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3 ways to make your next job hunt easier in the age of AI, from a career coach with 25 years experience

Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert   

3 ways to make your next job hunt easier in the age of AI, from a career coach with 25 years experience
  • Job hunting these days can be daunting, and veteran career coach Shari Santoriello knows it.
  • But instead of trying to reinvent the wheel for each job you apply to, the search can be simpler.

Job hunting can be daunting — miserable, even.

And in the age of AI, where it seems like even sending out hundreds of applications won't guarantee your résumé will ever be reviewed by a hiring manager, it's easy to get discouraged.

Career coach Shari Santoriello, who has been working in the industry for 25 years, knows it; she sees it all the time. So when her clients come to her asking how to streamline their job hunt and make the process easier but still optimized to draw the most eyes, she's a wealth of knowledge.

Here are three tips she gives her clients to make their job search simpler.

Create a résumé vault

Sometimes, we think of a résumé as being set in stone, when Santoriello says it's a dynamic piece of material for a job seeker — it should be flexible and adaptable for every job you're applying for. She noted that nobody likes to hear that, but you can make it easier for yourself by creating what some people call a résumé vault or master résumé.

Your résumé vault is a living document listing all your past jobs and accomplishments that you can select from. So, when you create a résumé for a particular role, instead of creating a new résumé from scratch, just make a copy of your résumé vault and delete everything that isn't relevant based upon the job description.

"When you ask yourself the question: what do you leave? What do you cut? Highlight those things that make you distinctive with regard to what the job description is asking for," Santoriello told Business Insider. "You may have something really cool in your background, but if it's not relevant to this role, you don't want to take up your precious real estate on your résumé with something that isn't going to be relevant to the hiring manager."

On average, Santoriello estimates, job seekers have roughly five seconds when a hiring manager looks at their résumé. So you want to ensure they can see what impact, value, and contribution you bring to the team in those five seconds.

One of the best ways to do that when you're talking about what to keep and what to lose is you want to keep things that show results. Keep words like increased, decreased, drove revenue, successfully, efficiently, and streamlined.

"Any of those action language words that lets the reader immediately see you've done something," Santoriello said. "And put them at the front of the sentence, we don't want to bury it in the far right side of a sentence."

Learn the language of hiring managers in your industry

This comes in especially handy when considering a career change and trying to describe your transferrable skills in a new industry, according to Santoriello.

"When you write your résumé toward the new industry, you want to use the industry specific language," Santoriello said. "This is about showing them — not telling, showing them — that you understand how your skill transfers and use that language to support that. It doesn't mean that the 15 years you've spent in tech aren't relevant now that you want to go into medical research. There's probably a whole lot of skill there that's relevant. We just need to formulate it and put it in the language that the new industry understands."

She noted that this is where a career coach really can help, but when it comes to describing the language of your chosen industry, it's time to "play with your best friend Google."

"And when I say play, I mean play, have fun. Go down rabbit holes, do the research, spend the time getting lost reading articles on LinkedIn," Santoriello said. "Join groups specific to where you want to go — both digital and face-to-face if that's your thing. Check out trade associations. There's so much information available today. When I'm working with my members, I say this to them: 'It's scavenger hunt time.' Let's find the stuff and then compare it to what you already have in place so that we're presenting your best fit here."

Keep your network simmering

"If you wanted a forest, you needed to plant a tree 20 years ago, but today would be OK, too," Santoriello told BI.

The truth is, she said, there's no bad time to be reaching out to friends and past, present, or prospective colleagues to set up informational interviews or networking lunches.

"We as human beings, people in the professional workplace, tend to not realize the value of building connections all the time — that's not a place you want to stagnate," Santoriello said. "You want to be building your connection base regularly.

Santoriello swears by the value of staying in touch with someone you played soccer with in fourth grade. Each and every person won't be a valuable connection each and every day — and, let's be realistic, you're not keeping in touch with the one person that you really didn't care for — but maintaining cordial relationships will come in handy when you least expect them, and sometimes when you need them most.

"I'm not saying be the person who has a Rolodex of 97,000 people but doesn't have a real relationship with anybody," Santoriello said. "I'm talking about the value of building real relationships over time, without always having an ulterior motive, just for the sake of building those relationships over time. And ideally, you're doing that now. The best time really is anytime it's comfortable for you to do that."