It’s Not You, It’s Your Expectations

Lately I’ve had a lot of questions from people worried they are not getting results in their job search. That’s understandable given the current climate, but some of the questions betray somewhat inflated expectations.

One potential client felt she needed resume help because she had posted her resume on a job board 3 days earlier and not heard from anyone. Another senior executive felt her resume wasn’t working because she had applied for 10 positions via online postings and had no response.

The truth is that neither of these are indications of anything other than the need to do much more than just post on job boards or apply to just a few online postings.

We are in very tough economic times and there’s a lot of competition out there. This means that tactics that may have worked for you in the past won’t be as effective this time. You simply can’t rely on job postings and you certainly can’t expect to post your resume online and then just spend your time fielding phone calls – no matter how good it is!

Instead you must really get serious about your search. You must network. You must dig up unadvertised openings. You must get in touch with recruiters who specialize in your industry (all of them!). You must find ways to get to the decision-makers whenever possible instead of just sending in your resume and waiting for a call.

It used to be said that the average senior executive job search took 3-6 months. I haven’t seen recent research, but I have to think it’s a lot more than that now. Job searches at the non-executive level tend to be shorter – but again, not as short as they once were.

So if you haven’t had much response to your resume, don’t beat yourself up too badly. By all means rework it if you think it needs help, but focus as well on being as proactive as possible with your search and remind yourself that everyone’s search is taking longer than it used to. Whatever you do, don’t allow the simple reality of a more competitive market to hurt your self-esteem.

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