It can be frustrating to use the big job boards such as Monster, Indeed or LinkedIn if you feel like your resume is being dumped into a black hole, never to be seen by a human recruiter. But there are ways to boost your chances of reaching the attention of hiring managers on such job sites, according to the experts.
Kanika Tolver, a professional coach, says that job seekers applying to the big job boards after being laid off because of the coronavirus will have greater success if they are more strategic. For example, just hitting "apply" to an online job opening will send your resume to a hiring manager or recruiter, in the same pool as thousands of other job seekers.
But, if you can find the role on the company's job board, you can create a profile and apply that way, which could help you stand out, she says.
Job seekers also can improve their chances of finding a job if they create a list of five to 10 job titles or roles that they are qualified for based on their skill set. This allows them to cast a wider net.
For example, if you've been searching for "copywriter" roles, you might add "content writer" to your searches. These are often the same job, just called different things at different companies. Searching only one job title limits the return on your search, she says.
Tolver says another common mistake is that job seekers don't tap into other skills they may have, such as project management or understanding technology, such as Microsoft SQL, when searching for a job. It will expand their job search, she says, if they search for skills employers are seeking, and not just job titles themselves.
With more than 36.4 million filing jobless claims as of May 9, there is no doubt that some must be looking for work. It's important that job seekers use strategies that will help them get noticed on job boards. Here are some other suggestions:
1. Write a targeted resume
It can be time-consuming to rewrite a resume to fit each job you apply for, but submitting a generic resume could hurt your chances of being noticed by an employer. Try to use many of the same terms that are mentioned in the job description and focus on what the employer says are key qualifications.
2. Craft a compelling cover letter
A cover letter should be concise but also highlight your career and skills. "Encourage the cover letter reader to reach out to you and thank them for their consideration. That sends a warm and welcoming vibe and tone to the recruiter or hiring manager. It shows your interest in the job and company," says Tolver.
3. Be available
"Make your resume searchable to the public," Tolver says. "It helps your resume come up in the search results on the major job board websites. Set your status on your profiles to 'actively looking' so the recruiters will know you are looking for a new role."
4. Look for virtual events
Some job search sites are offering virtual job fairs, such as social platform Jobcase. Such events enable easier interaction between hiring managers and job seekers during a time of social distancing. After registering online, applicants can chat directly with recruiters.
5. Check out specialized job boards
There are job boards that target specific industries, such as The Chronicle of Philanthropy for nonprofits; Recruit Military for veterans; Adzuna for those in advertising; Entertainment Careers for those in film, television, radio, production and other entertainment fields; and eFinancialCareers for those in banking, accounting and other finance professions. Such job boards offer you exposure to employers, but in a more targeted way.
6. Understand ATS
An applicant tracking system (ATS) is software used to weed out unqualified candidates, but the problem is that it can eliminate people simply because they used the wrong wording or format. For example, save your resume as a Word Doc or PDF format (some employers will specify) and use terms directly from the job description ("teamwork," not "good teammate"). Using the LiveCareer suite of services can help you beat the bots. The resume builder will help you craft a resume with the right keywords to fit the job description, and the job apply tool will help you complete the application in minutes.
Recruiters and hiring managers use job boards so that they have access to the best talent possible, but job seekers need to make sure they stand out from the millions of others who are currently unemployed and looking for jobs. Writing a targeted resume and cover letter and being smart about search terms can ensure employers notice you over the competition.