When it comes to searching for a job, it can overwhelm your entire life – at least it feels like it. You put in all these hours crafting an awesome resume, more hours seeking out job openings that interest you (and some that really don’t), and after multiple follow up calls you feel like you’ve accomplished something. Yet, after failed interviews, or no interviews at all, you feel like you’ve just lost a life in the game of job seeking and are back at the first level all over again. Frustrated, you’re ready to throw that computer and your resume out the window.
Before you do that, we want to let you in on a few secrets that will help curb that frustration. Here are 8 job search secrets that you need to know now:
Secret #1: 80% of job openings are never even posted online.
What?! 80%! Surely we’re joking right? Nope. Believe it or not, but the vast majority of job postings that you are scouring through are only the tip of the iceberg. Most of the openings are actually found through networking instead of a major job site. Most of the best opportunities for the jobs that we are looking for lie in that awkward “outer network”. These are the contacts that lie just outside of your normal network or people that you’re familiar with, like uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, etc. Those people that are distant contacts, such as the old joke “a friend of a cousin of an aunt of a friend” is basically what we’re talking about here. So, that annoying friend of your sister’s boyfriend might actually be the key to getting that perfect job.
Secret #2: A whopping 93% of hiring managers look through your social media profiles first and then over half of those applicants are put in the “no” pile.
Yes, that’s right. Those social media profiles that you have out there showing that awesome boat party, the crazy Halloween costumes, and the risqué memes that you’re sharing can cost you a job. So before you start shooting out resumes, or even right after you finish this post, you need to go clean up those profiles. Anything that might be taken the wrong way or looks like something you wouldn’t want a potential boss to see needs to go. Delete status updates, pictures, memes, and so on that will look bad on you. Unsure what’s over the line or not? Consider if you would want Bill Gates seeing it if he’s considering you for a VP job. Or, maybe just your grandmother seeing it could be enough.
Secret #3: Almost 95% of recruiters use LinkedIn to sort through potential job applicants.
Ok, take a look at that number. 95%. That literally is probably every single employer out there – even those that say they don’t or maybe are just looking for a bait salesman in Antarctica. If you already have a LinkedIn profile, good job. If not, do it. Now. Well, wait ‘til you’re done reading this post. The key to a great LinkedIn profile is to take the time to fill everything out correctly so start by checking this out. Next, take the time to search out keywords that correlate to the type of skills that you have and jobs that you’re looking for. Once you have a list of keywords, plug those bad boys in your profile. The next step is to find people you know and preferably have worked with in the past to add as contacts. Endorse their profiles and they will get pop ups to endorse your skills. It does take some time and effort on your part, however, it is well worth it.
Secret #4: Almost 2/3 of recruiters will count off for bad spelling and grammar.
So the lesson here is spell check. Always. When it comes to social media, consider actually spelling things out – that whole “Omg luv dat movee!” tweet needs to go.
Secret #5: Recruiters spend an average of a whopping 8 seconds on your resume.
Yes, you read that right, 8 seconds. Less time that it takes you to read this paragraph – that’s how long you have your resume in front of a job recruiter. So, remember that less is more and you need to make that resume pop. Those paragraphs about how great a volunteer dog walker you were in elementary school and how far your skills in mall speed walking have come are never going to get looked at. Sorry, we know how tough walking 10 dogs can be, so kudos on that.
Secret #6: Only 20% of job applicants will get called for an interview.
Recruiters will take the time (a whole 8 seconds as we’ve learned) to look at your resume, only covering the basics: your name, education, current job, how long you’ve been there, and previous positions. So again, you have to make that resume stand out from the crowd. Focus on these key areas to stand out from the pack.
Secret #7: You actually have around 40 minutes to make a great impression in an interview.
Way more time than you thought right? Well, yes and no. Consider this: most people make up their minds about a person within the first 60 seconds. So, you need to put your best foot forward from the start. From that point, you have about 40 minutes with a person interviewing you to make a great impression that will last. Scared that you can’t make it a whole 40 minutes without snorting or fidgeting? No problem. Practice your interviewing with a friend and get those jitters out.
Secret #8: Not negotiating your salary could cost you up to $500,000 before you retire.
Don’t have that kind of cash to toss out the window? Don’t worry, we don’t either. And hey, $500K could sure buy some great property on the beach in Fiji for retirement. However, most job applicants are too hesitant to discuss or negotiate salary with a potential employer. If you’re worried or unsure of how to approach the subject, check out some of our great articles here and do some research. The more you know, the better prepared you will be when the topic comes up.
The Key to the Secrets
The key to all of these secrets is to not take rejections as a personal blow, but as a learning experience. Use them as springboards to spice up that resume, bulk up that LinkedIn profile, or scour the next friendly get-together for people outside your comfort zone of friends. Boost up your online presence and take the time to fully move your job search into the fast-paced world of social media.