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3 Job Hunting Tips: Ditch the Resume and Go Social
Resumes and interviews used to be the only opportunity for a job hunter to gain the hiring manager's trust. Today trust must be built before stepping through the door.
It never ceases to amaze me how the majority of the people who approach me wants either to make their resume stand out or to prepare for an interview. I often say to them: 'Forget your resume', or 'If you rely on a one hour interview to convince a stranger to offer you a job, you're crazy'.
Forget your resume
Let's be clear. There is NO WAY to make your resume stand out. Make it fit, but do not spend an extra minute trying to make it original. All resumes look the same anyway. Want proof? Check out the CNN advice on how to make your resume stand out. We all read advice like that at some point. That's why we all have the same resume. Hundreds of thousand resumes sent every day. Do you really think you can get yours to stand out? Seriously?
Don't rely on the interview
There's a million things people do wrong at the interview, and its very structure plays mostly against you. Years ago I interviewed with Amazon. It was a disaster. The interviewers were just looking for the 'right' answers. Sometimes I said the right things, sometimes I didn't. In the end, I didn't get the chance to shine. Why? Because an interview is the company's way to know your story. The company's way, not yours.
This is why relying on an interview to impress the hiring manager today is crazy: If you had the opportunity to tell your story the way you wanted, would you choose to tell it by answering a stranger's questions? Probably not. Well, the good news are, you no longer have to. Today you have the opportunity to gain trust before even stepping through the door.
In Google we trust
There is only one thing that's going to convince a stranger you're the right person for the job: trust. If the hiring manager trusts you, then it's a done deal. Trying to build that trust for the first time at the interview is risky because you have one hour and so many things that can go wrong. So, the alternative is to build that trust before the interview. Which means you have to start right now and keep it up because you never know when your next interview will be. Here are 3 easy things you can start doing today:
1. Blog part-time
According to Technorati the majority of people will start getting their news from blogs rather than traditional media in the next 5 years. Moreover, 49% of part-time bloggers find blogging has proven to be a valuable way of promoting their business. That's great news for you because you want to promote yourself.
To open a blog today, get a free account with wordpress, typepad or blogger. Or buy your own domain in 5 minutes. I bought the Stuckaholic domain for $7/year and I usewordpress.org. If you want more info on blogging, this is the place you want to visit.
Note: write about your profession, industry, challenges, interests or anything else that can get people to recognize your expertise. Remember this is supposed to be a work blog, not a personal one.
2. Write guest posts
If time is an issue, guest posting is a great alternative. Find blogs that talk about your industry and write for them. Many bloggers welcome articles written by others as it reduces their own writing workload. Find the right blogs to write for on Technorati. Once you found a couple of blogs, follow their rules for guest posts. Remember, your goal is to establish credibility and trust. You don't need your own blog to do that. You just need to make your opinions visible.
3. Become an expert on Linkedin
Linkedin is replacing lots of the traditional job-hunting stuff (i.e. send a resume) but people still use it as a job board and complain they never get anything out of it. It's a networking site. Use it as such. Go to the 'answers' section and answer at least one question a day in your industry. You will earn expertise points and you'll be featured in the answers home page. Hiring managers like their candidates to be recognized as experts by others. See this for more ideas on Linkedin.
There are many other things you can do to establish trust and credibility before going to an interview, but these three are easy and effective. If you're job hunting right now, I urge you to do one thing: google your name. How many results are about your professional opinion? Not many? Then how can a hiring manager get to know you?