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!