One of the most maddening parts of career development and job search is the disconnect between the hiring side and the job seeker side.

We send out resumes and hear crickets. We’re passed over for great-fit positions with no explanation why. We hear stories of innocent resume mistakes that lead to rejection.

That’s one reason I partner RedRocketResume with career coaches and recruiters to continually gather feedback on what’s working and what’s not, what potential employers are looking for and what turns them off.

This month I pull back the curtain on the placement process and share some insights from my colleague Melissa Miller.

Melissa is an employment matchmaker and “job yenta” who specializes in connecting people with opportunities. She has placed hundreds of professionals and, in the process, reviewed thousands of resumes.

Here are her top pieces of advice for job seekers. Her insights speak to preparation and immediacy.


Your Resume is your Employment Passport

Anyone who has planned an overseas trip can relate to the panic that sets in when you realize your passport has expired.  I compare your resume to your passport because everyone needs one, but not everyone has an up-to-date, ready-to-use copy.

Despite what you may hear about the importance of networking for job search, you should have an up-to-date resume (your employment passport) on hand at all times.  Make sure your resume isn’t saved on an old computer, lost on a drive, or heaven forbid, filed away in a drawer somewhere collecting dust.


Your LinkedIn Profile Should Match Your Resume

Will the Real Slim Shady please stand up?  Your resume should be an accurate reflection of your education, experience, competencies, and background.  The same thing is true of your LinkedIn profile.  Discrepancies between your resume and LinkedIn profile can confuse and raise red flags for employers or recruiters.

Any discrepancy makes the reader wonder whether the information was intentionally left off of one and exaggerated on the other, or whether you lack consistency in other areas aside from your resume and LinkedIn profile.  Be sure your resume matches the exact job titles, dates of employment, and employer listings that you have on LinkedIn.


Hesitation Kills the Deal 

Over the past year, the real estate market has been hot across most of the United States.  News and social media are full of stories of multiple offers and homes selling over asking price. The same is true in our current hot job market.

With historically low unemployment, employers know they need to move quickly to land top talent. This means job seekers need to move quickly as well. In a tight job market, job seekers should be prepared. Know what you’re looking for and be prepared to make a quick decision and accept the right offer.  

I recently witnessed a candidate receive an offer that exceeded market rate salary and benefits—but the candidate asked for 30 days to review and consider all options before giving the employer an answer.  The employer quickly withdrew their offer and moved on to other candidates who were ready to make a decision.


Seek Advice from Industry Professionals

The job seeking process can be overwhelming, partly because of the outdated or competing advice on job boards, “Apply Now” links, or from Uncle John over Sunday dinner. But job searching today is different than in years past.

You aren’t using flip phones or fax machines, so you shouldn’t be relying on expired job search advice. Seek out current information from industry experts and read articles about what to expect in today’s job search. Find articles and blogs that specifically speak to job searching and lay out the ground rules for job searching in today’s job market. I recommend Forbes as a great place for relevant information such as this and this.