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Career and job search help for creative professionals.

Career and job search help for creative professionals.

Blue Sky Resumes is a small team of professional writers and job search experts. We offer one-of-a-kind resumes, smart career advice and fantastic customer service. This is our blog.


Are You Making this Job Search Mistake?


Today I had an email from a senior-level job seeker who is frustrated at the response to his resume. He has posted his resume on several boards and he spends hours each day scouring job postings and applying to as many as he can. The result? Almost no response.

He asked me to take a look at his resume and provide a quote for professional services, but honestly it wasn’t that bad. I could have made improvements, but not enough to make a difference because the real problem isn’t his resume, it’s his job search strategy. Here are just some of the things he hasn’t done:

  • Created a strong LinkedIn profile and used it to make connections with former colleagues and managers
  • Built an online presence that includes profiles on the major sites checked by recruiters
  • Contacted all the professional headhunters in his field, provided them with a copy of his resume and then followed up
  • Created a list of target companies and sent his resume to the hiring executives in each one
  • Reached out to everyone he knows to let them know he’s looking for work
  • Looked for ways to use social media and free web tools to set himself apart.
  • Find ways to make his application stand out when he does submit for an advertised position

These are just some of the ways he could be proactively taking charge of his search, instead of taking the reactive approach and simply applying for jobs as he sees them posted.

The problem with his strategy is that most positions are never advertised. Instead they are filled through word of mouth, or by a professional headhunter, or from the hiring manager’s existing collection of resumes. If our job seeker limits his search to simply applying for advertised jobs, he automatically limits himself to only a fraction of all the available opportunities. And he ensures that he will be fighting for attention against all the other people who are applying for that same small sliver of the market. No wonder he rarely gets a call back – in most cases, the hiring manager hasn’t even seen his resume.

If you’re in the same boat as my anonymous job seeker, make a vow today that you will change your job search strategy. Commit to unearthing new opportunities rather than going after the same jobs everyone else is chasing. Start setting yourself apart!

If all this sounds overwhelming, or you don’t know where to start, check out my recently released Guide to Job Search. I spent almost a year putting together this systematic approach to finding a great new job. It covers all the strategies mentioned above in detail as well as lots more creative ideas and approaches. Work your way through my system and you will find yourself attracting phone calls and interviews very quickly. You can learn more here and even start reading for free – no sign up needed!

 

 

Read more about Job Search.

Blue Sky Resumes

About the Author

Louise Fletcher

Louise co-founded Blue Sky in 2002 after a career as an HR executive. Her industry experience includes music, video games, fashion and advertising. She lived and worked in the US for many years, but moved back to her native UK in 2012, where she now lives in the Yorkshire countryside. In addition to her full-time role with Blue Sky, she's a professional artist, so you can imagine why she couldn't answer the 'what do you do with your free time' question! Contact Louise by email.

5 comments on “Are You Making this Job Search Mistake?”

  1. Hope Stern says:

    This was great. And yes, made some mistakes but networking like crazy now and using my resume as the tool it is meant to be.

  2. That’s great hope. It’s an old chestnut, but networking really is the best way to find a new job.

  3. Taylor says:

    Thank you very much! I absolutely amazing that many jobs are not advertised. I cannot believe companies and/or HR departments limit their job pool to that extent. Don’t companies want the best people in the positions they are trying to fill? Facebook can now be used as a resource for job seekers as well. Jobs4me gives people an opportunity to apply for jobs directly on Facebook. I am in the Bay Area, so I was interested in Jobs4me San Francisco http://on.fb.me/jobssf. Is this a viable job search option?

  4. Have been doing everyone of your strategies already, maybe except the professional headhunter thing, but been burned by that in the past and don’t trust the profession….my hang-up. No success yet. I also have relocated to a whole new part of the country which may be the bigger problem with getting access to the unadvertised roles. I did have my resume given to 5 CEO’s at large companies in the area (the gentlemen that handed out is very connected) and the people inside the said companies have completely fell down on the follow up with me. Is this unusual? I know what I would do if the CEO dropped a resume on my desk….

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