How To Save Yourself Lots Of Time In The Job Hunt

unemployment line, florida, january 2010

Photo: AP

** From my weekly newsletter to subscribers **
Balancing work, family and friends is tough enough without throwing a job hunt on top of it. Your schedule is already packed and now you’re supposed to add researching and following up on job opportunities into the mix? That’s a pretty tall order.So here’s what we’ve done at TheLadders to make your search for a high-end job easier when it comes to research, tools, resume, and understanding the hunt.

Research — cutting out the busy work

Yes, with an infinite amount of time, you could use the internet to find the names of all the companies who might have jobs for somebody like you, surf their websites, follow up on the phone, and keep an active eye on what’s new. But who has an infinite amount of time?

We thought that was too much work to ask of busy professionals.

So what we do at TheLadders is call recruiters and HR departments — over 15,000 calls per week from TheLadders to companies and recruiters looking to fill positions — and we get the information from them about upcoming hires they are making in order to post the jobs on our site or let them look through our resume database.

Then, we screen through all the jobs they do send to make sure they are paying at the $100,000 or more level. We have two human beings review each job before it is allowed on the site — that’s a form of editorial oversight or curation that makes sense for you by eliminating the busy work.

Recruiters and hiring managers like using TheLadders because we only have candidates at the $100K+ level. It saves them a lot of time when they don’t have to look through all the inappropriate applications that they might get when they post their jobs on a general job board. By screening for both sides, we here at TheLadders have created a community that is a lot safer, easier, and more efficient for high-end professionals to get connected with the jobs they are looking for.

Jobs — how to get instant notice

Here’s a great way to save yourself lots of time in the job hunt by getting instant updates when recruiters post jobs:

Use “Follow Recruiter” to “follow” those recruiters with the types of jobs you’re interested in. No surprise, it turns out that if a recruiter has one job you’re interested in, chances are that he or she will have other jobs you’re interested in too. Operations recruiters tend to have operations jobs, finance recruiters tend to have finance jobs, legal recruiters tend to have law jobs, etc.

So when you sign up to “Follow” a particular recruiter, you’ll be notified by e-mail immediately when they post a new job. It’s a great way to save time and get a jump on the competition…

Resume — it should do the work for you

The best way to save time in the job hunt is to have your resume do as much of the work for you as it can.

While many of us feel sheepish about “bragging” about our accomplishments, it’s important to realise that your resume is the first contact your potential future boss has with you — and what he or she needs to know is how you can make their life easier by filling this job they’re hiring for and doing it really well.

You’re not going to get a chance to speak with the hiring manager and let them know what a wonderful professional you are. You can try to explain your accomplishments on the phone to the HR department, or you can hope that your industry contacts let them know what a star you really are, but that’s not a guaranteed way to make sure you are being presented effectively.

No, what you need to do is have a resume that does all of that work for you.

Now, a resume is really an advertisement. It advertises not what you’ve done, but what you can do for your future employer. You might think that listing all your accomplishments, skills, and awards would be enough, but as we have researched it here at TheLadders, that’s not the case.

A great resume is written from the point of view of “What can this person do for me, the manager that has a job that needs to be done?”

So many resumes that we see have entries such as “Was hired to be the VP of the Western Region for the new product line of Acme Corp.”

OK, while that’s true, it doesn’t really tell your future boss what you can do, only what you’ve done.

A great resume would say something like “Reduced operating costs 17% through streamlining of production processes and increased contribution margin by 510 basis points after being selected to lead new product line of Acme Corp.”

By telling your prospective employer about what you can do and how you did it, a great resume advertises your abilities very effectively even though you are not there.

So my professional advice is always, always to get your resume professionally written. There are people who do this for a living and they know the ins and outs, the tricks, and the most effective way to craft a resume that does the work for you.

Information — get educated without having to read everything

Looking for a job while you’re still employed is a challenge, and there are a lot of nuances to it: How do I keep things going well at work while I’m looking? How do I manage the wardrobe change when I’m going for interviews? How do I not get myself in trouble with non-competes? Etc., etc.

We have a fantastic editorial team here at TheLadders and they’ve written or commissioned over 1,000 articles on every topic involving the job hunt — resume writing, salary negotiations, interviewing, and yes, managing the search for a new job while you’re still employed. They’re all available on our site, for free, here.

OK, folks, that’s my advice this week on finding a job while you’re employed. I hope you find it useful!

Good luck in your search this week — I’ll be rooting for you …

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