Unless you are one of the lucky few job seekers who have several interviews lined up, you will need to work hard to land yourself a job interview for a position that is a good fit for you. I was talking with a CIO in the healthcare industry the other day. This CIO had been working with a number of executive search firms in Phoenix and had been networking for several months. This CIO had only landed a couple of interviews over these months.
I looked at his resume, his marketing materials and LinkedIn profile and found the reason he had been getting such dismal results. He did not understand the strategies needed to master an executive job search and land that all important first interview. If you are like him, I have several tips to help you increase the number of interviews you receive.
Targeting and Research
The first thing you must do is to determine the organizations or companies that you want to target. Then, you will need to determine what their current needs are and if you have qualifications that can help solve their problems. If you have the qualification, determine how you can show them why you are the best fit for their company.
If you do not know what their needs are, you can not know how to communicate the benefits that you can offer the company. By telling the company specifically how you can help them, you will increase your odds of landing that all-important interview.
Identify the Relevant Phrases and Keywords
As you begin your research, you must determine the skill sets, qualifications and areas of expertise that the company needs. These keywords will help you utilize search engine optimization to help you ensure that your online content. These keywords should be used throughout all of your personal marketing content, including your LinkedIn profile, your biography and your resume. Doing this will help ensure that your resume makes it through the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) that most companies use. The seventh tip will have more information on creating an online presence.
Personalize your Branding
Once you have researched your target companies, you must determine your hard skills (keywords and areas of expertise) as well as your softer skill sets (your passions, values, character traits and other personal attributes). These skills help generate interest in your resume and showcase why you are a great candidate. Furthermore, it differentiates you from other competitors seeking the same jobs. As you network, you must be prepared to showcase your uniqueness and why you are the best fit for the companies that you are targeting.
SEO Friendly LinkedIn Profiles
Once you have determined the relevant phrases and keywords from step 2, you must include them in your LinkedIn profile and any other online profiles. The keywords should be included in the following sections:
* Your name (include certifications and accreditations)
* Profile Headline
* Summary Section
* Job titles
As you begin using personal marketing materials, it is best to begin with your LinkedIn profile so it can begin working for you.
Write a Targeted Executive Resume
Your resume should be customized for each companies needs. By using this information, you can showcase your abilities and explain the benefits that you can offer the company.
As you do research on each company, you should identify which people you should network with. Many companies use an employee referral program, which offers rewards to employees who recommend good hires. For this reason, getting to know some employees in the company that you are targeting can help you get your foot in the door.
One of the most important social media platforms to improve your odds of landing an interview is LinkedIn. This social media platform allows you to network with others. Additionally, many employers will do an internet search of you to help them determine if you deserve an interview. Employers are looking for accurate information that backs up the claims that you have made in your other personal marketing content. A solid online footprint demonstrates that you are up to date with technology, which improves your odds of landing an interview.
Monitor Your Online Presence
Because employers will be doing an internet search to find out information about you, you want to ensure that the information online is accurate. Do a web search of yourself once a week. If you find negative information, work to have the content removed. If the information cannot be removed, build up positive information to help push the negative information further down in the search results.
Cultivate Relationships with Executive Recruiters
Reach out to recruiters in your area that specialize in your niche. Some of the best places to begin include the Association of Executive Search Consultants and LinkedIn. Stay in touch with these recruiters. However, you should not hound them or rely on them solely. You need to place more effort on the networking of your target companies.
Limit Time on Job Boards
Job boards do contain some legitimate work; however, most jobs are found using networking. Keep an eye on these job boards, but do not solely rely on them.