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3 Surprising Job Search Facts – from a National Survey

3 Surprising Must Knows for Job SeekersHow to do a smart job search: has it changed?

It’s constantly changing. And a recent survey from CareerBuilder showed that job seekers aren’t keeping up.

Think about these three surprising facts:

“Your resume is not enough.”

“More than half (53 percent) of employers say a resume doesn’t provide enough information for them to assess whether someone is a good fit for the job,” according to CareerBuilder.

“If you’re just providing a resume, you may lose out. They want to see a cover letter, professional portfolio where applicable, recommendations and links to social media profiles.”

Of course, these materials need to be well prepared, or what’s the point? Learn how to write a good cover letter and what goes into an excellent LinkedIn profile. And consider hiring a skilled career professional to interview you and craft highly personalized materials that are both authentic and strategic.

“The competition may be putting in more hours than you.” Work hard – and smart – at your job search.

“On average, job seekers spend 11 hours a week searching for jobs. Are you putting in more or less time than the competition?”

It’s important to treat job search like a job – even if a part-time one. Set regular hours.

But working hard isn’t the whole story; you also need to work smart. If about 75% of jobs are obtained through referrals and networking, why spend more than 25% of your time applying to jobs online?

Most job searchers don’t know how to network effectively. Shaking hands at large networking events or asking your contacts if they know of job openings – these aren’t the best ways to go about it.

Some of the most effective  job search networking is based on one-on-one conversations with people connected to companies you have targeted as places you want to work – and not asking about openings! (Introverts, take note: this is also less stressful and more enjoyable than attending events.) To find out how, read this blog post on networking or get a copy of one of my favorite job search books, The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton.

“Employers will pay more.”

“With competition heating up for positions at all skill levels, two-thirds (66 percent) of employers plan to offer higher starting salaries this year. Job seekers are in a better negotiating position, so you want to avoid taking the first offer in most cases.”

If you’ve never negotiated your salary before, start now! You can do it, and in most cases it results in an average of $5,000 more per year, not to mention the effect of current salary on future raises and offers.

I realize many of the recommendations above may appear time-consuming, stressful or downright scary. If that’s the case for you, consider getting some expert advice and support from a good career coach so you can update yourself to a smart job search – one that gets you a great job, sooner.

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