Viewing entries in
APPLYING

Why You Should Never Wait On A Job Offer - Job Seeker Love Letters Part 1

Comment

Why You Should Never Wait On A Job Offer - Job Seeker Love Letters Part 1

Dear Liz,

I’ve been job hunting for four months. Which kills me, because three months ago, I was told I had a job offer on the way. After a promising conversation with a VP at [a telecommunications company], I was told I was a perfect fit for a new role being created. I spent three months interviewing and waiting on budget approval. The day before I was supposed to receive my official offer, the company instituted a hiring freeze and my role came off the table.

Now here I am, four months unemployed, and completely down on my prospects. I didn’t apply for any other jobs while I was interviewing because I had been practically promised this role would come through, so I have zero other interviews lined up, and the gap on my resume now feels too big to overcome. Why did this go so wrong? And where do I go from here?

Sincerely, 

Back To Square One

Dear Back To Square One:

Every day I hear similar stories -- of job seekers waiting weeks and even months to hear back from prospective employers.

And I know how it can feel to look at your calendar and think you should be further along; that sense of frustration and even panic that comes from having ‘nothing’ to show for your months of job hunting.

To help you get through this (and yes, you will get through this), or any job search problem for that matter, I always have two responses.

Comment

Why 'Seeking Opportunities' Should Never Be Your LinkedIn Headline

Why 'Seeking Opportunities' Should Never Be Your LinkedIn Headline

Every day I see job seekers with LinkedIn headlines or even resume summaries that start out like this:

Seeking opportunities…

Unemployed…

In between jobs…

In fact, almost 1 million LinkedIn members are using these headlines to try and land their next gig right now.

But this approach is a huge mistake for two very important reasons: 

Stop Wasting Time on Your Resume: A Lesson From The Hunger Games

Stop Wasting Time on Your Resume: A Lesson From The Hunger Games

While phenomenal resume tips (and debates) abound, there’s one point everyone seems to miss:

Out of all the job search activities, crafting a perfect resume is the least likely to land you an interview; the odds are simply not in your favor.

You see evidence of the disadvantageous resume odds every time you apply for a position online. For example, one of my clients this past week wanted to apply for an HR Generalist position in Chicago that had been live for three days and had already received 649 applications.

On top of this, we know that recruiters spend on average 6.25 seconds reviewing a resume (if at all), and 80% of that time is spent on your name, and the company name, position title and date range of your two most recent positions -- all things you cannot change.

The takeaway: spend less time on your resume

Think of The Hunger Games. Those in power offered contestants false hope with the phrase, “May the odds be ever in your favor.” While most of the contestants rehearsed their fighting skills to marginally increase their chances, Katniss’ winning approach was to ignore conventional wisdom -- she changed the rules of the game instead.

If you’re still focusing the majority of your job search time on your resume, cover letter, and applying online, it’s time for you to rethink the rules of the job search game.

It’s not that you don’t need these resources; you still do (sorry!). But this week’s article shows you how to focus and complete your resume in the least amount of time so you can save the majority of your job search energy for higher value activities like strategic networking.

The key is to invest just enough time to make your resume strong enough to keep you in the running once you’ve gotten your foot in the door.

At NSC, we compiled all of the available research and advice into what we’ve found to be the highest value, safest bet, 30-minute resume creation template -- that still increases the odds of a recruiter or resume review software paying attention when you submit online.

Most importantly, your resume needs to accomplish two critical goals:

The 30-Minute Cover Letter

The 30-Minute Cover Letter

What’s the only part of the job search people hate more than networking?

Cover letters.

We already get the heebie-jeebies talking about ourselves, and now we have to spend an entire page writing about ourselves too? Yuch.

What’s more frustrating is that cover letters don’t even get you the job; they mostly keep you from getting crossed off the list of candidates while you’re landing the job through networking. But when an application calls for a cover letter, you need one, and it has to be strong.

Most candidates make two mistakes when writing cover letters. First, they spend too much time dumping all their work experience into the letter (making it an unnavigable stream of content). And second, they then spend too little time tailoring the letter to the specific opportunity (let’s be honest -- we’ve all quickly replaced the company name on a generic letter...). Sadly, both mistakes prevent you from making a clear and compelling presentation to your prospective employer.

This is why I teach my clients the template for writing dynamite cover letters in 20 minutes.

The secret to this template is that just like any interview question, the question you’re really responding to when writing a cover letter is “Why should I hire you?”

Your prospective employer doesn’t want your life story or a narrative recap of your resume. They want the top 2-3 reasons (max!), with supporting evidence, that you’re the best fit for the role. So why not just give it to them straight?

Keep reading for the step by step 20-minute process, or zip to the bottom of this article for the full plug-and-play template.

Dynamite Cover Letter Example

Dynamite Cover Letter Example

Stephanie recently received her Master’s degree in Special Education, and was applying for a full-time teaching position. She gave me permission to show you her full cover letter that follows our 20-minute template.