To be successful in today’s highly competitive job market, job hunters need to be open-minded and innovative, constantly reassessing their job finding strategies. Originality, creativity and flexibility typify the maverick approach to successful job hunting.
Proactive Job Hunting
The internet’s where we go to find jobs—it has millions of them and millions of us use it. Yet exploring most of its dedicated job finding resources reveals the heart of the application procedure remains the resume and cover letter process, recast into the digital age. Striving for a better way to bring employers and applicants together, software startups and maverick job seekers are trying a new approach to leap the ineffectual traditional job application method: the proposal.
Hoping to expedite the hiring process, newly launched 1-Page offers a proposal platform for proactive job hunting mavericks wanting options outside of the standard resume. For a trial subscription and $11.00 every three months thereafter, 1-Page gives job seekers the capability to craft one-page proposals and send them out cold to companies they’ve identified through the platform’s research resources. Writing advice is offered through a free ebook authored by 1-Page CEO Patrick Riley, “The Resume is Dead: The One Page Job Proposal.” 1-Page claims that of a sample of 2,000 applicants worldwide who used their proposal writing tools, 60% were offered a job or an interview within two weeks. “Pretty amazing given the unemployment rate," said 1-Page cofounder Joanna Weidenmiller.
For now, though, the resume and cover letter live on, with the majority of employers requiring it. They’re usually submitted electronically through company and recruiter websites, or other internet resources, such as LinkedIn and Facebook.
Until something better comes along, you’ll need a resume reflecting your experience and the benefits you can bring to a company. The best of these are focused on the position you’re applying for and speak to how your skills jibe with the company’s needs. It should summarize the knowledge you’ve gained through education and experience, and clearly but succinctly spell out how this is of value to an employer. “Get my attention and I’ll keep reading,” says recruiter Harvey Band.
If you write your resume yourself, have someone else critique and proofread it. Typos, grammatical errors and clichés make the recruiter’s interview decision easy. This is a crucial document around which you should hone your job interview techniques.
The Cover Letter
A well-written cover letter for freelancers lets you showcase your writing skills and highlight personal or professional qualities:
- It should be short, no more than three or four paragraphs.
- The opening salutation should address the recruiter or employer or be a generic greeting. In lieu of a generic salutation, it’s fine to just begin with the first paragraph.
- In the first paragraph, explain why you’re writing. Reference the ad, the job site or the person who referred you, or that you heard the company might be expanding.
- The middle paragraphs are the heart of the cover letter. Explain why you’re an excellent candidate and display your knowledge of the company. Here’s where you can also showcase your career and accomplishments; either a narrative or a bullet point format is fine.
- This is also where it’s acceptable to briefly touch on personal attributes that help define you as person, e.g., community involvement, personal achievements.
- Close appropriately with “Sincerely” or “Yours truly.”
- As with the resume, edit it well and scour it for typos and grammatical errors.It’s best to have someone with fresh eyes do this for you.
- Monster.com has many examples of job-specific cover letters.
Career advice author Katy Piotrowski recommends that after electronically sending your resume and cover letter, that you also drop it in the mail with a handwritten note saying “Second submission. I’m very interested.” “It’s doubled the hire rate,” she noted.
There are many ways to find a job, but fortune as always favors the bold. Contact Artisan's team of talent representatives for help in developing innovative job search strategies. Good Luck with your Job hunting!