, 2012 @ 01:30 PM

Use the t-format to tailor your cover letters for each job application.

Sample_T-Format_Cover_LetterMany of you out there have asked me about cover letters. What do I say? What should I not say? Is there a general one I can use for all my applications? Is there a template you can give me? Do I really have to write one?

Here’s what I think. I’ve talked to a lot of recruiters while working at TheLadders, and about 50 percent of them say the cover letter is essential. The other 50 percent admit they never look at them and jump straight into the resume.

So what does that mean for you?

Topics: Ask Amanda, Job Application & Follow Up, Resume & Cover Letters

What's taking recruiters so long?

Posted by Amanda Augustine

August 07, 2012 @ 11:17 PM

Q: When submitting a resume and applying for a job, why does it take so long before you hear any status or update? - Bev L.

TheLadders_Skippy_TimeA: Bev, quick question – for the recruiters who typically take a long time to get back, is it to tell you bad news? In that case, you’re actually lucky they’re responding at all!

Typically, recruiters will be responsive when they want to move forward with your candidacy. However, if you’re not the right fit for the job to which you applied, or they don’t have an open job posting right now for which you’re perfect, you probably won’t hear from them.

Fair or not, in the recruiting world, you are not the customer. The company filling the role – the person who pays their paychecks – is. And, as a result, that’s the person for whom they will be responsive. So, for one, don’t take it personally – it has nothing to do with you, in particular. That’s just how it works.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Working with Recruiters, Job Application & Follow Up