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Job Search Terms – What is that? Don’t I Just Apply for the Job I Want?

Job Search Terms – What is that? Don’t I Just Apply for the Job I Want?

NO – that is the long and short of it.

Recruiters – agency or in-house all use key words and search terms when sourcing for resumes. Where are they looking these days? Beyond Careerbuilder, Monster and the industry specific job boards you are posting, we are also looking at Indeed (yes you can post your resume to Indeed), LinkedIn, Google and Google+, Facebook Branch Out, the list goes on and on. So first be sure that you are present and accounted for on all of the sites. Next, you need to really look strongly at your resume. This can be very overwhelming, I know. I have hundreds of tips and suggestions for resume but for this we are going to stick to key words and search terms.

There are lots of posts on this topic and you should by now understand that recruiters and hiring managers use similar search technology (that is more sophisticated) that you might use to find a fine dining restaurant in Seattle that is kid friendly and has a vegan menu. The point is that we are looking for is something very specific and with some work and adjustments in our search can typically find what we are looking for whether it is a restaurant or a SVP of Sales in Finance or an Administrative Assistant with Direct Marketing experience.

The key is to review job descriptions that you find yourself qualified for, don’t worry if the company, location or compensation are right, just look for well detailed job descriptions for which you are qualified and review them for key words. I will use what would appear to be a very simple job title, Administrative Assistant, which returned 44k results on Indeed. Just by looking at job titles some stand out to me that you want review and be sure you have in your resume right away. If they don’t apply, please don’t compromise your integrity by adding them.

Key word examples for Administrative Assistant:

  • Titles: Executive, Senior, International, Global, Operations Coordinator, Support
  • Tasks/Skills: Travel Arrangements, Organization, Calender Management, Correspondence, Marketing, Bookkeeping, Order Supplies, Inventory Management, Planning, Meeting Set up, Virtual Meetings, Coordination, Proposals, Call Routing, Filing
  • Software: Word, Excel, Go2Meeting, Visio, Outlook, HTML
  • Industry Specific Titles/Software/Tasks/Certificates: Be sure to use the acronym and the spelled out versions of certificates and programs in your resume. Are you a legal secretary and have your ALS be sure to write it out as well. If you have a customized software system put the description in parenthesis after the title of it, example: Bullhorn (applicant tracking system)

When you are reviewing the descriptions and relaying the information back to your resume be clear and quick to the point. Don’t use an excessive amount of wordy sentences. Be sure that your resume is something that can be skimmed over quickly and has the key points requested in most descriptions. If you are applying for an industry specific position such as legal, medical/healthcare, IT, manufacturing, accounting/finance be sure and add industry specific key words and details at minimum in your objective or purpose statements.

TIP: The more key words you have that match our search string the higher to the top of the list you will appear!

image borrowed from Wiley

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You Are the Laziest Job Seeker EVER!

You Are the Laziest Job Seeker EVER!

I have to say, I have been a bit bogged down and late at returning calls, being pulled into too many directions lately, which is why my writing has slowed. Even though I have not been following up the way I would like with my candidates who are in process with me, I am still making an effort to be personal and detailed and if necessary apologetic. Yet, from job seekers, those passive and active alike, I am unimpressed by many.

Just in the last 2 weeks I have seen some atrocious responses both on the phone and via email regarding job postings. People, how many times do we have to tell you, write down the jobs you are responding to so that when I call you THE NEXT DAY or after the weekend, you know who the heck I am or can at least pretend!

Here are the email responses that I have seen from sales professionals in the 65-100k range responding to a direct email that has an extremely detailed job description with salary, benefits, industry and expectations in the 350+ word job posting. I point this out only because I know that there are a lot of scam and BS job postings and emails that get sent out, which is why I TOOK MY TIME to be as detailed as possible. So in return here is what I got (and these were people with good resumes):

  • I’m very interested in the attached information. Please let me know the next step.
  • I’ll talk to you!!
  • Hello–  I am interested in this position.
  • when is a good time
Please let me clarify that all 4 of the above were in response to very long, detailed emails that included my name and not ONE of these candidates addressed me with my name. They read what they wanted to and most likely responded from their phones. THEY did not sign their names or include their phone numbers which means that I had to go back to CareerBuilder to look them up… well guess what YOU MOVE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE LIST THAT WAY! Oh yeah and this is to assume that your email address comes over with your name or that I am going to search you by your email address.
Let me also say that the one fragmented sentence response is RIDICULOUS! Get a standard cover letter and copy and paste it and put my name in it at least! We know you are using it to send to all of your employers, that is ok, it makes us feel better.
We are looking for you to appear a bit interested, share some brief, but specific statements of why YOU would be good in X POSITION IN X TYPE OF INDUSTRY, or what ever it is you are responding to. If this is the type of follow up you have, seriously you are raising concerns as potential employees and I haven’t even spoken with you yet.
So I am not going to dig back through Careerbuilder to find you again, yes I most likely saved you in a folder or put you on my work list, but still, your lack of investment in the process makes me think you are flighty. A recruiter can be working on anywhere from 10-50 different jobs in all types of areas and requirements, move yourself to the top by selling yourself on the fact that you want the job. A recruiter doesn’t want to sell you on a job, they want to talk to you about your experience first, understand your expectations and experiences and then talk about the opportunity if it fits.
Do you know why they do this? So that you can’t tailor your answer to what you think they want to hear. It isn’t because they hold the key to some secret box with all of the jobs in the world, they just don’t have the time to dig through the fluff to get to what you are really after.
Even if you have 3 interviews this week and the job they are presenting is #3 on the list, if it is a job  you would like to hear more about then put your best foot forward if not, you don’t have a shot.

Getting the Most Out of Your Manager and Your Career

Looking to get ahead, have you been passed over for a promotion, are you sitting in the shadows just waiting to be noticed or are you being noticed but not getting the right kind of attention? Whether your boss has an open door policy or not there are several different approaches you can take to be sure that you are truly maximizing your opportunity or even creating opportunity for yourself.  Taking control of your career and acting as the entrepreneur of your career.

Advance your Industry Knowledge: this does not mean going to your boss and asking for tuition reimbursement or where you can go for more information. What this means is checking out industry groups/associations, the local business journal or chamber and letting your boss know you have an interest in attending, why you think it would be beneficial for you and the business and how much it will cost (I recommend starting small rather than a 4 day conference). The key is to follow-up, after you have attended summarize your take on the event and the information you gathered and think of at least one thing you could use in your business/department.  This builds trust with your manager and people want to see you go above and beyond.

Take Ownership of an Issue or Problem: did you just walk out of a meeting where there was talk about a problem with a customer, product, or even the filing system? It may take time out of your lunch or you may have to come in a bit early, but brainstorm a solution and present it or offer to take the lead even if it may be beneath you (in your mind). Remember, right now everyone is getting squeezed and running lean, if you can take the weight off of your manager and own something of your own you have just killed 2 birds with 1 stone.

Look for Feedback: that’s right, ask how YOU can improve.  The interview process continues your entire career, so if you think of it that way, you should always be asking questions when you have the opportunity with your boss.  Whether it is in a review or something more casual like traveling in the car to an appointment or when you are on the tail end of a 1:1 conversation regarding something else, ask very simply; what can I do to improve?  You can be more specific especially if you are looking for specific feedback or are in a limited time situation, ask how you can be a stronger closer, increase your effectiveness with your communication, etc… Once you have the feedback, and remember to be open to criticism and critique, you have to do something with it, you have to act.

Surprised?

Yes, I admit that getting the most out of your career and your manager requires more work on your end than you may have expected but that is how you get ahead and become the entrepreneur of your career.

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