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How to Stand Out in a Crowded Marketplace. Why You Need More Than a Stellar Resume to Land Your Next Job.

We’ve all heard that you need a solid resume to get an interview. While this is true, a resume alone may not be all you need to be contacted by a potential employer. There are other components of your job search that are just as—if not more—important as your resume.

Think of your job search as a toolbox. What tools do you need to make sure you’re well equipped for finding a new position? Here are 5 additional tools you need to find—and land—your dream job.

  1. Job Search Strategy or Blueprint – a plan to see where you need to go.
  2. ATS-Optimised Resume – the right tool that will work for the job.
  3. Other Career Documents (Cover Letter & LinkedIn Profile) – complementary tools that will step in when needed.
  4. Strong Network – go-to resources that can help direct your next steps.
  5. Interview Coaching – the final step to make sure you nail the final stage.

Let me take a few minutes to go into more detail for each of these tools:

Job Search Strategy or Blueprint

Similar to a blueprint you might have when you’re building a house, it’s just as important to have a plan for your job search. There are a myriad of opportunities to grow your understanding of yourself and your capabilities. Whether this involves reading some books, taking some assessments, or even hiring a professional career coach, it’s important to take stock of your skills, abilities, and desires—and then applying for jobs that fit into what you’re qualified for.

I strongly recommend that you consider the Total Resumes, Job Search Strategy & Coaching Program – delivered by a Certified Professional in Online Job Search and Reputation Management (1 of just 2 in Australia and 11 worldwide). Learn more here.

ATS-Optimised Resume

Imagine trying to hammer a nail into a board with a pickaxe. It’s just not going to get the job done. Sure you may get a few solid hits, but ultimately you’re not going to hit the nail on the head every time. This is what happens when you submit a resume that is not ATS-optimised. Third-party applications that employers use to filter resumes, Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) use algorithms and keywords to decide if you’re a good fit for a job. While not ideal for job seekers, there are key tips and tricks one can utilise to make sure you’re pushed through to the next round.

Cover Letters & LinkedIn Profiles

If you’re building a house, you need more tools than just a hammer. Job searches are similar. LinkedIn profiles and cover letters are the most common career documents you’ll need in addition to a resume. Cover letters help introduce you to the hiring manager while LinkedIn profiles can aid in not only being contacted by recruiters but also showcase you as an expert in your field.

Strong Network

A little-known fact about job searches is that only a small percentage of jobs are actually found online. The ‘hidden job market’ involves professional networks, internal candidates, and referrals. Thousands of job seekers apply for a single job opening, yet only a handful get a phone interview, and then even less get called in for an in-person interview. Ultimately, only one person gets the job. So what does this mean? Use the people you’re connected with to help you in finding your new job.

Interview Coaching

All of the above tools in your toolbox are key to landing you an interview, but do you know what will land you the job? YOU! Once you have the foot in the door, it’s your personality, confidence, and your ability to showcase your value that’ll help keep you there. If your nerves get the better of you or your mind goes blank when asked a tricky question, participating in some interview coaching can do wonders in helping you land your ideal position.

As you embark on your job search journey, it’s important to know that the resume you’ve created may not be the only thing that will get you a job. Utilising these tips will help you feel more confident about your job search—and know that you have the right tools in your toolbox to be successful in finding your dream job.

Need help with leveraging your job search? We can help! Contact Carolyn from Total Resumes today at

Author Carolyn Whitfield

6X TORI-Winning, Multi-Certified Resume Master & Coach ★ 12+ Yrs Expertise ★ 98% Client Interview-Winning Success Rate. As an executive resume expert who has carved a strong reputation in the resume industry, I’ve helped thousands of rising stars and executives worldwide ascend to the next step on the career ladder.

More posts by Carolyn Whitfield

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