Ultimate Job Seeker Playbook

Alright team- it’s time to get this bread. I am certain that if you’re reading this you have tried everything you could to land that next interview and yet, nothing seems to work. Or maybe you got through to the final rounds and no offer has come through. It’s tough out there, and the thing about it is that it always will be tough out there as a job seeker! So, today we will go through a step-by-step process for you to add more FIRE POWA to your job search.  

You’re probably tired of hearing differing opinions about one versus two-page resumes, how to format the resume, if you should include graphics, the list goes on and on. The reality is that in most instances, your resume is going to be the FIRST asset that lands you an interview. Your resume is the first highlight reel that your potential employer will see before deciding to speak with you. Now I do not believe in perfect resumes, but I do believe that there is always better so here are a few key resume action items to keep in mind:  

  1. Are at least 50% of your written bullets metric driven/focused?  
  2. Are you using the same verbiage/language from the job posting?  
  3. Do your job titles, responsibilities, function, etc. match the role that you are applying for?  

These days, you could technically use artificial intelligence to write your resume, but I have found that even the AI (Artificial Intelligence) fails to construct metric driven resume bullets- so I encourage everyone not to rely solely on artificial intelligence.  

Need help with your action-verbs: https://www.themuse.com/advice/185-powerful-verbs-that-will-make-your-resume-awesome 

  • Use this to help you construct your action-packed and business professional resume bullets  

Cliff Notes on Resume Writing: Submitting a Resume That Gets Interviews: Checklist Included! 

  • Review this excellent resource from Andrew to learn about the “VALUABLE EIGHT” which will help you to write your stellar resume  

Need help finding the common verbiage/theme: https://www.jasondavies.com/wordcloud/ 

  • Use this to help you to identify the most common key words and phrases that the employer will be targeting  


Targeted Job Search
Have you ever applied for hundreds of jobs and still had trouble even landing your next role? Same here. It’s not fun! I have found that a more intentional job search yields better results- use the same time you have with more focus and send me a message with the results you start to see. Here is one strategy that you can use to bolster your chances of landing interviews- using Boolean searching to target specific jobs that you are interested and qualified for! Boolean searching is a method used to find specific information on the internet by using a series of key word combinations and phrases. Go to your google search bar and type in your preferred job title of choice followed by the word and followed by typing out job. What do you see? Great- now let’s get even more specific.  

Try to use quotation marks around your preferred job title (example: “Customer Service”) and the word job (example: “Job”). Together it should look like this in your google search bar: “Custome Service” AND “Job” 

Notice how what appears are job boards with lots of customer service jobs? GREAT! Now let’s get EVEN MORE SPECIFIC 

Use the same search string except replace the word “Job” with the domain name for a common applicant tracking system portal that you are familiar with. For example, you might use the word “jobvite.com” instead of “job.” Below are a list of other popular and frequently used applicant tracking systems 

  • “applytojob.com” (Jazz HR) 
  • “lever.co” (Lever) 
  • “apply.workable.com” (Workable) 
  • “workforcenow.adp.com” (ADP) 
  • “boards.greenhouse.io” (Greenhouse.io) 
  • “recruiting.paylocity.com” (Paylocity)  

Other Search Parameters to Use 

  • “.com/openings” 
  • “.com/careers”  
  • “.com/available-positions/” 
  • “.com/search-jobs”  

Please remember that this is not all-encompassing, there are dozens, if not hundreds, of different applicant tracking systems and job boards available for you to research, this playbook simply serves as a kick-start!  

Job Application Volume & Tracking
Okay- so you’ve got your resume ready and now you know how to look for specific jobs, now what? Mass-apply to 500 jobs per week? Sure. Try it out. Tell me how it goes (really, I love talking with you all!). What I recommend is an extremely intentional pace of job applications per day. In your normal job, your boss doesn’t just have you bust out reports left and right, they want you to spend time making sure they are accurate and ensuring that your customers will be satisfied with the final product. We should treat our job search the same. I think a healthy pace/volume of applications per week is between 15-20 per week. This would give you the perfect amount of time to tailor your resume for each role, to research each company that you apply to, and even find out unique ways to help yourself stand out by networking or creating other assets that you can use during job interviews (more on the two topics later).  

It is also important that you track your job application status. You can use simple home-built tools like pen and paper or an excel sheet, or you can use a more sophisticated platform (for free) that helps you to manage oversight of your job search at a larger scale: https://www.tealhq.com/. The remarkable thing about Teal is that you can use other freemium features to help write your resume and set up follow-up tasks as reminders to keep you on top of your job search activities. When you track your job search you are more engaged, and you will accumulate more data that you can use to take your job search to the next level by monitoring what stages of job applications and interview processes you find yourself struggling with the most.  

We have all heard the adage “your network is your net worth!” 

Do you ever find yourself wondering how true that is? My take is this: your network will not always bring you immediate gain, so if you’re networking expecting a job tomorrow, I’m sorry to say that it will not happen. Networking, to me, is a long-term strategy that you don’t have to do at all, but IF you do it then your chances of being able to move into your next big opportunity will increase. How does that work? Well, you plant seeds in the hopes that one day, they will grow into a nice big oak tree. You will have to accept that some of those seeds will never get past the germination stage, they may even die. That is okay! Not everything in life is supposed to be sunshine and roses, albeit that is a huge plus! I recommend making an intentional effort to connect with at least 2-5 NEW people each day that you are job searching. Use the Boolean search tips from above to target specific profiles like “Hiring Manager” or “Recruiter” or “JOB TITLE.” When you are reaching out to potential new connections you should do so with intention. Have a concrete reason you want to speak with them. For example, you could share with them the job search journey that you are on, you could share with them that you want to learn about what their day-day looks like. There are so many entry points, and each one will work differently for every person because we are all unique humans with different motivations and perspectives on how we want to use our time.  

Creating Assets for Interviews
Okay this action is a fairly long-time investment, most people do not want to have to do this, which is why it’s part of this playbook. When you go to interviews, are you going with just your notebook in hand and your stories about your successes? That’s okay- and will work, but what if there was a better more engaging way to sell yourself and highlight your value? In the world of business, we are inundated with meeting after meeting and report after report. Now throw in having to interview people who want to join the company and you’ve got yourself a lot of mental brain power being used up- so you, as the job seeker, should be doing everything in your power to solidify your opportunity to join their team and be a value add. I think one of the best, and most simple, assets that any job-interviewer can create for themselves is a PowerPoint slide deck that is templatized and highlights 3-5 of their most relevant career successes/projects, personal motivations and values, and a slide covering “why you should hire me”. During your interview, you can ask if you can share a presentation you created to showcase your skills/experience and why you would be a great fit for the team. Brownie points for branding the presentation to the company that you are interviewing with.  

Putting it All Together
This was a LOT of information- I know it. Let’s go through how you can incorporate this into your job search strategy! First thing is first- determine the timeline that you want/need your new role. Realistically you should account for at least 8-10 weeks (about 2 and a half months) minimum dedicated to applying, interviewing, tweaking your process, interviewing more, and finally offer stage. Timelines vary, but I like to be conservative in my estimates. Once I have a timeline in mind then I like to plan out what my weeks look like. For this mock job search project plan, we’ll be jobless, since this is likely when people are in the thick of their job searching efforts. I like to think that if I had a 9-5, I would be working those hours, so I keep those core hours for my job search as well. 

  • 3-5x intentional job applications per day  
    • 30 minutes of research on industry/company 
    • 15-20 minutes on tailoring resume 
    • 5-10 minutes applying for the job 
    • Repeat!  
  • Adding 10-15 new connections per day 
    • LinkedIn maxes you out at 100-150 per week 
    • Use a note in each of your connection requests 
    • Follow up with people who have not replied to you 
      • I like to follow up two additional times before moving on 
    • Be intentional and have a purpose for connecting!  
  • When you start to get interviews line up- prepare your assets for the interviews!  
    • This can be a PowerPoint presentation 
    • This can be a portfolio of case studies you have compiled over your career 
    • This can be a 3–5-minute video that you created to showcase your skills/expertise 
    • There is no limit to what you CAN do but know your audience and preferred delivery method.  
  • Watch this video of the creator of the Flamin’ Hot brand for inspiration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iF2M_FtukI&ab_channel=ABCNews 

There you have it folks- another step-by-step action plan for improving your job search strategy. If you feel like you could use some extra guidance for your next steps, please feel free to reach out to Dom (dom@recruitingex.com 

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