The modern-day job search looks much different than it did decades ago. With an influx of online applications, hiring managers are able to streamline the process much more efficiently. However, as a job seeker, you should be aware of the changes, as this knowledge helps you to customize your application materials and spotlight your most relevant skills and experience.
The Use of Online Applicant Tracking Systems
Although the process of using an online application tracking system is much more efficient for employers, it can pose a challenge for the modern-day job seeker if you are unaware of how to format your resume and cover letter to push your application materials through to the right person. The key to success is to focus on keywords that alert the system and move your resume through to the hiring manager. Scour through the job description, and analyze the advertisement to locate industry-specific terms used frequently. Include these phrases or words in your resume and cover letter, and specify how your skills can be utilized by the company. Spend time during your job search researching common keywords used within your field to maximize your opportunities.
The Need for Detailed Information
Hiring managers can spot a generic template right away, which is why you need to make sure you customize your resume for each position during your job search. Provide detailed information that pertains to the job opening and cater your work experience and skills to those the employer requires and desires. For example, list hardware or software programs you are experienced with, and describe how you interact with clients and coworkers on a regular basis. Avoid using generic phrases or clichés that are overused, and make your resume and cover letter unique during the job search so it stands out and lands at the top of the pile when employers are sorting through application materials.
The Desire to Get Personal
Although it is not recommended to reveal too much personal information during the job search that can lead to discrimination, hiring managers want to get an idea of each applicant's personality when reviewing resumes and cover letters. Share information about hobbies and interests that are connected to your field, and spotlight any volunteer work or community involvement that represents the company's mission and culture. For example, if you are an accountant and you volunteer your time to prepare taxes for needy families within your community, provide this information, as it displays your willingness to not only give back to others but also share your talents.
If you have been immersed in the job search for a while, altering your practices to cater to the modern-day changes can make a difference in your level of success. Showcase your experience and skills in unique ways to capture the attention of hiring managers and reveal that you have what it takes to succeed in the industry.
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