Together with experts from different fields, we created the ultimate guide to maximize your chances of finding your next job as fast as possible.
Why is this article useful for you?
- It is hard to find a new job in a market where job opportunities are limited, and unemployment rates are rising.
- You will need the right tools and knowledge to truly stand out, so we have teamed up with industry experts in recruitment, sales, and sourcing to help you.
- You need to have a process that can help you find a job quickly.
The only thing standing in the way of your success is your commitment to follow the steps in this article and to simply not give up.
This article was created with the help of Marcel van der Meer, Mike “Batman” Cohen, Dean Da Costa, Anna Brandt, Jonathan Kidder, Jules Maregiano, Tom Gerencer, Tris Revill, Alexander Gerritse, Maarten van der Kwaak, and Guillaume Moubeche. Each individual is an expert in his or her field and has shared their advice and experience with the sole purpose of helping.
1. Create a stellar LinkedIn profile
This section will show you how to create a stellar LinkedIn profile that can easily be found by recruiters.
Having worked in the recruitment industry for many years, it still takes me by surprise how little time people spend crafting a professional and representable LinkedIn profile even when actively looking for a job. When you apply for a job, recruiters and hiring managers will check out your LinkedIn profile, so make sure it represents you in the best possible way.
Your profile photo
Make sure that you have an updated LinkedIn photo that looks professional. No pictures with sunglasses on, that one photo where you look great, but it is clear that you have cut out your girlfriend or boyfriend (yes, people do that on LinkedIn to…), or even worse… Have no picture at all …
Look into the camera, look ‘friendly,’ only put your head and shoulders in the frame and have a calm background.
Your background photo
Your background photo is the second visual element at the top of your profile page. Alexander Gerritse, sr. customer success manager at LinkedIn, advices to change your background as it grabs people’s attention, sets the context and shows a little more about what matters to you.
More than anything, the right background photo helps your page stand out, engage attention, and stay memorable.
Open to new opportunities
Update your profile that you are “open to new opportunities.” Everyone visiting your profile will immediately see that you are actively looking for a new opportunity and what kind of roles you are interested in.
Go to your profile. Click on “Add profile section,” then click on “intro” and select “looking for job opportunities.”
Specify what job titles (max 5) you are looking for, what location, and what kind of contract, and make sure this is visible to everybody on LinkedIn (default is recruiters only) and save it.
Jonathan Kidder stresses the importance of adding the right location.
You can restrict yourself from appearing in searches by not correctly adding the right location diameters. The best solution to this is to simply include your Zip or Postal code in your profile. I also recommend including (Greater Minneapolis-St Paul Area) under your experiences. You can include a zip and (Greater) in both areas to cover all your bases.
The about section, or summary section, is your chance to write a summary of who you are and what you excel at and to tell something (personal) that is ‘not on your resume.’ What do you like to do? What do you find important in life? What are you proud of? How would you describe yourself, or how would others describe you? Check out the “about” sections of the people mentioned in this article for some inspiration.
Jonathan Kidder also recommends adding your contact details in this section so recruiters can easily reach out to you.
Keywords, skills, and job title
Recruiters use job titles, keywords, and skills to find potential candidates that might be a fit. You can make their life easy to be easily found on the right keywords, skills, and job titles.
Your job title should reflect what you do. Refrain from using buzzwords in your job title like “Recruiting Ninja” or “Wizard of Engineering” and try to stick to the industry standards of your job. Now is not the time to play around and be funny. You want to be found.
Next to job titles, recruiters use keywords to find specific qualities and skills a potential candidate might have. Add these keywords to your summary and/or job description. You can even use hashtags at the bottom of your “about” section and/or job description to make sure that you have the relevant keywords in your profile.
Update your skills in your LinkedIn with skills that are related to your field. This is an often overlooked section, but recruiters widely use it to search for potential candidates that are not looking for keywords but skills specifically.
In your job description, be specific on your responsibilities and achievements. Think about someone who visits your profile for the first time. Does he/she immediately understand what you do, in what area you excel, and why you could potentially be a great fit for the role you are interested in?
Two tips from Mike Cohen:
Be mindful of the verbs and the pronouns — avoid things like “maintain” or “support”, talk about what you actually did / built / created
Be aware of using words like “we” and “they” — you want to talk about things that you did — being a team player is great! But they want to hear what you did specifically.
Since you are actively looking for a job, it is time to ask your network for help and recommendations. There is absolutely no shame in doing this! Ask the people that have worked with you to write a recommendation.
Go to the bottom of your LinkedIn profile, click on ‘Ask for a recommendation,’ and select the person you want a recommendation from. Give them a heads up that you ask this, so it doesn’t get lost in all the LinkedIn messaging.
Check your LinkedIn profile
If you want to double-check if your LinkedIn profile is ‘stellar’ enough, Marcel van der Meer suggests running your LinkedIn profile and/or resume through Resume Worded. The software tool Resume Worded, will scan your LinkedIn profile and resume for free and will suggest in what areas you can improve. If you want to unlock all suggestions, you must pay a small fee. Worth to give it a try!
2. Create a Resume that Lands You an Interview
This section will show you how to create a resume that actually lands you an interview
Much has been said and written about creating a professional resume that stands out. Since different industries require different resumes, Tom Gerencer of Zety.com will outline the basics that every resume needs to have, and Dean Da Costa will show you a trick to make sure your resume can easily be found in resume databases and Google.
Structure your resume
Where do you start when trying to write a great resume? If you’ve done the job-search thing online, you know the drill. You write a resume you’re not proud of, send it to a zillion jobs (click-click-click) until you feel like a rat in a psychology experiment, and then your inbox floods with recruiter spam. But no jobs.
Part of the reason is—you’re applying to the wrong jobs. That’s what the rest of this article will fix. But a big part is your resume. As in, it’s not enticing enough to recruiters and hiring managers. I’m about to show you how to fix that. Better still, I’ll show you how to do it even if you hate writing resumes.
The first step? Start with the end—your list of skills.
Skills list—start here and it all gets easier
Too many job seekers start their resumes with the header or the resume objective. No wonder it takes hours! That’s like trying to shoot a bow and arrow without knowing where the target is. The first thing to do (if you want the job) is look at the company.
Look in the job ad. Does it list skills? Responsibilities? Most do. Copy them down. All of them. But put the most important ones at the top of your list. The best 3–5. Does the job ad not list skills or duties? Well — if you really want the job, do some informational interviews. That’s where you connect with a few employees in the same company and job on LinkedIn.
Then, ask a few questions. What are the biggest challenges you face in this role? What’s your day-to-day work like? You can learn the MVP skills this way or by coming out and asking.
Step #2? List out your own skills. All of them. You won’t use them all in your resume. But you’ll list them all on scratch paper. Then, play matchup with the two lists. Have you got the top 3–5 skills mentioned in the job ad? Yahtzee! You need those skills to get the job. List those, plus 3–5 more in your resume skills list. Mix hard skills and soft skills.
Work Experience Section
Now you’ve got a complete and relevant skills section. It’s the foundation of your resume. But it’s time to prove those skills. You’ll do it in a resume work experience section that glues employers to the page. So — in reverse-chronological order, list your last job first. Write your job title, employer, location, and working dates.
But here’s the trick that gets jobs. Don’t spend pages describing what you did. Only write a two-line job description. Then add about six bullet points. In them, don’t say what you were “responsible for.” Say what you shined at. And make those things fit the 3–5 top skills from the job ad .
Need an example? Say you’re going for an IT manager job. The job ad calls for Cisco products, vendor management, and budgeting skills. Here’s what your job experience section can look like:
Syntech IT Global,
New York, NY,
January 2015 to March 2020
Led a team of 20 IT associates in a fast-paced IT firm with over $20M in annual revenue. Built teams, worked with customers, ordered products, and managed workflows.
- Managed budgets for a list of 120+ corporate clients, providing solutions with Cisco routers, wireless systems, switches, security systems, and cloud computing services.
- Managed vendors to 20% cost savings over historical average by using highly-developed communication, negotiation, and relationship-building skills.
- Cut costs by $1M annually by creating forward-thinking budgets. Leveraged employee ideas to raise quality measures by 18% during the same time frame.
The employer’s draw will drop. You’re the “perfect” employee. Notice you added numbers that show the massive size of your achievements. You have those numbers in your past. So many resume clients I work with fail to notice until they put their thinking caps on.
You’re almost done. The rest is like housekeeping. Lather, rinse, and repeat the above with older jobs. Then move on to education, “other” sections, and your resume summary and header.
If all you’ve got is high school, add it. If you’ve got college, skip high school. Whatever school you’ve got, list your degree, the school name, location, and dates, and here’s the kicker — add a couple of whammies. One or two big wins you got in school. Here’s mine:
BA in Liberal Arts
Colby College, Maine
- Senior Scholar and Dana Scholar for Excellence in Writing
- Thomas J. Watson Fellow, Writing
I added “Excellence in Writing” and the other “writing” mention on my own. Why? Because I’m usually going after writing jobs. And most potential clients won’t know what those scholarships and fellowships mean unless I tie them to a relevant skill.
You can end at education if you like. But it’s best to add some color. Do that with some added sections. However — only add them if you can use them to prove more of those crucial skills you targeted in step #1. Have you done volunteering? Freelancing? Personal projects? Sports? Do you have certifications?
Any of those can show key skills. Leading a road-cycling club can prove leadership. Volunteering to make a website for the local animal shelter can prove web development skills. Add ’em if you’ve got ’em. Format them just like your other sections.
You’ll write this last, but it’s one of the most important parts of your resume. Why? Because most hiring managers are so busy, they don’t have time to read your resume. Your resume summary has to prove they don’t have time not to read it. Here’s how:
Scan that beautiful ¾ resume you’ve just written. What are the most eye-catching parts of it? Do you know the parts that this employer will go nuts for? (Based on your reconnaissance from reading the job ad or doing LinkedIn research, of course.)
Put those high points in a short paragraph like this:
Hard-working waitress with 3+ years of experience in a high-volume steak house on the waterfront in Portland. Seeking to provide friendly, fast service to dining guests at The Flight of Dragons restaurant. At The Foam & Loam, maintained a 97% favorable customer service score. Commended 5x by kitchen leadership for speed and communication skills.
That’s it! You’re done. Except, of course, your resume header. Now is the time to write that up top, with your name, job title, and relevant contact information… (A professional email like Gmail is best. Make a dedicated job-search email to dodge recruiter spam in your main inbox.) Also, add your phone number and the town you live in. You can skip the street address.
Optimize your resume for resume databases and Google
If you want to upload your resume to popular job boards like Jooble or Indeed, you need to make sure you can be found on the relevant keywords for the job you are looking for. However, if you add too many keywords, your resume will become unreadable.
Following this tip from Dean da Costa, you can still add all the keywords you want and increase your chances of receiving an invite.
Simply type relevant keywords at the top or the bottom of your resume.
Change the font to 1, and change the color to white. This will make all those words invisible to the human eye, but the search engines of sites like Google, Indeed.com, Monster, etc. will still be able to read them, and your resume will be shown in the results. Only do this for relevant keywords to avoid showing up in every single result.
3. Find Relevant Jobs at Scale
In this section you will learn how to scrape all relevant jobs from LinkedIn in a matter of minutes.
Now that you have created a stellar LinkedIn profile and updated your resume, it is time to find your next job at scale.
How to search for a job on LinkedIn
The first step is to find relevant jobs for you where you would like to work. You must log in to LinkedIn and go to the ‘jobs’ section.
Let’s say we want to find a job for a “recruiter” in Amsterdam. Since multiple job titles could indicate the position of a “recruiter” role, we need to use simple “Boolean” logic. If you would like to learn the basics of how to do a Boolean search, you can find more information here, but let me explain what you need to know to get started.
Write down the different job titles that could be a good way to describe your dream job. If your job title consists of more than one word, for example, Talent Acquisition Specialist, put the title between quotation marks “”. LinkedIn’s algorithm will understand that these words are grouped. Once you have written down all the job titles, separate them with “OR.” LinkedIn will understand that you are looking for multiple job titles, and each job title is relevant. In our example, this would look like this:
Recruiter OR “Talent Acquisition Specialist” OR “IT recruiter” OR “Recruitment Specialist”
Copy and paste your search string of job titles to the search bar, enter the location to find the jobs you are looking for, and hit search.
Even with COVID-19 hitting the recruitment industry hard, there are still 2.160 job openings based on our search criteria in Amsterdam.
To make our list a bit more up-to-date select “past week” to ensure that we only look at the most relevant job openings. If you don’t do this, you risk applying for jobs that might not be open anymore or already have many candidates.
Select the level of experience you are interested in as a second filter.
A good tip from Marcel van der Meer is to filter on ‘title’ so you only get jobs with the words in the job title and not the jobs with any of the keywords mentioned to narrow your search down.
Scrape your results from LinkedIn
In this section, you will learn how to use Phantombuster and scrape your results from LinkedIn and quickly find jobs that are relevant to you.
Phantombuster is a software tool that allows you to scrape all your search results from LinkedIn and download them in an excel or Google Drive file. This enables you to easily filter hundreds of jobs at once and only look at jobs that are relevant to you and save your search results!
Phantombuster is free for the first 14 days, and this should give you plenty of time to scrape all your potential dream jobs! If you need more time, reach out to Phantombuster directly concerning this article, and they will help you.
After you have created your free profile on Phantombuster, click on ‘LinkedIn’ on the left side of the navigation menu.
Scroll to the bottom of the page to find “LinkedIn Search Export” and click “Use this Phantom.”
This is the ‘Phantom” that you will need to scrape your search results from LinkedIn. For Phantombuster to work, you will need to download their Chrome plug-in from the Google Chrome store.
After downloading and installing the Chrome plug-in, click on “Get cookie from LinkedIn” to ensure that Phantombuster has access to your LinkedIn account. Copy and paste the URL from your search results in LinkedIn to the bar “Search input,” where you see the text “Space X Engineer.”
Copy and paste the search URL in the “Search input” bar in Phantombuster.
Leave all other fields empty but only fill in the field “name of resulting CSV file.” In our case, “Examplephantombuster.”
Press save. Keep launching on “Manually,” and press Save again.
Keep the notifications on “None,” and press Save again.
Still with me? Good! you are all set to start scraping the jobs you found by clicking on “launch.”
Depending on the results you want to scrape, this can take a few minutes. Once the results are done, click on the Download CSV file and convert this to an Excel or Google Sheet.
If you don’t know how to convert a CSV file to a ‘normal’ file, below are two links to help you convert a CSV file in Excel or Google Sheets.
Use this link if you prefer Excel: https://www.copytrans.net/support/how-to-open-a-csv-file-in-excel/
Use this link if you prefer Google Sheets: https://help.loyverse.com/help/how-open-csv-file-google-sheets
Et Voila! You have scraped the job openings that are relevant for you from LinkedIn!
Before going through the different job openings, make sure you first place a filter on the rows and eliminate the companies and job titles that are irrelevant to you. You will otherwise still run into irrelevant job openings.
Hard work? Time-consuming? Think about how few people are taking these steps and what your competitive advantage will be once you have done this a couple of times.
4. Find the Right Stakeholders and Their Contact Details
In this section, you will learn how to find the right contact person and find their contact details
Now you wouldn’t have done all this work, just apply via LinkedIn and hope for the best. It is time to find the right stakeholders and their contact details and reach out to them, which makes them remember you (in a good way).
Click on the job opening link in your Excel or GD Sheet to go to the job on LinkedIn and click on the link of the company you are interested in.
Click on “all employees” and click on the “all filters” in the right corner of your menu to search for the contact person you need. For example, “recruiter.”
Tip from Mike Cohen:
Try to find the recruiting manager and also the person the job reports to — it will usually say in the job description, and if not, do a little searching, this will help make sure you’re getting in front of the right people. When you email them, would email both, on the same email, so they feel more of a sense of obligation to respond — it works
Scroll through the list of profiles that show up and open the profiles that you think are relevant. If you can’t find any relevant profiles, try different titles.
Once you have found the right stakeholders, you can connect in multiple ways with them. We advise connecting on LinkedIn and sending a personal email/video.
LinkedIn connection proposal
For your LinkedIn connection, you can use a connection request similar to the one below. Keep in mind that you have to keep your message under 300 characters.
I would love to connect and hear a bit more about the “YYY” role you have open. I got very excited reading the job description as it seems to match my ZZZ years of experience in QQQ. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Finding the right email address
The second step in connecting with the right contact person is via email.
There are many email-finding tools, and due to COVID-19, the majority offer (unlimited) free credits. By using a combination of the tools below, you should be able to find the email address you are looking for.
First, try to find someone’s work email address. If you cannot find their work email, you can still reach out to their email address.
As Mike Cohen says:
I apologise for reaching out on their personal email address, but tell them that I am really excited to get in front of them and want to make sure they got my email.
Once you have found the right email address, I highly recommend reading this awesome article that Guillaume Moubeche wrote on how to personalize your outreaches at scale via his software tool, Lemlist.
5. Stand out with Your Application
In this section you will learn how to use personal video messages and emails to make you stand out and land interviews on a consistent basis.
One of the ways to truly stand out is to use personalised video messages via Loom. Guillaume Moubeche is a clear advocate of using personalised video messages and he recommends you to keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Personalize your video to the person you are reaching out to
- Introduce who you are
- Explain why you are reaching out
- Explain why you are interested in them
- Explain why they should spend time on YOU
- End with a clear call to action
- Keep the short!
The first few videos will be ‘scary’ to make, and you will spend a lot of time on takes and retakes. Still, once you get over the hurdle of talking to your computer and looking at your work, you will realize that it doesn’t have to be perfect, and you will be able to create videos in a few minutes.
Below is an example video that Guillaume Moubeche made for a sales position using Loom.
The disadvantage of using Loom videos is that the links in Loom videos can trigger spam filters, and your beautifully crafted video might never be seen… Secondly, Loom requires the receiver to click on the link in your video and have their sound on. Luckily, most of your recipients will be working from home these days, and this might be less of an issue, but it is something to consider.
On the positive side, Loom allows you to track whether someone has viewed your video. When someone has and didn’t respond, it is good to send a small reminder to grab some. The opposite is also true, when your video hasn’t been viewed after a few days, it is good to send a reminder.
Reaching out via email
If you don’t feel comfortable reaching out by the video, you can still send an email. People receive over 100 emails daily, so your job is to stand out and make a lasting impression!
This starts with a subject line that triggers your email to be opened in the first place. Mike Cohen will outline the basics to write a great email that will land you an interview (or at least a response!).
Create an appealing subject line that gets opened
One of the top opened subject lines is the name of their company—just the name of the company (that’s it). Clean it up, though. Don’t reach out to “Salesforce.com” or “Lockheed Martin Missile Defense Group”—it’s just “Lockheed” or “Lockheed Martin.” This might sound boring, or this can’t be true, but data from hundreds of email campaigns show that this tactic results in the highest opening rate…
Or, even better, write something personal that links you two as humans! Check the person you are reaching out to on Facebook, Meetup, or another social site. Do you have something in common? Throw that in the subject! Be creative, but not too over the top—the goal of the subject is one thing, and one thing only, get them to open the email!
Don’t include this in your subject line:
- Avoid using !#$%$@*? characters
- Don’t use more than 38 characters
- Avoid using (many) emojis
- No Punctuation marks outside of dash “—“
- Don’t go CAPSLOCK CRAZY! Just normal sentence capitalization will do
Body of the email
Do NOT use a template to write an email. Say hello, express who you are and why you’re reaching out, specifically why YOU are reaching out to specifically THEM. Be personal, especially with what’s going on in the world now.
Then express why you’re interested in their company. If you don’t have a reason, Google them, look for news articles, and read their mission statement or company values—something that specifically speaks to just that company.
Then mention why that role pulls details from the J.D. Don’t just say, “I did the thing you’re looking for”… no duh. You’re applying for the job. I don’t expect an Accountant to be applying to a commercial pilot’s job…
Then close with a call to action: “I look forward to hearing back from you one way or another — if I don’t hear something in the next couple of days, I’ll follow up. I know how busy and chaotic things can get in these times, especially while hiring.”
Example of a good, personal email
Below is a good example of what a personal email could look like. This candidate read me, sorry it’s Adriaan again, LinkedIn profile and did his research for the job he was interested in. He referred to my Ironman (brushing my ego a bit), did his research on our company MatcHR and he wrote why I should be interested in speaking to him (the candidate mentions “you” three times). Would you invite this person for a first call?
Another great tip from Mike is to schedule a reminder in your agenda after 2 and 4 days to send a follow-up.
When you follow up, reply to the first email you sent and reference it! Don’t change the subject, it’ll add the “Re: “ to the front of your subject, showing them you’re following up. “Hey again NAME, Just following up as promised from my previous email a couple of days ago…” and then add some new piece of information—don’t just nudge to follow up. Any recent news about them? Anything else you can share?
On day +4, without an answer, you can be more creative and send a funny meme or photo to trigger a response. Humor works if appropriate and relevant to the job and/or yourself.
How can you not respond to the message below?
Yep… that’s me with a Unicorn… I hoped to be the Unicorn you were looking for, but since I didn’t receive any reaction from you, this might not be the case…
Either is fine with me, but I would love to hear from you if we are in touch for the right reasons.
Looking forward to hearing from you.”
6. How to Prepare for Your Remote Job Interview
In this section, you will learn to get the basics right for any remote job interview you might have
You have made it! You are invited for a remote job interview. Tris Revill has conducted hundreds of interviews remotely and shared these tips for a successful remote job interview.
- Make sure you have the right login details for your call and download any necessary apps ahead of time.
- Research your interviewers on LinkedIn and potentially other relevant platforms. Find something you have in common or something interesting to comment on. It’s good to show you have done your research.
- Turn off anything that can be a distraction. Notifications, email, Facebook, whatever, and ensure you have nothing that will distract your awesomeness on the call.
- Make sure you have a great sound and no (or very limited) background noise. Don’t use the microphone of your computer but use headphones. Test this upfront with someone to make sure you sound great.
- 90% of video quality is down to lighting. Sit facing a window if you have one, put a lamp in front of your laptop, and make sure people can see your face and expressions!
- Look into the camera, not your screen (this is hard ).
- Try to set your camera at the same level as your eyes so your interviewers will look you straight in the face. If you use a laptop, put it on a pile of books to level it out.
- Log in early to the call.
- Be yourself, be confident, smile and just nail it.
These are tough times, and it is unclear what the next few months will bring us at the time of writing. COVID-19 is a given, but there are many aspects in your direct environment that you can influence, and the first one is your state of mind and the actions you take.
“I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become,”—Carl Gustav Jung.
We hope this article will help and give you the tools and advice you need to find a new job quickly.
You could help us by sharing this article on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or by mail so we can help more people find a job quicker and help companies that are looking for new talent.
Please stay safe and good luck.