Dos and Don'ts of Job Searching

Disclaimer: These Dos and Don’ts are purely opinions. Some of them may be totally shitty opinions too. They’re based on Kristine’s experiences in the United States. Other countries may do it differently, who knows? Your mileage may vary if you do anything on this list. If you take any actions listed on it, it’s on you, not on Rankfull or Kristine. There is no guarantee that any of it will work for you, and there is no guarantee that any of it will get you a job.

DO:

  • Be proactive. Take your career and job search into your own hands.

    • It’s not anyone else’s job to do yours.

    • Create a short list of career and job search goals with a timeline and hold yourself accountable to them. Add your goals to the calendar on your phone with reminders turned on.

  • Research on what it’s like to work at a company, and what their customers think about the company and their products. Rankfull has more than 21 sites on each company’s page for you to do your research on company, consumer, product and employer reviews from one place.

  • Network, network, network. In person and online.

    • When you make connections with people, ask them to connect with you on LinkedIn, and ask them if you can email them your resume to send to people.

      • If they will forward your resume, write a little note for them to use when forwarding it to others.

      • Something like, “Hi, I met (insert your name here) at (insert place or event) recently. (She/He/They) asked me to forward (her/his/their) resume to people at companies who may be interested in talking about a potential job opportunity. I’ll let you two take it from here. Thank you.”

    • Get your personal elevator pitch ready.

      • Something about who you are (your name), that you’re at (insert your career stage here), looking for a role doing (insert what you want to do here), what measurable success you’ve achieved for your employers or in school so far, how you can help an employer with your skills in (insert your top one or two skills here), then end with an offer to help them with what they want as well.

    • Offer to help your new network connections. This will get you far. Critical to follow up on helping them too.

  • Have a LinkedIn profile. It is plain old table stakes for your job search.

    • Visit the LinkedIn Help Center and look on the left nav for Build A Profile for help.

    • Get a decent and professional headshot and add it. Get a friend to take it with your phone if you can’t afford one or need one soon.

    • Add: Summary (make it short so it shows on mobile), Experience (Work or Volunteer), Education, and Skills. Honors and Awards as a bonus.

    • Do a search on the keywords for your targeted industry or profession and add them to your Skills section.

    • Ask for LinkedIn Recommendations from your work friends and colleagues.

    • Curate your LinkedIn profile URL. They will assign a long-ass URL with a bunch of numbers, which is not helpful when adding the URL to your resume. Adjust it. Find out how to do that in their Help Center.

    • Be brief. Mine’s not so brief on some jobs because I had a lot of scope as I advanced in my career.

    • If you’re new to LinkedIn, send out connection requests to people you know first, then to people you don’t know with a note asking to connect and why.

  • Put a resume together. And a cover letter (if required) or email intro.

    • If you have Microsoft Word or Google Docs, they have free templates you can use. See Office Templates and look inside Google Docs for these.

    • Save it in PDF form, in case recruiters or hiring managers can’t receive Word or Google Docs.

    • Search for resume examples for people at your career stage or in your industry/profession.

    • Ask for feedback from recruiters or people who work in your industry, because you NETWORKED to meet them and created a rapport with them, hint hint.

      • Asking for feedback is a critically necessary skill to have at work and it makes you look like you want to improve and get ahead, or get a job. Cuz you do.

    • When you search for jobs on Rankfull, read the job descriptions and use the words in those in order to look like you speak that company’s language.

      • Each company is different and usually they want someone who groks them.

    • Add in the keywords from your LinkedIn profile. Your goal here is to get past the ATS (application tracking system). Watch out for keyword stuffing.

    • Use power or action verbs on your resume and on your LinkedIn profile. Here is a great list from TheMuse.com.

    • Get help from local career centers in the U.S.

      • A lot of states, counties, cities and/or colleges and universities have these for free or possibly reduced cost, so do a search and look there for resume help. There’s no need to pay for it if you’re tight on cash.

      • Ask your local librarian to help you find the career centers online and for additional resources like books, audio, etc.

      • U.S. Department of Labor Training page.

    • Ask your friends and family to send you theirs to get an idea of what you’d like on yours.

    • Add your LinkedIn profile link to your resume, the one you shortened and removed all those numbers from. If you have a portfolio of work on a site like GitHub, etc, add that link too.

  • Visit the Companies page to click on the employers you are interested in, then click on their Careers pages links to see what programs, internships, or other information they may have available to have people get hired by them.

    • Open the first link on their page that shows “Jobs and Employer Reviews.” That will open the Google for Jobs dashboard and pull in ALL of the jobs with that employer’s name in posted job openings, like contract or temporary jobs, not just the ones at the company itself.

  • Be proud of your service and skills you learned while in the military, volunteering, or being a caretaker for children, family, or the elderly. Thank you for your service.

DON’T:

  • Have your picture on your resume.

    • The goal is to have recruiters and hiring managers reading over your resume and then clicking on your LinkedIn profile link. They can see your gorgeous professional pic there.

    • The picture may make the ATS reject your resume.

  • Add your address to your resume or on your LinkedIn profile. City, State or general geographical area are fine.

  • State your age or birthdate on your resume.

  • Have special formatting, fonts or colors, or try to be “creative” with how your resume looks. Unless you’re looking for a job in a creative field, then have at it.

    • The formatting may make the ATS reject your resume.

    • If you’re attaching your resume through LinkedIn, Glassdoor, or Indeed when applying to a job, or if you’re emailing/InMailing a recruiter, consider that it may be hard for them to read, or it may be jumbled, when they receive it in their programs to open it, if they are allowed by their IT departments to open it at all.

  • Have columns on your resume.

    • This will make the ATS freak out as it tries to parse your resume, and you’ll spend too much time reformatting the little fields on your online application.

  • Have poor grammar and spelling.

    • Get a friend to read it over before you send it out, or use the spelling and grammar checker in Word or Docs.

  • Lie on your resume.

  • Email, chatbot, message or contact Rankfull to get you a job.

    • That is why there is a Jobs page and Google for Jobs dashboards embedded on each company’s page.

    • Use those and then read the first bullet and sub-bullet points in the Dos list again.