Things Every Job Seeker Should Know

John Krautzel
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Job seekers and recruiters are adopting smart tactics to make the hiring process more fruitful, so it's crucial to evolve and stay competitive. If you're still relying on passive strategies and hoping headhunters find you, prepare for a long job search filled with frustrations and dead ends. Find out which job search skills you should develop to get noticed by the right recruiters.

How to Investigate Job Ads

Responding to scores of blind job ads is a waste of time if the companies turn out to be duds or they aren't actively hiring. When you're interested in a job posting that doesn't include a company name, hunt for clues that identify the employer.

Look for phrases that sound unique to the company, and perform a quick online search for websites with a match. Job postings often include some branded language about the company or culture. You should also pay attention to identifiers such as company location and size. Learning to dig up information can help you avoid interviewing with companies that don't meet your minimum standards.

How to Leverage Personal Branding

Don't expect recruiters to know why you're a good fit simply from looking at a job application. Use personal branding to craft a focused message about who you are and how your skills benefit employers. Recruiters get suspicious when they find conflicting information about you, so make sure your story is consistent across multiple channels. You don't have to be the candidate with the best credentials, as long as you can show employers you're the best person to handle their specific needs.

How to Write an Effective LinkedIn Profile Headline

LinkedIn has become a go-to tool for recruiters to find and research prospective job candidates, so don't leave them guessing what you do. Use your LinkedIn profile headline to explain your job title and include important keywords, which can improve your search rankings and shorten your job search. For example:

> Copywriter/Technical Writer Passionate About Working With Tech Startups

The headline is a great place to frame your career narrative when you want to change roles, move up or get consulting work. If you're between jobs, make it clear that you're open to new opportunities.

How to Discuss Salary Details

Know what your skills are worth, and decide your target salary before the job search. Many candidates go in confident and lose their nerve once they're facing salary questions in an interview. When recruiters ask for your salary history, get used to answering with your target range, and use that same opportunity to ask how much the position pays. Recruiters don't need your salary history to decide whether you're qualified for the job, so don't feel compelled to reveal more.

How to Follow Up After Interviews

Make sure the effort you put into nailing an interview doesn't go to waste afterward. Send personalized follow-up letters to everyone who interviewed you, and finish with a call to action encouraging the recipient to reach out. A simple follow-up letter can help you stand out and get more callbacks throughout your job search.

Changing up your job search strategy is necessary to differentiate yourself from other great candidates. Stay up to date on hiring practices, so you can discover more effective ways to connect with recruiters.

Photo courtesy of Sheila Scarborough at


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article posted by Nicholas Long

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