Guest Post by Rosa Elizabeth Vargas, CAREEREALISM.com and MonsterCollege.com
The bills are piling up. It has been months since you lost your job. You are becoming extremely concerned. You feel as if you have done everything you can to secure a new job opportunity but nothing has become fruitful– not even a job interview.
If this sounds familiar, don’t despair. I sympathize and many, unfortunately, are in your situation. Ironically, although the job market is challenged, usually there are blocks in a job search. Let’s discuss possible obstacles that could be wedging themselves in-between you and your new job.
Your Resume Does Not Outdistance Others
Contrary to what you have been taught and what you have been practicing in the craftsmanship of your resume—a resume is not the place to dump your entire career life. Because it IS a marketing tool, it must be visually enticing, and the content so compelling it ignites action and quickly.
How? In order for YOU to create the need for an employer to call you and not others, there has to be something about your resume that captures interest over the rest and infuses the reader with the desire to know more about you (hence, creating the need to call you). This is key as many job seekers write their resume by including ALL their information and then think, “hey, this is a pretty decent resume.”
My questions to you: Does your resume promise results and offer differentiating value over others who are also qualified? And does it convey this in the most interesting, unique, and succinct manner possible? What is in your marketing dossier that has revealed a gem, and added value, a ’je ne sais quoi’ no one else has listed? Or in a manner no one else has told it?
Think about this: How is your employer to choose you if you sound just like the other thousands of applicants who have a pretty decent resume too? Luck?
The Jobs Are Wrong for You
Part of a successful job search is perusing job ads and identifying which you are an ideal match for — Not, “I could do this.” That is not enough. Remember, there are many people unemployed now. Why would an employer settle for less? You must be the ideal candidate. Take the time to study the job ads, review the requirements, match their needs with your skill set, and launch a strategic job search. Ultimately, you will feel more optimistic. It it is very difficult to remain upbeat when you have distributed hundreds of resumes and no one has called. Diminish the number of resume submissions; instead, target quality and perfect-for-you job leads in order to optimize the responses to your candidacy.
Where Are You Job Searching?
Job boards work. I have seen it work first-hand. However, are you limiting your job search to just online job boards? Please don’t. You must launch an integrated job search campaign that leverages online job boards, social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter, networking in person, and prospecting offline.
How do you tap into the hidden job market? You uncover it by performing research on the companies in your area and industry of choice. What do they sell? Who are their clients? What is their mission? Where is their Human Resource department? Could they use someone like you? Then channel some courage and call on them, e-mail them your resume, or approach someone in the company via LinkedIn. Whatever you can do to tastefully gain a contact in the company– do it!
Are Your Expectations Too High?
I am a believer in we all deserve the best and the job of our dreams—absolutely. But, does it have to be at this very moment? Being the economy is where it is and the job situation is not ideal–why not accept employment that may pay you less than you expected but perhaps the possibility for growth is immense? How about employment in which the benefits package is more attractive than the annual salary? Remember it is all temporary. This of course is ideal advice if you are in real need of immediate income.
Tell Your Friends and Family Members
I have helped clients who have not told their close friends and relatives they are out of work. Why? This is no time to “keep up with the Joneses” or to nurture your pride. There is no shame in needing a job. You will never know who can step up and assist you. You don’t have to give others a sob story; simply mailing your resume and job target with an upbeat message can help you communicate your need without worrying everyone around you. It is all in the presentation.
Last, remember to revisit your online profiles/resumes as most candidate searches are performed based on activity in the last 30 days. And, keep in touch with your references and network connections. (Out of sight, out of mind.)
Originally published on CAREEREALISM.COM on October 14, 2010
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