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Job hunt: New tools, tactics that work
Job hunters, you need to stay organized, perfect the top of your resume, and research company culture. Learn some new tricks to get all that done
It’s easy to get stuck in the same old routine when you’ve done something again and again, like job searching. However, if you mix things up – especially by adopting new techniques in your job hunt – you’ll increase your chances of landing a great new job.
[ Are you networking properly? Read also: 9 counterintuitive job hunt tips. ]
Tailored for IT professionals, these tips will help you supercharge your IT job hunt. They also include some web tools and resume writing practices you may not have considered.
1. Use job hunt tools to track your applications
Job seekers must apply to dozens of openings before landing an offer – but keeping track of them can be difficult. Several online tools allow you to do just that. If you don’t use them, then you’re hurting your chances of finding work.
For instance, free services like JibberJobber help you keep an eye on all of your applications. They can notify you whenever one of your shortlisted companies has an IT opening that’s in line with your interests.
Tools that let you follow up and cultivate relationships with your contacts are also useful. LinkedIn is an obvious example, but there are other less well-known choices, like Contactually. These tools remind you to reconnect with recruiters and people who can vouch for you. By regularly reaching out to them and keeping your various profiles updated, you’ll be at the forefront of their minds when a suitable position opens up.
Finally, many job hunt tools are based on the Kanban system, including well-known Trello and job-search-oriented Huntr. These services provide a simple visual overview of jobs you’ve applied to by creating cards that you sort into piles. Each card represents one application. Piles might include “applied for,” “completing online test,” “preparing for interview,” “sending thank-you note,” and – fingers crossed! – “offered position.”
Such tools will help you keep your job hunt organized, which is key to being snapped up quickly.
2. Improve your resume introduction
Your resume introduction is the first thing hiring managers see when they open your resume, so it’s crucial to optimize it. Every word counts.
Traditional career objectives are perfect for newcomers to the job market such as recent high-school or college graduates. However, if you have more experience and a roster of skills to boast, the career objective is not your best option.
[ Read also: 8 steps to a new IT leadership job. ]
For example, a bulleted professional profile (another resume introduction style) can be used to quickly showcase your experience, expertise, and successes:
Professional profiles let you showcase your experience, expertise, and successes.
This resume introduction is much more versatile than the career objective since career objectives don’t provide much space to highlight your skills.
There’s also the concise, quantifiable resume summary. Resume summaries are popular among experienced job seekers: They’re eye-catching, get straight to the point, and each bullet point includes concrete data (e.g., a number or percentage):
You will truly stand out with a resume summary. This data helps hiring managers gauge your prior performance and how much you can contribute to their company from day one.
[ Read also: 10 common resume questions, answered. ]
3. Evaluate company culture carefully using online tools
Just because you’re impressed with a company’s products (or compensation package) doesn’t mean you’ll enjoy working there. Finding out whether a company’s culture is a match for you is a crucial part of any job hunt so you can filter out the bad options and concentrate on the suitable ones.
Even before applying for a position, you can learn about many companies’ culture by using online platforms like Good&Co and CareerBliss. Good&Co uses personality tests to judge whether you’re a good fit for a company, whereas CareerBliss compares the cultures of similar companies. Since both draw from extensive databases of employers, there’s a good chance they have evaluated your target company.
And of course, there’s Glassdoor. While everyone is familiar with its rating system, you can improve your Glassdoor research by sorting reviews by how long employees have been at a company to get an idea of retention rates. Look for employees who have worked there for a year or more and read the cons they list about the company culture to assess whether you can handle its negative aspects over the long term.
You can also check out the rating trends feature, which lets you see whether a company’s ratings have changed recently to see if your target company is on an upward trajectory or on the decline.
There are plenty of fantastic tools and techniques out there to help you improve your IT job search. Consider how the ones we just explored could make your job hunt organized, efficient, and more likely to succeed.
[ Arm yourself for IT job interviews with winning tactics and relevant data. Get the free eBook: IT job searching in 2019: A practical guide. ]