It has been said that looking for job openings is like looking for ice cubes in the hot desert sun, they melt very quickly.
While there is nothing like finding a good job opening in the field of work you desire, if you apply for job openings as everyone else does, you reduce your chance of success many fold and those job openings will melt very quickly. The reason is rather simple; advertised job openings bring with them a great deal of competition, especially in today's job market.
So, how do you set yourself apart from everyone else and move up the employer's list of potential job candidates?
If you find an advertised job opening that fits your skills and interest in the Standard-Examiner today, you can start networking to find people who work at that company. You should then set a goal to talk to each of them about what they know about the job that is open and what the employer is looking for. You can also ask how they like working for that company.
The Internet also offers a great way to research a company. The more you know about the company and the job that is open, the more likely you can appropriately adjust your cover letter and rÃ©sumÃ© to highlight your skills and work experience that are pertinent to that job.
One thing our competitive job market has created is a lot of "beefed-up" and "not fully accurate" cover letters and rÃ©sumÃ©s. Employers can see right through them. Avoid that temptation like it was the plague.
Adjusting cover letters and rÃ©sumÃ©s for a specific job opening is appropriate if you apply two important principles; one, the information accurately reflects your skills and work experience, and two, the information is positive and fits the job requirements as close as you can make it.
Obviously, the second principle is never more important than the first.
In addition to an accurate and well-crafted cover letter and rÃ©sumÃ©, the person who enters the interview the most prepared will stand the best chance of getting the job. That preparation also comes from talking with current employees and researching through the Internet.
Learn as much as you can about what the company does and how they do it; what their strengths are and what challenges they may be facing in today's economy.
With that same research having been done, if you ask pertinent and specific questions about the job responsibilities during the interview, it will become clear to the interviewer that you have taken this job possibility seriously and you will likely move up their list of job candidates.
As much that has been said over the years by job search gurus that networking is the best way to get a job -- and they are certainly right -- it is not the only way. Pursuing advertised job openings, while having done a great deal of research to adjust your cover letter and rÃ©sumÃ© and perform well in the interview, can lead you directly to your next job.
Next week we will talk about how to network to find "hiring managers" in companies that hire your skills and how to get them to know you.
Ron Campbell has worked extensively in the job search industry. He is vice president of strategic planning at Enable Utah. He can be reached at 801-386-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.