Topic of the Week The Song Remains The Same - What if your job-hunting strategy isn?t working?
Executive Summary, The key variables of a job search:
Your Rant: I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes. Nothing.
With thousands of people joining the ranks of the unemployed each week, its tough out there. You’ve got to find a way to stand out from the crowd. One way that’s guaranteed NOT to stand out, adopt the “Snuggie” strategy. You know, one-size-fits-all. Sure it’s cheaper to print up your resume by the hundreds and to mail them out to anything that even approaches a job that you can do, but there is a smarter way to go.
Learn from professionals, marketers are famous for running tests. Instead of launching a huge national campaign, they test it first in a particular community. Why should it be any different for you? That’s the best part of a resume, you can constantly be testing and tweaking it depending on each job that you apply for. And computers make it easy to individually tailor each resume. I’ll give you four strategies to help you get your foot in the door, using the letters from the word “TEST.” For more resume tips, check out “Resumes For Dummies” by Joyce Lain Kennedy (Wiley, 2003).
Targets. One reason that your resumes might not be generating results or interest is because you’re applying to the wrong companies or industries. Unfortunately there is no magic bullet here, you’ve got to constantly be challenging your assumptions and direction and be open to feedback.
Environment. The overall job market is terrible, but there are pockets that are doing better; truckers, nursing, North Dakota, just to name a few. But remember, even markets that are doing better than yours are full of other people looking for work. So look before you leap, by having contacts, expertise or some kind of toe hold in the industry or community you’d like to break into.
Strategy. The best strategy for getting a job is to not just have one job-hunting strategy, but to use a combination of strategies. Networking, want ads, support groups of job seekers, etc. Don’t just double-down on one strategy, try a few. But always be testing each of your strategies to discover which one is producing results, job interviews, callbacks or job offers.
Techniques. After having sent out hundreds of resumes without even an interview, it’s safe to say that it is a good time to change your strategy. This is where I’d start. First, don’t only pursue jobs, but also seek out feedback from any HR staff or recruiters that you know to find out if they’d hire someone with a resume like yours. If you’re bombing in an interview, take over and ask for a critique of your resume and interviewing style. If you don’t get the job, at least you can learn how to improve your odds the next time.
Examine how you’re job hunt is addressing the Targets, Environment, Strategy and Techniques and you won’t find yourself wrapped up in a Snuggie all day watching Jerry Springer, you’ll be back at work.
Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. You can also hear workplace911 on BlogTalkRadio weekly. If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org <mailto:email@example.com.