Some of the most common job search techniques people use don’t work very well. With record unemployment and a weak economy, the job market is tough to crack. But you can do it if you can avoid these common job-hunting mistakes and you’ll have a better chance of success.
Here are some pointless job-search activities named by Yahoo! Finance:
There are vendors who will blast your resume out to zillions of employers for a fee. Only problem: employers are deluged with resumes already. Your unsolicited, uncustomized resume is the last thing they want to see. Skip these services and conduct your own research, using search engines and LinkedIn. Then write to hiring managers directly with targeted overtures.
When I was an HR person, job fairs were a fantastic way to hire highly qualified people. Today, job fairs have devolved into thankless, confidence-crushing cattle calls. Save the money you’d spend on dry cleaning and parking to attend a job fair; instead, contact employers one by one after researching their businesses.
“I’m job hunting” messages on discussion boards
I moderate a few online discussion groups, and I always feel bad for the folks who join a group to post a message that says, “I am seeking an accounting job” to the other members (that is, total strangers). The odds of getting a job lead that way are slim to none.
We need to know the people we refer for job opportunities. You’re better off spending your online-community time making one-on-one connections, or following up via phone or in person.
Imagine the hiring manager sitting at her desk swamped in resumes, cover letters, reference lists, portfolios, and unanswered emails from job applicants. What’s her incentive to watch your video resume? There isn’t one. Video resumes are a solution in search of a problem. Craft a killer resume and get it out, along with a pithy “pain letter” that explicitly shows how your background makes you the perfect person to relieve a business’s pain, to hiring managers instead.
Spray and pray
Applying to every job in sight with the same, uncustomized resume is a job-search non-starter. Employers hire people they believe can solve their problems. That belief comes from the understanding of the problem that the job-seeker demonstrates in his or her pitch. Research is the key!
So, how do people get jobs?
They do it through thoughtful, well-crafted letters, resumes, phone calls, and LinkedIn overtures – sent in response to posted job ads or sent to employers who don’t currently have jobs posted but who may well have business needs anyway.
They do it through networking, and through careful follow-up with the people they know and the new people they meet during a job search. “Hey, I need a job” is not a compelling pitch – but if you say “I think I understand what you’re up against, and would love to talk about solutions,” will most definitely catch an employer’s eye.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. If you need any help (in effective networking or writing an effective resume or something else) please let me know and I may be able to put you in touch with some of the best in the industry today.
Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the founder and president of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. His company is dedicated to helping organizations and individuals manage strategic change, innovation, cultural transition, and goal achievement. Surya has over 26 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. Contact Surya at s6ganduri@eMBCinc.com. For more information, visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.
Dr Surya M Ganduri, PhD. PMP. is the Founder & President of eMBC, Inc., an international firm specializing in strategic and executive leadership development processes that Help People Succeed in an Evolving World. Dr Surya has over 28 years of business experience in management consulting, leadership development, executive coaching, process improvements, organizational development and youth leadership. For more information visit www.eMBCinc.com or contact eMBC, Inc., directly at (630) 445-1321.