I often ask clients to give me 5-10 posts for the kind of jobs they will apply for. I use these lists to determine requirements, key words, and related information. Over the past few months, I’ve noticed something that I haven’t seen for a while. Employers are highlighting compensation and benefits.
Below is an example I copied from a job post a client gave me earlier this week:
“The starting salary starts at $65,000 based on your skills, education and experience, but our client has indicated they will pay more for candidates with exceptional background.
Full benefits include medical, dental, Rx, STD, LTD, life, AD&D, vision, a matching 401k plan, credit union, PTO, holidays, vacation, free parking, fitness center, great discount on all merchandise and more”
What does this mean? It probably means that employers are finding it harder to get good employees, which also means that they’re more likely to offer bigger raises to retain employees they have and want to keep. If you’re unhappy at your current job or if it’s been a while since your last raise, this might be a good time to update your resume and start a new job search.
Should the language of a resume be specific or general? Really, this isn’t a good question. The language of a resume should fit the kind of job you are applying for. It should show how you are qualified to fill the level of responsibility that the employer needs. Sometimes the terms will be broader. If you’re looking for a sales job that cuts across different industries, you will talk about sales in more general language. However, if you’re only seeking a sales job in IT, your language needs to reflect your background in that industry. That language needs to be more specific.
Beware of simply taking the job description for your current job and repeating it point by point. That language works for the job you are leaving, but it doesn’t show your next employer how you fit her needs. I recommend gathering 5-10 posts for the kind of job you’ll be seeking. Write your resume to appeal to the needs of these employers, speak to their key words, and match your technical skills to what you see in the job posts. A good review of the job posts will tell you how specific or general the language in your resume needs to be.
I agree with most career experts that networking is the best way to look for a job. Networking can open doors to jobs that are not advertised. On the other hand, for every job attained by networking 1.5-2 jobs are found by applying to jobs posted online. There is a myth that such jobs aren’t real. If that were true, companies like Indeed, Monster, and CareerBuilder would not exist. The key to a good job search is to have multiple ways of looking for work. Start with network and applying to jobs online. I also recommend targeting specific companies that fit your goals and skills. If you’re a high income/high skill worker, it might be prudent to add recruiters to your list. Whatever methods you use, keep your job search forward and moving forward. Nothing beats persistence.