What George Costanza Knows About Job Search

Skimming through blogs this morning, I came across a startling post on Collegerecruiter.com.

The whole post is worth reading but the gist is this:

34 percent said they found their last job through a job board and when asked where they expect to find their next job, almost 70 percent said a job board!

I guess I shouldn’t have been quite so surprised. I often hear from potential clients who want to hire Blue Sky to rewrite their resume when their real problem is poor job search strategy. These job seekers have good resumes – perhaps not quite as good as we could write – but not so much worse that they should be spending hundreds of dollars on a rewrite.

In these cases, we ask a few probing questions and soon learn the real issue: they are spending most of their job search time applying for jobs online. And of course, so is their competition. Which means that the odds are bad even before you factor in that only 34% of them got their last job via an online job board.

This week I worked with a senior marketing executive who once worked for a well-known, highly innovative fashion brand. When I asked about their marketing philosophy, she said it was ‘do what everyone else wasn’t.’

In other words, they didn’t vie with their competitors for ad space in magazines – in fact they never advertised. Instead they carved out new ways to grab attention including promotional events, philanthropic work, and free media coverage.

What Does This Have to Do With George Costanza?

Do you remember the episode of Seinfeld, where George finally realized that his life was going horribly wrong because he always made bad decisions? He decided he would just ‘do the opposite’ of whatever his gut told him.

Now thankfully, you’re not George. but you can take his advice and do the opposite – of what everyone else is doing. Just like my client’s former company, you can take the path no one else is taking.

It starts with dropping job boards. Everyone else is there – and while they’re spending time 70% of their time doing something with a 34% success rate, you could be spending yours doing something a lot more productive. Not sure what? Check out my recent post on Career Hub: You’re Not Applying for a Job, You’re Running a Campaign.

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