As 2022 comes to a close, we’re seeing concerning headlines from companies of all sizes laying off hundreds, if not thousands, of employees. Despite the uncertainty and strong competition in the job market, there are ways you can set yourself apart in your job search. As a recruiter with 8 years of experience, here are my top tips to set you up for success and help you get hired in 2023.
The best tips to get hired in 2023
Step 1: Make a strong first impression with your resume.
Let’s start with the first thing every recruiter and manager will see: your resume. Follow these guidelines:
The key elements:
- Header with your name and contact information
- Professional summary (three to four sentences) positioned under your header
- Chronologically ordered work experience
- Education; include graduation year and major
- Key skills that are relevant to the desired job description
- Certificates you currently hold
- Formatting should be simple. Stick to one font and design it in a way that effectively highlights the key areas (noted above).
- Use bullet points to share your work experience. Avoid writing in paragraph format.
- Emphasize your most-recent relevant experience. No need to bring us back to the ’90s for work experience.
- Incorporate keywords from the job description. Editing and tailoring your resume to the individual job you’re applying for will help you stand out. Avoid using the same resume for each position.
- If you’re a recent graduate, keep your resume to one page or less; if you’re a more experienced applicant (i.e., midway through your career), keep it to two pages or less.
We all need an editor:
- Once you have completed the first draft of your resume, send it to someone you trust to review it.
- Ask them to look for grammar mistakes and issues with formatting details in the document.
- Ask your reviewer if they can find important key skills and details about you very quickly when scanning your resume. This will help determine if recruiters/managers can easily align your skills with a job description.
For examples, check out this article by the Harvard Business Review: How to Write a Resume That Stands Out.
Step 2: Tap into your social network.
- LinkedIn: We live in a social world and can now connect with thousands of people we may never meet face to face. A connection you make on LinkedIn may be important for your current job search or career advancement in the future.
- Work experience: Use resumé content to update your LinkedIn profile with your most recent work experience. Include bullet points with job overview information and important details about what you did during your time in the role.
- Headshot: Add a recent headshot to your profile. We have access to great cameras (in our pockets); you don’t need to pay for a professional headshot to take a good photo for LinkedIn.
- Make connections: Indiscriminate or distant connections are OK (think: former coworkers or acquaintances; friends of friends; or family friends). However, when reaching out, be concise and write personalized messages so people understand why you’re asking to connect.
- Open to opportunities: Add the “open to opportunities” banner for recruiters. However, do this only after you’ve polished your profile page and the above points have been addressed.
- Follow your top companies: Market yourself to companies you’re passionate about. Connect with people who work at the company and request an informational meeting. Ask if they’re available for a 10-minute call to learn more about the company, or, if you’re local, offer to meet in person over coffee. Come prepared with a pitch about your work experience, why you’re interested in the company, and questions about working at the organization.
Step 3: Strategically apply to positions.
- Make a connection: Before applying to a position, see if you know someone who works at the company, or find the position recruiter and message them.
- Apply on the company website: Apply to the position using the company’s website, not a quick third-party application service. Some services reformat resumes, which can come off looking unprofessional. If you go through a company’s website, you can check that your resume retains its formatting and that the correct information is pulled.
- Pace yourself: Limit applications to less than 10 per day. This will ensure you’re giving proper attention to each application and that you don’t miss something or make a mistake along the way.
- Be mindful of how many applications you complete at a specific company: Limit the number of positions you apply to at a specific company; only apply to the jobs you feel most qualified for. Applying to multiple positions could dilute the effectiveness of an application for the role you’re most qualified for.
These best practices are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting yourself noticed and hired at your dream company in 2023. Ultimately, the amount of effort and practice you put into the job search will matter greatly when it comes to finding your perfect role. If you’re looking for more guidance on the job search, I’d highly recommend “Knock’em Dead Job Interview: How to Turn Job Interviews Into Job Offers” by Martin Yate. Good luck!