In the pantheon of awful things, looking for a job is right up there with waxing and breakups. It’s painful, full of uncertainty, and makes you question everything. Yes, waxing does that. Trust.
I’ve been there. I was laid off twice before starting Three Ears Media, and both scenarios caught me off guard and turned my life plans in a completely different direction. The changes always were for the better, but it never felt like that at the moment. It’s hard to get clarity in the middle of chaos.
During my last layoff call, I could feel that instant shift from confident to uncertain in a matter of seconds. Whether you love or hate your gig, you have plans for your life you want to see come to fruition. Work, and specifically the paycheck, are the means to that end whether you’re passionate about the job or not.
That’s why a job search feels so unnerving. All of a sudden, nothing feels concrete, and you’re on display. To complicate things even more, everyone has advice that doesn’t apply to you or is a little different than the last time you looked for a job. There’s no single source of truth. Hell, there’s no formula either.
Diving Into the Details: Insider Info In the Job Post
Every time I get a call asking for job search advice, I ask the same question: Can you send me three links to the jobs you want? While I know most job postings suck, (I know, I’m the job post lady), there’s often crucial information buried in all that bullshit.
Recruiters haven’t done every job they recruit. To compensate for lack of knowledge, they tend to give unintentional insight into what they’re looking for when they write the job posting. Even hiring managers with all the intel in the world give away the secrets without trying.
That’s why I’ve taken all the lessons learned writing thousands of job postings and translated it into four tips I know can give candidates a competitive advantage during the application process.
TL; Didn’t watch? Here’s the brief recap.
- Your job title isn’t universal. Know how to find alternative job titles to expand your search.
- Use a word cloud generator to take a lot of content and get clarity about what’s most important.
- Watch out for buzzwords. If it feels slimy, it probably is.
- The follow-up email matters. Make it memorable.
The online job posting is a hub for intel if you take the time to dig and dial into details. It’s also the only source of truth as far as this role and your access to it – don’t ignore this free advantage! Read closely and use these tips to optimize your resume and apply with confidence.
And while these tips won’t guarantee you get the job, they will give you confidence and clarify if this job could be right for you. That matters. Let these insights save you from a bad employer.