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Ask a Recruiter: Job Search Tips You Must Know (Part 1)

Recently, we asked our JobSeekers to submit their most pressing questions regarding the job search and hiring process. Check out the first half of our responses, focused on networking and resumes.

What are the best strategies for networking?

Networking can be tough, especially when you are trying to break into a new sector. However, it is time well spent. A personal connection with an employer will bring your application to the top and ensure it is considered. Networking can consist of joining professional groups and associations, attending events, and using your personal network to make new connections. For more insight on networking, check out our earlier post: 9 Game-Changing Techniques for Effective Networking.

How can I switch from one field to another in which I have no experience?

If you’re hoping to grow your network and are new to the non-profit or education sectors, joining local groups (like YNPN and YEP) or attending conferences relevant to your field of work is a great starting point. Small, local events are typically more affordable and provide a more intimate environment for interacting with others, whereas large national events have a plethora of resources for you to tap into.

You also probably know more people than you think. Everyone knows someone who works in education! Use your LinkedIn profile as a virtual web of your network, following these simple steps:

  • Expand your network by adding connections. Sync your email address book and add additional connections from the “People You May Know” page. This page will update constantly based on new connections, so make a habit of revisiting it often while you are actively job seeking.
  • Once you’ve expanded your network, look up the company pages for employers you’d like to work for. Review their employees and filter for your first and second connections.
  • If you have first connections, email them directly to ask if they would be willing to chat about their experience working at that organization. Provide them with a copy of your resume and ask them to share it with the recruitment team.
  • For second connections, ask to be introduced by the connection you have in common. Once the introduction has been made, follow the same steps as you would for a first connection, or ask for an additional introduction to the recruitment team. Set up an informational call with a recruiter from there.

Of course, WorkMonger works with many JobSeekers who have no experience in the education sector but who want to transition into education and make a meaningful impact with their career. It’s one of our favorite things to do! With WorkMonger, we leverage our network and expertise to connect you with the right type of organization that will value your non-education sector work experience and where you are likely to thrive.

How long does it typically take to find employment?

It can take anywhere from a month to several months to find employment, depending on many factors, such as your geographic location and flexibility and the type of roles and organizations you are interested in – for more senior level positions, it can often take months to make a transition. Additionally, in the education sector, openings tend to increase in the spring through the summer, in line with the turnover of the academic school year. If you’re currently searching or interested in making a transition a few months from now, now is the time to begin networking!

How long should my resume be?

As a general rule, resumes should be restricted to one page until you have over a decade of experience. If your resume is longer than one page, make sure that the formatting looks neat and balanced – use the entire second page. Position the most relevant information on the first page, though, to ensure that someone reviewing it quickly does not miss anything crucial.

I’m at a transition point in my career. What is important to include on my resume?

Be sure to include any experience (professional, volunteer, etc.) that is relevant to the industry to which you are applying. For example, if you’ve worked in the private sector for your career thus far but volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters on the weekend, highlight that in your resume to demonstrate your commitment to impact-driven work that’s related to education.

Even though you want to highlight relevant experience, do still list your work experience in chronological order to eliminate confusion around gaps on your resume.

What experience and skills are most transferable to the education sector?

Any experience you have using data to drive your work is relevant to most roles within the education sector. Highlight your experience with data by providing metrics and ensuring that each bullet point on your resume is an accomplishment (not a job responsibility) that includes measurable results.

Additionally, communication is key in nearly every industry. Highlight any managerial experience, stakeholder management, and external communication experience.  

What other questions do you have about networking and resumes? Let us know in the comments!

Stay tuned for Part II of our Ask a Recruiter series, coming later this month. We’ll discuss cover letters, the intricacies of the interview process, and talking about salary.

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