6 Ways to Reinvent Your Job Search in 2014

The competition can be fierce, and employers are looking for the best of the best

A new year is upon us and many college grads will be looking for their first job, along with many professionals searching for a more challenging gig.

The competition can be fierce, and employers are looking for the best of the best.

To help you in your hunt, here are six surprisingly simple, yet provoking thoughts to consider when approaching your job search in 2014.

Cover letters could be dead. Your colleagues and career advisors have probably told you that the cover letter is the stand out feature of an application. But your resume is what an employer really looks at, which means, kill the cover letter. The right candidate has everything an employer needs to know on their resume. We just want to get right into your experience, what you’ve actually accomplished, and to see whether the roles fit together. So cut the cover letters and power pack your resumes.

Power pack your resume. If your resume is tailored to the job it makes it much easier for the recruiter to see if you are a fit. Honesty is a good policy too. A lot of people inflate their skills, and they’ll find that out right away during the phone interview. Resumes should really be focused on results. Also, being concise is key. It’s pretty annoying when someone lists out their companies and dates, but then in another section, they put what their role was. An employer not only wants to know what you have done, but where you did it and when. And looking through your resume, they should also be able to tell right away what you are really looking for in your next job. Employers want people who want them.

Leave the bad attitude at home. Don’t be a Debbie Downer. Recruiters understand you may not be satisfied with your current job, that’s why you are talking to them! However, it is an interview, not a chance to throw yourself a pity party. No interviewer wants a case of the blues after an interview. Be positive, upbeat, and cheerful.

Hygiene helps. A lot actually. You might have to get up a little earlier to fit that shower into your morning routine but physical appearance in an interview says a lot about the candidate. The interviewer will likely be dressed to impress too. This way, you’ll both look the part!

Follow-up or forget about it. A hand-written letter goes a long, long way. Even an email thanking the interviewer for their time is something that (surprisingly) a lot of candidates forget to do. It shows interest and initiative and employers take it into consideration when hiring.

Wear flip flops after you get the job. Obviously the business world is turning more casual and suits aren’t required for many interviews anymore. But some candidates take it a little too far, coming in to interviews in shorts and flip-flops. While a website may say that they “wear shorts and flip flops to work,” it’s not appropriate for you to do so at the interview. I know you want to fit in, but it’s definitely not the time.

Sarah Doll, senior director of talent management at Chicago-based Enova International. With 1,000 plus employees, $660 million in revenues, online lender Enova is reshaping how Americans borrow with the use of technology and analytics. It is Sarah Doll and her team’s job to fill 200+ new positions each year with the country’s top technology talent and ensure they are successfully acclimated into the company.

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