You're inundated with calls from recruiters who want to 'run' job opportunities by you. And on top of that, your inbox is flooded with potential new positions and inquiries.
“There’s so much to consider when you're looking for a job. It can be very overwhelming,” acknowledges long-time recruiter Colleen Lennox, founder and president of the Ashling Team Cybersecurity Community.
So where do you start? Lennox offers the following suggestions for sifting through all that’s in front of you:
- Explore options. Visit different career boards and read through job descriptions. Consider what sounds interesting to you, and what may be a bit more challenging and, thereby, exciting.
- Focus your search on jobs that actually appeal to you, and be confident in what you want. Indecisiveness is neither productive, nor effective.
- Update your resume. Make sure you have enough buzz words so your profile appears in the various online searches (i.e. Boolean) conducted by recruiters. And no, not buzz words like ‘strategic, forward-thinking, team player, etc.’ Key words specific to your area(s) of expertise and industry. Recruiters can only search what we see in the search results. If your resume is full of explanatory text and not buzz words relevant to your skill set and to the job description(s) to which you want to apply, your information won’t be found through our online searches.
- Ensure your LinkedIn profile mirrors your resume. Go to your privacy settings and select “open to new opportunities.” This is important because recruiters look at this setting first. And know that only we, the recruiters, can view this setting.
- Partner with a recruiter to whom you've been referred. When looking for a professional, be it a contractor or doctor, you ask friends who they've used (and liked!), right? Well, the same applies when searching for a recruiting partner. And yes, collaborating with a recruiter is a long-term relationship that's built and maintained over the course of your career, not one that ends when/if you land a new job. Talk with professional peers, former classmates and professors to learn who they've worked with, what the relationship was like and how it's continued (even if a job placement didn't occur). There are also professional communities, like Ashling Team, and organizations and Facebook groups, like the Women's Society of Cyberjutsu that you can tap into for insight and referrals.
- Be responsive. Reply to job opportunities in a timely fashion (so you don’t miss-out!), and be sure you make time in your schedule for phone conversations with recruiters. We talk with potential candidates all day. So if you wait to get back to us, what may have been your next opportunity could quickly become someone else’s big break.
- Do your due diligence. When you begin the interview process, research the company to which you’re applying. Look up the people with whom you are meeting on LinkedIn and learn about their background. Take note of any ‘common denominators,’ so you can make connections with your interviewer(s).
- Ask questions, and then listen carefully. The answers to your questions will likely tell you exactly what you need to know regarding what the manager and company are looking for in this hire. Then, you can respond accordingly (and strategically!).
- You get yourself the job, not your resume. Your resume and online profile are tools that help secure you an interview. However, it’s on you to land the job. Chemistry during an interview is a-must.