With jobless ranks rising thanks to the recession, how can candidates rise above the clutter?
The best thing to do is not get into the clutter in the first place. Right now, the first thing people do when they are looking for a job is they get on the Internet. Candidates think that job-hunting is spending hours and hours in front of the computer. Turn off the computer, get outside and start face-to-face interaction with people.
Simple networking can be very effective. People can get daunted by the word networking, but it's all about just getting out and doing what you normally do. Talk to people. The most important thing you can do is face-to-face in any circumstance.
Continue to interact with any association or networking groups you belong to and use the Internet to find other groups. Volunteer work is a great way to meet people. You never know where your connections might lead you.
Meeting someone face-to-face singles you out in a way that a résumé in a cluttered environment does not. Job fairs are a good option. At job fairs, you at least have an opportunity to use your personality and powers of persuasion to be remembered.
Right now, every single time you send a résumé over the Internet, you run some risks. One of them is that there is résumé-screening equipment, so if you don't have the right words in your résumé, a person doesn't even see it.
It's no different than a search engine kind of software. You're taking a shot by placing your résumé online. Maybe it will work. It's OK, but it doesn't afford the human connection necessary to exhibit your best qualities.
The Internet provides a long shot. The bigger the job boards get, the harder it gets for people to find jobs. The boards attract everybody, and résumés start to be judged on whether or not they have the right or wrong words, which is not the right way to assess talent.