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7 Keys to a Successful Job Search

In this post, we share seven keys to a successful job search in today’s competitive environment. These keys are useful tips, strategies and ideas that will ensure that job seekers make the most of any available opportunity.

7 Keys to a Successful Job Search


1. Keep your resumé short and succinct.

Despite reports of its impending demise, experts say a resumé is still very much an essential tool in job search. But hiring managers (and the computers they use to sort through resumés) are in a rush. So you need to format your resumé to be read quickly and in small bites. These days, a typical resumé is scanned for just six to 10 seconds, often on a mobile device.

Eliminate filler words.

Use numbers to quantify your impressive results – such as “boosted sales 83 percent

Include relevant keywords that appeared in the job posting.

Also, limit your contact information to just one email address (old-fashioned AOL, no; contemporary Gmail, yes), one phone number and your LinkedIn profile URL.

Residential addresses aren’t needed, although it can be helpful to list your region (for example, New York Tri-State), so the employer knows you’re located near the open position.


2. Create a portfolio of job-search documents.

Want a way to distinguish yourself from the crowd of applicants? According to the Career Brainstorming Day professionals, many job seekers are supplementing their resumés with collateral leadership briefs, blogs that establish their robust online professional identity and, among senior-level managers, one-page executive summaries.

If you can, then by all means you should do so.

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3. Consider hiring a coach to perfect your video interview skills.

More employers are relying on Skype and Zoom for long-distance and initial screening interviews. As a result, more job seekers are using coaches to help them excel in video presentations.


4. Dive deep into LinkedIn.

Over the past decade, using LinkedIn to find work has gone from a good idea to essential. Having a sharp LinkedIn profile may be even more important than having a great resumé.

Nonetheless, all too many job candidates fail to fully embrace this tool, especially older job seekers. To maximize the use of LinkedIn, engage more frequently with your LinkedIn networks. One of the best ways to do this is to actively participate in LinkedIn’s industry and interest groups.

Find relevant groups by going to your LinkedIn home page, clicking on the Groups tab and search the “groups you may like” or “groups directory” tabs. Then join a few groups and post links to interesting articles, participate in discussions and share helpful resources. You will become known as a go-to resource and improve the likelihood that you will get noticed by recruiters, referral sources and hiring managers.


5. Use Twitter and other forms of social media to attract the attention of employers who are hiring.

Employers will move from using external recruiters to an internal hiring process that will depend heavily on identifying prospective employees through their online presence and through referrals of existing employees.

Personal websites, social media presence, development of subject-matter expertise and a well-defined personal brand will be the requirements for gaining the attention of prospective employers.

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6. Limit the amount of time you spend on job boards.

Job boards are one of the least effective ways to get hired.

It’s generally only worth applying for a position through a job board if your resumé matches 80 to 85 percent of what an employer asks for in a posting.

Job seekers continue to be frustrated by computerized Applicant Tracking Systems that scan applicants’ resumés for keywords. This finding underscores the importance of direct, targeted search with networking as its core component as the most important method for finding a job.

To maximize your chances for success using job boards, focus on smaller, regional and industry-specific job boards, as well as aggregator sites, like and


7. Start your job search sooner rather than later.

The hiring process has been growing longer, with more steps and delays between the time people apply for jobs and receive offers.

It helps to approach a search as though you are in sales: keep building your network pipeline, don’t let your momentum flag and expect to hear “no.”


Nancy Collamer, M.S., is a career coach, speaker and author of Second-Act Careers: 50+ Ways to Profit From Your Passions During Semi-Retirement. Her website; on Twitter she is @NancyCollamer.

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