Balancing work, family and friends is tough enough without throwing a job hunt on top of it. Your schedule is already packed and now you’re supposed to add researching and following up on job opportunities into the mix? That’s a pretty tall order.
So here’s what we’ve done at TheLadders to make your search for a high-end job easier when it comes to research, tools, resume, and understanding the hunt.
Research — cutting out the busy work
Yes, with an infinite amount of time, you could use the internet to find the names of all the companies who might have jobs for somebody like you, surf their websites, follow up on the phone, and keep an active eye on what’s new. But who has an infinite amount of time?
We thought that was too much work to ask of busy professionals.
So what we do at TheLadders is call recruiters and HR departments — almost 10,000 calls per week from TheLadders to companies and recruiters looking to fill positions — and we get the information from them about upcoming hires they are making in order to post the jobs on our site or let them look through our resume database.
Then, we screen through all the jobs they do send to make sure they are paying at the $100,000 or more level. We have two human beings review each job before it is allowed on the site — that’s a form of editorial oversight or curation that makes sense for you by eliminating the busy work. (The most common error we see, by the way, is administrative — the HR group sent us all their jobs, not just the $100K+ ones, and we’ll get on the phone with them to screen through and take just the ones that pay above our minimum level.)
Recruiters and hiring managers like using TheLadders because we only have candidates at the $100K+ level. It saves them a lot of time when they don’t have to look through all the inappropriate applications that they might get when they post their jobs on a general job board. By screening for both sides, we here at TheLadders have created a community that is a lot safer, easier, and more efficient for high-end professionals to get connected with the jobs they are looking for.
Jobs — how to get instant notice
A recent, really powerful addition to our product is “Follow Recruiter.” As I’ve mentioned previously, I signed up for Twitter last year to see how it works for the high-end job search. While the experiment has been a lot of fun, the open nature of the internet means that Twitter isn’t a great tool for you to find your next job.
So here’s what we’ve done: we designed a simpler type of Twitter that focuses just on the $100K+ job hunt for TheLadders subscribers. When you go to “Follow Recruiter” or you apply for a job on TheLadders, you can decide to “Follow” a recruiter that has the type of jobs that you’re interested in. No surprise, it turns out that if a recruiter has one job you’re interested in, chances are that he or she will have other jobs you’re interested in too. Operations recruiters tend to have operations jobs, finance recruiters tend to have finance jobs, legal recruiters tend to have law jobs, etc.
So when you sign up to “Follow” a particular recruiter, you’ll be notified by e-mail immediately when they post a new job. I’ve been playing around with our new system, and just like Twitter, it takes a little bit of trial and error to determine who is really somebody that has jobs you’re interested in. But once you find those recruiters, it’s really fantastic (and kind of interesting) to see the jobs show up in your Inbox instantly.
Resume — it should do the work for you
Now if you’re trying to save as much time as possible in the job hunt, the best possible way to do it is to have your resume do as much of the work for you as it can.
While many of us feel sheepish about “bragging” about our accomplishments, it’s important to realize that your resume is the first contact your potential future boss has with you — and what he or she needs to know is how you can make their life easier by filling this job they’re hiring for and doing it really well.
You’re not going to get a chance to speak with the hiring manager and let them know what a wonderful professional you are. And you’re not going to have the time to track down everybody involved in the hiring decision and speak with them first. You can try to explain your accomplishments on the phone to the HR department, or you can hope that your industry contacts let them know what a star you really are, but that’s not the best way to make sure you are being presented effectively.
It would be fantastic, and probably a better system overall, if you were always allowed to make your first impression in person. But the fact is, that doesn’t happen very often, and you need to have a resume that does a very good job of explaining you.
No, what you need to do is have a resume that does all of that work for you.
Now, a resume is really an advertisement. It advertises not what you’ve done, but what you can do for your future employer. You might think that listing all your accomplishments, skills, and awards would be enough, but as we have researched it here at TheLadders, that’s not the case.
A great resume is written from the point of view of “What can this person do for me, the manager that has a job that needs to be done?”
So many resumes that we see have entries such as “Was hired to be the VP of the Western Region for the new product line of Acme Corp.”
OK, while that’s true, it doesn’t really tell your future boss what you can do, only what you’ve done.
A great resume would say something like “Reduced operating costs 17% through streamlining of production processes and increased contribution margin by 510 basis points after being selected to lead new product line of Acme Corp.”
By telling your prospective employer about what you can do and how you did it, a great resume advertises your abilities very effectively even though you are not there.
Now, if you were in charge of an advertisement for your company’s new product line, you’d probably hire a professional ad copy writer or agency to write the advertisement. That makes sense — there are people who do this every day and they’ve learned the best ways to make a great ad.
And I’ve been in this job search industry long enough to know that most resumes aren’t written very effectively. As a matter of fact, as I pointed out last year, when we grade the resumes that come in to TheLadders, only 6% are written well.
So my professional advice is always, always to get your resume professionally written. There are people who do this for a living and they know the ins and outs, the tricks, and the most effective way to craft a resume that does the work for you.
To get a resume professionally written, you can either use our team here of professional resume writers that we’ve hired to do it, or you can use Google to find a resume writer you are comfortable with. I’m less concerned with getting your business, and more concerned with making sure that your resume / advertisement is doing the best job possible for you.
Information — get educated without having to read everything
Looking for a job while you’re still employed is a challenge, and there are a lot of nuances to it: How do I keep things going well at work while I’m looking? How do I manage the wardrobe change when I’m going for interviews? How do I not get myself in trouble with non-competes? Etc., etc.
We have a fantastic editorial team here at TheLadders and they’ve written or commissioned over 1,000 articles on every topic involving the job hunt — resume writing, salary negotiations, interviewing, and yes, managing the search for a new job while you’re still employed.
I’ve pulled a few of the best articles below for you this week, and here they are:
Searching While Employed: Play It Safe
Making a job switch requires balancing ambition and savvy. Follow these five steps to keep your reputation intact and your income secure.
The Fine Line Between Job Hunting and Networking
Where do you draw the line between networking to share best practices and fishing for a better offer from a competitor?
Interviewing On the Sly
When interviewing and employed, use these tips on dressing down interview attire for the office.
How to Approach a Competitor About a Job
The bottom-line on non-competes and the ethics of employers who want your insider knowledge.
Keep Your Job
There are risks to checking out of your job prematurely. There are even rewards for overperforming during uncertain times.
And as a bonus …
Resign with Class
The last impression can be more important than the first impression. Here’s how to exit as gracefully as you entered.
OK, folks, that’s my advice this week on finding a job while you’re employed. I hope you find it useful!
Good luck in your search this week — I’ll be rooting for you…