Years ago, you could walk your resume into a business establishment, and expect to get a call back in a few days. Unfortunately, those days are long gone. A wealth of qualified applicants combined with online job boards have changed the game. Now, simply sending in a resume and applying will no longer get you a job. You have to be determined, smart, and utilize other channels to see true results in a job search. 

A Flood of Resumes

Online job boards have allowed candidate pools to be vastly greater. Hiring managers now receive resumes well beyond areas local to their company. This not only means more resumes for the hiring manager to look at, it also means greater competition for any applicants. Since competition is so fierce, simply sending in your resume isn’t going to do the trick in most cases. It’s no longer smart to sit by the phone or constantly re-check e-mail to see if you got called back in for an interview. You may have to go above and beyond the application process all together. We’ll be discussing a few of the best ways to accomplish both of those pursuits.

For starters, you need to have a system. That system should include an active network, a set schedule, and a way to keep track of applications. If you’re not doing these things, another candidate will, and they will get the job. First and foremost, a significant amount of new hires are brought on through referrals. Knowing people is invaluable, and necessary to a modern job search. It allows you to get advice, feel out the market, and maybe even hear about an opportunity. Also, it can provide you with different perspectives in the same field. From this network, if you can find a point of contact at a company you want to work at, seek them out. They are likely your best shot at getting your resume looked over. While there is no guarantee, your odds are far better as a referral opposed to just applying.

Applying Yourself

That’s not to discredit the act of sending in a resume online. You just have to do it right. Since hiring managers receive so many resumes, you have to know when to follow up. You also have to remember when and where you applied. This way, you have a good mindset of the timeline and where you’re at in the hiring process. A great way to do this is by developing a spreadsheet. If you’re wondering how to best set up the document, check out our previous blog. It has all you need to properly track all of your applications, points of contacts, and when to follow up.

So you’ve done your homework now. You have an active network, you’ve contacted people you know at places you want to work, and you’ve also tracked it all on your spreadsheet. So what do you do next? You wait. There is a lot to do in a job search, but sometimes you just have to be patient. You don’t want to seem overeager or pushy, so make sure you only follow up at a reasonable timeline. The waiting game can be nerve-wracking, but it will eventually pay off. It may not be today or tomorrow, but taking the steps above will put you ahead of many others looking for the same job. This certainly isn’t all you can do, but it will help significantly. Do you have any tactics you use to stand out in an over-saturated job market? Let us know in the comments!