We have all been there. The day has come that you have decided you are no longer satisfied where you currently are and it’s time to pursue other employment options. Maybe you have another rough day in a string of too many rough days or perhaps you have just come to the realization that your current employer can’t offer you what it is you are looking for. So what do you do? You go home, flip open the laptop and you update your resume. Since you probably haven’t touched it since you got your most recent position you have to add this role, mention any updates to educations or certifications and make sure address and phone number are correct. Once you have done, that, then it’s time to get yourself out there. You pull up your internet browser of choice and you start looking for jobs that might interest. You find them and you apply one by one. It’s a painstaking process but there is no other way, right? Wrong! There is a better way and this post is all about the 3 essential job search automation tactics that are going to make your life so much easier when it comes to finding a job. Also, stay reading to the very end, I have a question I want to ask and get your feedback on after I show you these steps that are going to simplify your search.
- Have a great, optimized LinkedIn profile
Now to some of you this is going to be an obvious suggestion, “well of course Ben” you are thinking. I would counter with two points. The first being if you feel this way then you have no idea how many people tell me they don’t have one or they have one but they set it up forever ago and never use it. The second point I would make it that there is a significant difference between having a LinkedIn profile and having a full optimized LinkedIn profile. So why is it important to have a LinkedIn profile or better yet, an optimized LinkedIn profile? The answer is that because there are over 600,000 recruiters on LinkedIn and if you add in HR Professionals you are looking at over 1.5 million. Like me, many of them creating a LinkedIn profile for the sole reason of finding candidates like you! As a recruiter, there are many tools we can use to find candidates but from my experience, the most commonly used tool is LinkedIn Recruiter. LinkedIn Recruiter is basically a membership level that adds functionality to help HR Professionals or Recruiters search for and contact candidates. From my experience, it is an absolute favorite among those in search. So with that being said, the point of having a great LinkedIn profile is that it becomes a tool to help people find you. Having a great LinkedIn profile does the leg work for you. Once you have a great LinkedIn profile recruiters will find you and pitch jobs to you. How great is that? You set it up, they come and find you and pitch you on opportunities. That way you can do your research on a company and decide which ones you want to pursue. So how do you make sure that you get found? Well let me show you what we see and what we do to find you. Below is a screenshot of my screen when performing a search.
So in the above picture I am doing a search for a Software Engineer. In the search bar I put together a search strong using LinkedIn’s Boolean logic (which differs slightly from google). Basically it’s just the way you conduct a search within LinkedIn. So the first thing you do is you add in the potential titles. Now normally I might add in more titles based on my knowledge of the role or the conversation with the manager but I kept this search simple because I wanted you to be able to see the entire search bar. By typing it in like (“software engineer” OR “programmer”) LinkedIn will bring up everyone within 25 miles of the zip code I put in who has one of those two terms in the profile. In addition to that I added in (“C#” OR “C++”) to my search. Finally, I clicked the choice below stating that I was looking for someone with 3 to 5 years’ experience. With those criteria entered it narrowed my search down to 790 potential candidates. Now, most of these people won’t be candidates. Some of these candidates would have been a fit in the past but now are in managerial roles and wouldn’t be interested in an individual contributor role. Now, as I start to look at these potential candidates LinkedIn will push forward the candidates who most closely match the search strong I have put together. As a potential job seeker, you want to be on that first page, or as close to it as possible. How do you guarantee that happens as often as possible? The answer to that question is optimizing your LinkedIn profile. Many people make the mistakes of having some of their roles on their page, but excluding some of the other positions they have held. People also don’t take advantage of the opportunity to load up the descriptions of previous roles with the keywords that will get them found. The sad part is there are probably plenty of software engineers who live within 25 miles of the zip code 60061 who have experience with C# but they didn’t include C# in their profile. It’s important to write a summary of every role you have held in your career and it is equally important to use those summaries as a medium to load up your LinkedIn profile with keywords that will get the job opportunities to come to you. (If you are looking for help optimizing your LinkedIn, my Resource Page has links to several great services that specialize in doing that.
- Make sure your resume is uploaded to Indeed.com
So first and foremost, what is indeed? So most people know that Indeed.com is a job search engine, which aggregates job postings from thousands of sources and posts them on one site. So in terms of looking for a role, Indeed is a great place to start. However, in this post we aren’t talking about where you should go to find a job, we want the jobs to come to you. Now there are a ton of places you can choose to upload your resume. You could go to local job boards or perhaps one of the other big names in the game like CareerBuilder or Monster. Now while these aren’t bad ideas, the best bang for your buck for uploading your resume would be Indeed. Why is that? Well for me, Indeed is where I recommend putting your resume if you want to be found because of how friendly the site is in terms of functionality to recruiters. I like using Indeed because the searching is easy, the outreach functionality is great and the daily resume update feature is seamless. So let’s talk about that last part. When I do a search on Indeed for a type of candidate, Indeed actually prompts me to receive daily emails of candidate who meet my criteria. So if you upload your resume and you meet the criteria of a recruiters saved search, that recruiter will actually be notified that day of your uploaded resume. For us recruiters it means we have a system basically doing some of our job for us but for you it means recruiters looking for people just like you will be notified you just uploaded your resume and in all likelihood are looking for a new role. So if you have interest in automating your job search I strongly recommend making sure you have your resume fully updated and optimized (similarly to how I suggested with your LinkedIn profile in terms of keywords) and upload it to Indeed’s resume database.
- Building Recruiter Relationships
So out of my three recommendations this one is probably my favorite to talk about. While unfortunately this is the one that will take you the most time it is also the one that could have the biggest impact on your search. I am willing to bet that every single person reading this has at some point been called or emailed by a recruiter (or been the one emailing or calling). Now some of those of those calls/emails might have been from corporate recruiters asking about your interest on a specific opening and some of those roles might have been from an agency recruiter who might have been asking about a single role or perhaps a variety of roles (I have made too many to count of both). I am also willing to bet that many of you responded by saying “I am not interested, thanks anyway”. I can’t fault you for that, I have done that myself. However let me tell you why you and I were both wrong to have done that. Let’s just say you have a great job that you love and you would never consider leaving. You receive the call and you think to yourself “there is nothing this person could tell me that would make me consider leaving my wonderful job”. First, if that is you congrats, not everyone is to have a job they love that much. Secondly, unfortunately, many times we are not the one who makes the decision of when our employment will come to an end. Downsizing happens all the time, entire teams and locations even are eliminated due to market conditions or a change in company strategy. Just because you would never willingly leave your role doesn’t mean you won’t one day, very abruptly, be put into the position of finding another role. So, as I always advise people, take the call. Now let’s circle back, how does building relationships with recruiters help you automate your job search? It’s quite simple really. The first step is every time a recruiter calls you, take the call. Every time you get an email from a recruiter, reply and ask for a time to talk (I understand every time is a lot, so if it makes sense for you do it less frequently but do make an effort to have several of these calls). Now, good recruiters won’t just pitch a job to you. The good ones will make it about you first, ask you what you are interested in and see what they might be able to offer you in terms of a fit. But for the sake of argument let’s just say they call you, you take the call and they pitch you a job that absolutely isn’t a fit. Does that mean the call was a waste? Well yes, if nothing else happens, then that was most likely a waste of your time. But it won’t end there, you are going to maximize the benefit of this call. You will listen to the pitch and then you will say something this effect “I appreciate you letting me know about this opportunity, I don’t think that it’s a fit for me at this time. However…” At this point you can tell them the type of role that would pique your interest. You can tell them why you are an excellent for for the role and then you will encourage them to reach out to you should they happen to get a role like that. If the recruiter is impressed with you as a candidate, guess what, when they get a role that meets your requirements they are going to call you. Now a few tips, the first thing is that this has to be a phone call. If you just respond via email, the likelihood of them remembering you and contacting you with the opportunities that fit your specific requests is very low. You need to have a good conversation and you want them ending the call thinking “well this candidate doesn’t want this role, but I could definitely place them somewhere”. The other thing I want to mention is you want to get their email and send them a copy of your resume (which should hopefully look great) perhaps a paragraph selling your skillset, a reminder of the type of roles you would be interested in hearing about and finally a reminder that they can feel free to contact you should they get something that fits your interests. Bonus points if you happen to give them a referral for the role they initially contacted you about. If you can do this effectively then you have done a big part of automating your job search. Good recruiters will come back to you with opportunities and perhaps even present you your next role (I know because I have done it). If you can do this several times then you have done a great deal towards automating your job search.
If you read to the end this great job! I know that was a long post but if you can implement these 3 essential tactics to automating your job search you are well on your way. Now I mentioned earlier I would have a question to ask you all at the end of this post. My question is, if you were able to ask a recruiter any one question, what would it be? Please feel free to comment on my site or if you find this in a LinkedIn or Google+ group, feel free to comment there and I will try and answer. If you liked this post please feel free to share it with your network or give it a “like”. I appreciate it a ton. If these posts help you get an interview, head on over to 7 Critical Phone Interview Mistakes Candidates Make to get yourself prepped. Thanks again and have a great day!