While searching for a new career opportunity may be something you have not done recently, rest assured that it is not as daunting as it may seem. The first thing to remember is that employers and recruiters have all been in that position themselves and understand things from both sides of the hiring process. As a team of Recruiters and Hiring Managers, we wanted to further help by putting together some pointers to help you start in the right direction.
Be patient. Putting in your best effort when searching for a new opportunity is going to be time consuming; not only with applying, but with researching prospective companies’ career opportunities. As long as it does take, this step is essential in the process and helps you make an informed decision on whether or not you are interested in the company. In addition to that, having prior knowledge on a prospective employer will help you during the interviewing process. Mentioning things you found out about the company, and how it relates to you either on a personal or professional level is a good way to help the interview flow, and it lets the company know why you are interested in working there without having to be put on the spot to answer the question.
Evaluate yourself. You are your biggest advocate when it comes to finding a new career. You know your own skills and what you are capable of, but do not forget to consider the employers’ point of view before you apply to your dream job. Try not to get discouraged if you get a lot of declination emails when you are applying for a drastic career change. These aren’t something employers are always open to. As an example: You have 5 years of experience working as a call center representative, and want to apply to an administrative position. These positions are very different, and though you may be completely capable of performing the role, there is a lot of training that will come along with it on the employer’s side of things, so it is hard to make them take that risk. The best way to make them take the chance of doing a phone interview, is by focus on providing better descriptions of some of the tasks you did perform on your resume. Try to highlight things such as your hard skills (I.E. typing speed both words per minute, and keystrokes per hour. – There are a lot of free typing assessments you can take online if you do not know these numbers off hand) and any software programs you use regularly, like spreadsheets or document processing programs.
If you do not know the best way to describe something on your resume, try looking it up for better keywords. Chances are someone has had that same question.
Please be honest on your resume. Employers can easily tell if you are ‘fluffing up’ your resume. A recruiter or hiring manager can look at 400-600 resumes in a day, and very likely have seen resumes from people who work for the same company and in the same position you have worked in.
Cover letters: While once important, they no longer are necessary when applying to work online. A short objective at the top of your resume is more likely to be read by an employer during the first screening of your resume. However, once you have had an interview or a phone interview, it can be beneficial to follow up with an email or mailed letter thanking the hiring manager for their time, and giving a short recap of what you discussed and why you are looking forward to pursuing a position with their company. This information could be similar to what normally would be found in a cover letter, but has more impact being sent after the fact as a reassurance to the hiring manager. Keep these short and sweet; one paragraph is sufficient.
Formatting your resume. Not to worry! You don’t need to add colorful graphics or emojis to get your resume noticed, as these things just make a resume look busy. Hiring managers typically only spend seconds when screening a resume, and are looking for information, not designs or pictures. Keep the important stuff at the top; Work experience, dates employed, and skills. Use bullet points to make the resume easier to look over, and key words or short phrases rather than sentences. ( An example would be instead of saying “I would answer all the calls that came in, find out why they were calling, and transfer them to who they wanted to speak with” say something like “answering and directing calls on a multi-line phone.” It is easier to read, and uses a keyword employers’ look for like “multi-line phone” without being as lengthy.
Try to keep and send your resume in a document format. If you do not have access to the software on your computer, there are free programs available to use online. Most employers have software that they use to keep track of applicant information. The hiring manager organizes that information in the software with notes and feedback once they have spoken to a potential employee. A document file rather than an image or PDF is easier for their system to read and parse your contact information without making any errors. You could miss out on your chance for employment if an employer is unable to get in contact with you, because your information was not moved over to their system correctly.
Keeping notes. Try to be diligent about keeping a list of the places and positions you applied to. This will help you keep track of everything once you start getting call backs on your resume. Marking down approximate locations, what the company does, who you speak with, the dates you applied and when you were contacted will help you stay organized during the process. No hiring manager or company likes to be confused with another.
Ready. Set. Go. Getting hired for a new position will not happen until you start applying. There are a lot of great resources online for finding positions to apply to. Be sure to check out job boards that are updated regularly with open positions, such as ours which can be viewed here. Allstaff Services Inc. has been in the Employment Services industry in Arizona for over 55 years helping people find work. We have a variety of positions available, and update our board as soon as new positions open up. If you see a position you are interested in, please apply as soon as possible. We would love to consider having you join our team of associates!