How you’re being perceived by other people: that’s what will make or break your job search. Without meaningful input from others, how can you know what impression you’re making with your resume, your online presence, and your interviewing? Let’s take a look at the feedback you need during job search, and how to get it.
Is your resume communicating the right messages?
Recently I reviewed the resume of a business development executive who has been very successful in his career, but less so in his job search. While the document did an unusually good job of showing off his accomplishments, as a presentation it looked thrown-together, with inconsistent formatting and no headline and summary to immediately identify the type of role he was seeking.
Most job seekers ask one or two colleagues or family members for comments on their resume. That’s a good start, but colleagues may have idiosyncratic likes and dislikes that don’t necessarily reflect best practices, and family members may be lacking in expertise about both your career and resume-writing techniques. For detailed tips, please read my post How to Get Useful Resume Feedback.
The same tips apply to your cover letters and any other written materials through which you represent yourself during your search.
Does your LinkedIn profile attract recruiters?
More and more recruiters are going straight to social media, especially LinkedIn, to find candidates for their open positions. Too many professionals decide what an effective profile is by looking at the profiles of people they know. That’s “the blind leading the blind,” since most LinkedIn profiles are far from effective. My post, 10 Ingredients of an Excellent Profile can help you create a profile that really works, one that (a) appears high up in recruiters’ search results, and (b) makes them want to talk to you.
Profiles with a photo get 21 times more profile views, according to LinkedIn. But is your photo giving the impression you want? You can get free, crowdsourced photo feedback online.
Are your interview skills effective?
If you’re like most job seekers, your answer is either “I don’t know,” or even, “Apparently not, because I haven’t gotten the offer I want.”
You can ask for feedback from interviewers, but in most cases they’ll decline to give it, due to worries about legal liability. You need to set up mock interviews with trusted colleagues, with friends who have hiring experience, and/or with a professional interview coach. Get feedback, and also make video recordings of these mock interviews so you can see for yourself.
Nobody is born knowing how to do a great interview; it’s a learned skill. Read my 12 Tips for a Winning Interview, or delve deeper with my book, Get That Job! The Quick and Complete Guide to a Winning Interview, 2nd Edition.
Job search is marketing, and no successful business markets anything without first getting customer reactions via surveys, focus groups and so on. Get the feedback you need during your job search, act on what you learn, and you’ll get a great job much sooner.