7 Paths To The Top Of The Career Mountain [INFOGRAPHIC]

These days, there are more than 118 resumes posted for every official job opening. Dozens of those are never seen because they didn’t get through the ATS. Dozens more are immediately rejected because of poor formatting or a lack of the right experience. Hiring Managers and HR Departments spend less and less time on each individual resume, so it’s important that yours makes the right impression. Related: 3 Steps To Create Your Own Career Development Plan Kelly Services spoke to recruiters all over the world to find out what makes the best candidates stick out, from resume submission all the way through the job application process. In addition to the infographic’s suggestions, there are many other paths to the top of the career mountain. Not every one of them is right for every person, company or industry, so try a few. We’ve left a few tools (aka links to helpful posts) along each path, so gear up and start your climb!


1. Perfect The Popular Path

Try quantifying your accomplishments on your resume, even if you don’t think they’re number-based. Whether or not you can make number-crunchers happy, you can appeal to visual learners too. Make your resume appealing to both people and machines by making it concise, (relevant) keyword-packed and easy-to-read. Short bullets and sentences satisfy the most impatient hiring managers.

2. Stray Off Of The Beaten Path

Bypass the formal job application process altogether. Create your own role at an established company or start a business of your own. It’s not as risky as you think, as long as you’ve done your homework. Showing the initiative by creating a position will show your employer (or clients) just how far you’re willing to go for them in a way they value.

3. Consult With The Locals

Try networking with people in your industry, because candidates that are referred have a much better chance of getting an interview (and the job) if they come from a trusted employee. Don’t ask them for a job right off of the bat. Ask them questions about how they got to their position and send them something valuable, like a post you thought they’d be interested in.

4. Eliminate Dangerous Paths (To Conserve Your Energy)

Instead of mass-applying to positions at a bunch of different companies, find out which ones actually would be worth working for based on your personality, skills, needs and goals. You’ll save yourself and the other companies a lot of hassle.

5. Be One With The Mountain

You could find another way to learn about and communicate with the company (and more importantly, employees that you may be working with). Social media is a great start. Some applicants have created websites specifically about a job they want at one company. You could get companies’ attention in other ways, like with targeted advertising or a love letter. (That last one helped me land an interview for one job and get referred for another one in a role I never would have considered.)

6. Ask Advice From A Sherpa

If you exemplify the qualities in this infographic and use the tactics in this post, you’ll be well on your way to a job you like with a company you love. There are still some things you can’t control about the job application process, so when bad luck strikes, you have options like Kelly Services or our sister site, CareerHMO (also owned & operated by J.T. O’Donnell) to guide you.

7. Lend A Hand To Others

If you or someone else you know has found a way to land a job that we haven’t mentioned here, share it in the comments below. There are millions of mountains waiting to be conquered, but some are similar to yours!

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