Have you been sending out tons of job application s but haven’t been getting any interest?
Bestselling author and CNBC contributor Suzy Welch thinks the problem either could be meaningless words on your resume, a heavy focus on technical skills, or a failure to leverage connections.
1. Eliminate meaningless words
If you find your resume or your online job search profile riddled with phrases like “go-getter” and “results oriented,” go back and do some editing. Jargon like that tends to make recruiters roll their eyes.
“Make your profile stand out by purging it of buzzwords,” Welch says.
Professional networking site LinkedIn apparently agrees. It says the most overused terms on its online profiles are “specialized”, “leadership”, “passionate”, “strategic”, “creative”, and “experienced.”
“Instead of relying on tired turns of phrase,” says Welch, simply “say what you did and how it turned out”. Use clear, vivid language to describe the projects you undertook during a job or internship, and make an effort to demonstrate your personality.
“Humanity stands out.”
2. Highlight your soft skills
It’s one thing to know how to use the latest technology in your field. It’s another to have the “soft skills” many employers are looking for, like being a great team player and communicator.
“A LinkedIn survey found that 59 per cent of US hiring managers report they’re struggling to find candidates who can be collaborative, adaptable and good leaders,” Welch says.
“Of course it’s important to emphasise technical skills, but LinkedIn says people tend to overemphasise them, to their detriment.”
3. Leverage your connections
The business world is a lot more about relationships than people may think.
“Dive into your network of connections,” Welch advises. “Nearly 60 per cent of professionals surveyed by LinkedIn said that a mutual connection led them to a job opportunity.”
Looking into your second-degree connections on the platform and reaching out to people who share your alma mater are two great ways to start. But make sure you’re strategic about who you contact.
“The caveat,” she says, is to only message people with whom you have a “real connection”.
“Writing to someone cold,” Welch says, “almost never works.”