Career Growth

10 Things to Do to Land a Job in 30 Days

It’s possible, and you can do it. Here’s how:

1. Clean and Bulk Up Your LinkedIn
Your LinkedIn profile is your virtual resumé. This means that while hiring managers spend 30 seconds or less scanning your resumé, they’ll likely spend less time on your virtual resumé. Recruiters and connections can view your profile at any time, and when you send you resumé out in response to job postings, they frequently check your LinkedIn. It needs to express your experience, ability, and skills clearly, concisely, and presentably. Make sure that your resumé can verify your LinkedIn (hiring managers will hold it against you if you lie on one or the other).

Add everyone you know on LinkedIn, including former and current co-workers, friends, family members, and classmates. Connections are maintained on LinkedIn. Add pertinent work history and internships, if applicable, education background, organizational memberships, skills, and attach projects, presentations, articles, or websites that you’ve created. Make sure that everything is spelled correctly, is properly (or at least consistently) formatted, and ensure that your byline (what shows up beneath your name) is reflective of who you are as a professional.

Don’t list “Seeking employment” as a byline; you’ll be immediately bypassed by recruiters. Importantly, make sure your photo is of your face, appropriate for your profession, and is current.

2. Update Your Resumé
So you’ve been sending out your resumé to every job posting that fits the bill, but you’ve been getting no interviews? When my clients tell me this, almost 100% of the time, it’s because their resumé needs to be updated, or in some cases, entirely redrafted.

The three most important tips are: 1) delete the summary and bullet-point list of skills at the top unless you have 10+ years of experience; 2) keep your resumé to one-page unless you have more than 10 years of experience; and 3) use bullet points to express your experience, not long-winded, unwieldy sentences.

3. Shorten Your Cover Letter
While many companies are forgoing mandating the cover letter as a part of the job application, most applications still require or prefer it. Lots of younger companies use similar application websites that allow you to attach your resume and optionally submit a “note” about why you want to work at the company. Hiring managers want to read a short cover letter, if at all, and make sure to make it meaningful.

Express in one paragraph why you want this particular position and this particular company and why you would be perfect for the job. Then state how the company can reach you and that you hope to hear from them. Done!

4. Have Writing Samples Prepared (and Formatted Properly)
If you work in an industry that often requires writing samples, make sure you provide them in an organized, formatted, and consistent manner. Here’s how.

5. Update Your References
If you do receive an interview, they will most likely ask for a list of references. In my experience, not all companies bother to call the references, they just want to see that you can produce a list of verifiable people who can affirm that you can do the work you say you can and are sane.

This should be prepared in advance. Why? You should call or email each reference to get their permission to list them as a reference and/or remind them of who you are and ensure that if called, they will be able to recall you and speak well of you.

The single page of references should include no more than 3 references, and be formatted with the same header and font as your resume. Here’s what it should look like:

[HEADER]

REFERENCES

1.    [Full Name of Reference]
[Job Title]
[Company]
[Address]
[Phone: XXX-XXX-XXX]
[Email: xxx@xxx.com]

[Name of Reference] supervised my work as a [your job title] at [Company], where I have worked since [Date].

6. Reach Out to Connections (aka Network)
Networking is scary, but it can be productive if done correctly. Start out by looking for job postings that interest you. Then go through your comprehensive list of connections (see Step 1 of this list) to see if you know anyone who works at a company hiring for a job that interests you. Reach out to them and ask them if they would be willing to introduce you. More likely than not, the answer will be yes. Then conduct an informational interview with anyone willing to meet with you, talk to them about the company and job, and express your interest in the company and particular job posting you saw. If the meeting goes well, you’ll walk away with a referral for the job you want and, at a minimum, a new connection.

7. Attend a Networking Event
Local industry-specific groups or even alumni groups host frequent events throughout the year. Joining one of these groups can increase your network, offer valuable insight into your competition, and give you face time with managers that have hiring sway at their companies. Volunteering at these events also provides an opportunity to show off your skills and personality to the group/event organizers, who often have successful careers already.

8. Start Volunteering

While this is often a long-term career solution, many people find new careers through connections made while volunteering. Try to find a volunteer opportunity within your area of expertise or industry. It’s a great way to add expertise to your resumé at the very least, and it can offer opportunities to work with and network with other professionals. For volunteer ideas, check LinkedIn, Idealist.org, or VolunteerMatch.

9. Maintain a List of Unique Job Search Engines
Check them daily. Don’t exclude your college or graduate school career sites; they often include positions that favor alumni. Applying through Indeed, Monster, ZipRecruiter, etc. can be a waste of time because 1000s of resumes are scanned through virtual keyword crawlers. Often you can find more focused, industry-specific jobs on narrowly-tailored job posting sites. For example, entertainmentcareers.net, efinancialcareers.com, or workinsports.com.

10. Join LinkedIn Groups
Your school(s) should have alumni groups on LinkedIn, where there are often job postings by other alumni. Other LinkedIn Groups tailored to your specific skills, job, or industry also post jobs and offer events for networking within the group.