Finding a job is, at times, a full-time job. At any given moment, there are hundreds of thousands of open job listings across the United States. How do you connect with the ones that are right for you?
Some jobs use salary keywords, some use words that describe specific traits or assignments. Your job -- in order to get a job -- is to figure out which postings have keywords you should respond to (and which you should avoid). Then, you need to know what they really mean, and how to use them in your resume and cover letters.
Employers often use search engine techniques to sort through resumes for the ones with the best ratio of meaningful keyword hits. Hey, you're as smart as a search engine, aren't you?
Here are some words to look for, and others to look out for.
Words & Phrases to Send You Running
* "Campus Rep" -- These low-level sales jobs prey upon recent grads. You'll just end up back on your old campus trying to sell things to students, and as you know, students don't have much money, so you won't make much either.
* "Salary + Commission" -- Again, a tough place to be for a first-timer. Sales jobs do typically pay commissions, but it could take years to build up a good enough sales network so you can earn enough to live. If a sales job wants entry-level folks, they know they're not going to pay you much, so best to just go for a plain old salary.
* Job ads that ask for too many skills -- Some job ads strangely ask for candidates that can do everything and everything. Employers with job descriptions like this are being lazy and cheap and you'll end up paying the price when they expect you do the job of three people.
* "Duties to be defined later" -- You'll end up doing everything under the sun. That way lies chaos and burnout. Great for multitaskers and workaholics, terrible for people who want to have a life.
Keywords & Phrases To Get You an Interview
* Team player -- Starting out in your career, you'll want to work on a team, you'll need to work on a team, and the hiring manager is going to want to hear that. Tell 'em.
* Leadership -- At an entry-level, you're not being hired as a manager. But showing leadership also means showing independent thinking and the ability to take control of a situation, rather than always deferring to somebody else.
* Oral and written communications -- If you can't communicate, nobody knows what you're doing, or how good (or bad) you're doing.
* Problem-solving and decision-making -- Some of the key keywords -- showing the ability to get things done, regardless of the obstacles. You'll want these skills showing.
* "Bright" and "Passionate" -- A company that wants "bright" or "passionate" employees is hoping to tap of youth. You're perfect. Apply now.