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Just read an interesting article in Success magazine online which reflects my views completely. In the job search market, a lot of people compete for the same job. So how do you stand out in that crowd?

Success magazine’s recruiting expert says that ‘to find work, you must go digital’:

“It used to be that executives could network their way onto the CEO’s schedule, maybe on the golf course or a chance meeting at lunch or a ball game,” says Colleen Aylward, a recruitment strategy expert and author of From Bedlam to Boardroom: How to Get a Derailed Executive Career Back on Track! “It’s now up to you to gather your data, polish it up and position it where people will find you.”

Two words: digital brand.

Aylward has these tips:

“Streamline your strengths with specific examples. It’s not the interviewer’s job to figure out what your strengths might be; it’s the candidate’s job. The days of clever cover letters opening doors are gone. Those resumes and online profiles better be stronger than ever and packed with data and specific accomplishments”.

I really could not agree more. 90% of CVs that I see as a recruiter, don’t have enough data and specific accomplishments that are relevant to the role the candidate is applying for. When a recruiter is inundated with applications, unless you make it very clear what experience you have that is relevant to the job you are applying for, you will not even get an interview. Every day I receive applications from candidates who might have good experience, but not really relevant to the job they are interested in. Very often they will talk about skills in their covering letter than we are not looking for at all – it makes me think they’ve not read the job description at all, and are applying for any role that is vaguely relevant to their background.

Then Aylward says:

“Don’t waste time with external executive recruiters. They don’t find jobs for people. You need to get in front of the internal corporate recruiters who are searching for you online. So help them do their job by researching companies online yourself, as well as locating jobs yourself, introducing yourself to a prospective employer and conversing directly with hiring managers—online.

It’s all about them, not you. Get out of the mindset that matching yourself for a job or interviewing for a job is about you. It’s all about what you can do for them. That means defining your strengths and determining specific areas where you can solve their business problems. And be prepared to demonstrate that you have kept up with technology, industry changes and how the economy has affected them.

“Embrace change,” Aylward says. “You are still very valuable and worth money for a long time, but you need to make yourself visible—and viable—to those who need your expertise.”

While I believe external recruiters still can help you find a job, I’d absolutely recommend identifying recruiters in the companies you are interested in and contacting them directly. If a candidate whose experience is relevant to Expedia contacts me and I don’t have jobs for them right now, I always keep their CV on file and stay in contact until we have a suitable position available.

How have you adapted to a changing job market? Are you finding job search more or less difficult than a few years ago? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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