I came across a very good 30-minute video on LinkedIn the other day entitled "How to get hired by an influencer."
The article made several very good points about writing resumes and bios that actually increase your chances of getting hired in this very competitive job market. There was particular advice for people who may be overqualified for the jobs they are applying for, and for those over 40 whose age may (but not necessarily) work against them. I highly recommend listening if you fall into any of these categories.
Here are a few samples of what the video covered:
If you feel your age works against you, focus on these three attributes: your curiousity, your ability to face and overcome adversity, your passion for the company you are applying with.
Experience doesn't matter as much as it used to. Today's employees must be 'smart athletes', 'agile thinkers' and understand they job they are doing today is not the job they will be doing a year from now.
CEO's have had to devise clever questions to get people off their 'scripts'. This is in an attempt to get around the facade people present so they can get a sense of what the person is really like, and how self-aware the candidate is.
Question for candidates: As a job seeker, how do you present a polished appearance while giving someone a truthful sense of who you are? (My answer - write a great bio.) Bios are about who you are and what you believe in. Resumes are about what you've accomplished professionally. Both are important, but a really good bio will give an interviewer the framework they need to ask non-standard questions, and give you the chance to answer questions outside the box as well.
Cover letters - do you always need one. Maybe not, but a great cover letter is still a good idea. If you don't need it, fine, you still have it available.
Overqualified for the job you are applying for? That's not unusual anymore. Review your bio and resume. Minimize the importance of job titles in favor or your experience, passion, curiousity and desire to make a contribution to the company. Emphasize your willingness to learn and your ability to get along well with others. Employers want to know you'll get along well with your co-workers even if you don't necessarily like them.
Are handwritten notes passe? No. It's still a good idea to deliver a hand-written note within 12-24 hours of your interview.
Job seekers face many challenges in today's job market, but there are ways to stand out above the crowd, even if you're overqualified or over 40. Again, I highly recommend you listen to this video about How to get hired by an Influencer if you're looking for a new job.
And of course I'm here to help if you need to write a great bio!
Jill Townsend is the author of "How to Write a Great Bio", an e-book with tips on writing a good bio fast, and with confidence.