Here’s What Your Job Search Might Be Missing

Here’s What Your Job Search Might Be Missing

It’s a brand new job search game out there…do you know how to play?

I’ve spoken with a lot of job search candidates (and those contemplating a job search) recently, and I thought I’d share with you what I’m hearing. In the spirit of David Letterman, here’s my Top 10 (along with commentary):

  1. They think their old-school resume will suffice in today’s results-driven job market. The resume serves to get you the interview, and to get that interview you need a marketing document that positions you as the solution to the company’s problems.
  2. Because they’re still employed, they take a passive approach to job searching. It’s very easy to put a job search on the back burner when you’re busy at work and not terribly unhappy in your current position. Here’s the problem: eventually, your discontent will fester into full-blown miserable-ness, and then you’re no longer operating from a position of power.
  3. They search for months (or even years) with an ineffective job search strategy, but don’t take steps to change what clearly isn’t working. Remember the definition of insanity: doing things the same way and expecting different results.
  4. They undervalue LinkedIn as part of their job search arsenal. Because more than 94% of employers utilize LinkedIn in the hiring process, you want to play big on LinkedIn.
  5. They believe recruiters are the answer to all their job search problems. Recruiters represent a passive strategy, because you have no control over the types of opportunities they are recruiting for. No harm in talking to recruiters, but active strategies are a much better use of your time.
  6. They think they can manage all aspects of their job search themselves, instead of relying on experts. Oh yeah, this outlet doesn’t work…let me fix it myself. Then I’ll tackle the broken shower faucet, followed by an addition to the back of the house. Have I made my point?
  7. They underestimate the amount of time the average search takes. The average job search takes at least six months, and there’s not much you can do to circumvent that unless 1) you happen to get lucky or 2) you’re willing to take a bridge job to tide you over until you get your next “real” job.
  8. They underestimate (or completely disregard) the importance of their network. Your network is THE most important thing in your job search.
  9. They aren’t anticipating the expense involved in launching an effective search. Allow others with expertise in these areas to partner with you. If you break it down in terms of how quickly you’ll recoup that expense, it becomes easily justifiable. If, for example, you are making $100k at your current job and want to make $115k at your new job, you’ll have recouped the cost of a complete document and job search coaching package in about four months. If you’re unemployed, you’ll recoup your expense in less than two weeks!

And here is #1: They don’t have a diversified job search portfolio; they know one way to look for a job—job boards. Most people I talk with realize that job boards aren’t an effective strategy—they just don’t know what the alternative is. Job searchers should use four to five strategies—few enough to be manageable, but enough to ensure success.

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