Let’s face the facts, there’s no magical formula for scoring your dream job. Unless you’re Harry Potter, the likelihood of brewing up some kind of job elixir as powerful as the Sanderson Sisters’ life potion in Hocus Pocus is nonexistent. The good news is, there are a number of ways to inject some new blood into your job search strategy so you can begin seeing results rather than a lackluster brick wall.
Writing a killer resume is certainly an important factor, but you’ll need to step up your game if you want to cut through the swarm of competition and emerge on top. One way to highlight your candidacy and attract the attention of potential employers is to summon your inner marketer and use relevant, optimized content to stand out from the crowd.
Hearing crickets? Don’t worry; it’s easier than it sounds. Here’s how you can use content to win over recruiters and hiring managers and get noticed by more employers.
After submitting an application, job seekers often feel as if their resume was just swallowed by an ominous black hole. If your resume is lost in a shuffle of papers, it takes away your opportunity to voice your opinions and ideas. Get employers to listen by taking the initiative to proactively share your thoughts and vision through blogging. The most effective way to use blogging to your advantage is to write about topics that are relevant to your career or field of study.
Blogging allows you to showcase your creativity and expertise in a way that is visually engaging and delivers value to your readers. For employers, it demonstrates your ability to stay current with digital trends and that you’re invested in your work. It can also serve as a networking tool to connect with professionals in your field and spark conversations with industry peers. Make sure you conduct a bit of SEO research to identify essential keywords you should be including in your blog to optimize your visibility.
Indulge in a Social Media Bubble Bath
You may be itching to tweet out a picture of your keg stand last weekend or post a fuming rant about your boss on Facebook, but you may want to think twice. According to a CareerBuilder study, 70% of employers screen candidates via social media sites before extending an interview or offer. In an era where connectivity through digital means is so prevalent, you cannot afford to let your online footprint prevent you from landing a new job.
Recruiters and Hiring Managers peruse your online profiles to get a feel for your personality and gauge how well you align with the company’s culture and values. Employers want to hire people who can represent their brand in a positive light and that means you may have to do a bit of spring cleaning to remove unwanted digital dirt (insert cringe-worthy photos from spring break here).
Similar to your blog, revamp your social profiles to include industry and job-specific keywords. Join relevant groups, share articles with your network, and actively participate in discussions with industry peers. In addition, reach out to coworkers and industry connections to see if they’d be open to giving you a recommendation on LinkedIn. The goal is to either paint yourself as a subject matter expert, if you have some experience under your belt, or to demonstrate your commitment and interest in your field of work.
Using visuals is a great way to engage your audience, showcase your creative side, and present information in a manner that is easily digestible. To give you some perspective, Facebook posts that use images receive 2.3x more engagement than those without and Tweets with images see 150% more retweets than those without.
Along with your social pages, you can leverage visuals when submitting your application to a new job. Whether you opt to create an infographic, digital portfolio, or presentation, let your creativity shine and put together some stand-out, one-of-a-kind goodies that are sure to give you a competitive edge. If you’re not well-versed in the art of design, platforms like Canva are fairly easy to navigate and have a library of templates readily available to edit. Plus, there are scores of quick online tutorials for tools like Adobe Photoshop that you can use to your advantage.
Let Your Personality Shine
While you may be using online channels to communicate, don’t lose yourself in the process. Be authentic. Be human. There are real people on the other side of your screen and they want to connect with a living, breathing person, not a robot (unless maybe you’re R2-D2 or C-3PO). To be effective, your content should be relatable and written in a way that resonates with your audience. Don’t feel obligated to use cliché buzzwords because you saw other people doing it; speak in a language that best represents who you are.
Creating content and building your online presence may seem like a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. While quality and consistency are important, take things one step at a time – even if that means committing to writing one blog post per week to start. By keeping these tips in mind and giving your job hunt a little facelift, you’ll find that employers will be much more inclined to get you in the office.