Mike has emailed 500 resumes over the past few months, but still has no responses.
Is your search coming up empty? Are you knowledgeable about appropriate job-hunting strategies?
Answer True or False
1. Responding to want ads is a waste of time.
2. Effective job hunters devote many hours to research.
3. You need to sell yourself to get the right job.
4. Executive Recruiter is another name for employment agency.
5. Networking is the best single method of getting a job.
6. Job hunters get about ten interviews for every 100 resumes mailed.
1. False. While the odds of getting employment are low, you can improve your chances with creativity and effort.
Browse through all want ads in newspapers and the Internet. Answer ads that appeal to you, if you have most qualifications listed.
In addition to looking at your professional section, peruse other headings. Accounting positions could be listed under accounting as well as construction, education or other.
Identify key words used in the ads. If appropriate, use these key words to describe your skills and accomplishments in your resume. Include concrete examples.
Call within two weeks to ensure your letter was received and reviewed. Ask how interview candidates will be chosen. State what you can offer. Request an interview.
2. True. Research is often the most neglected part of job search. Effective research can help you identify job possibilities and investigate prospective companies. Research will help you focus and shorten your search.
To identify potential positions, peruse “The Wall Street Journal,” “Business Week” and other business publications. Check Internet sites such as www.careercrossroads.com. Ask members of your contact network. Attend career fairs, trade shows and professional conferences.
Also look for hidden job leads. A newspaper article or television story describing a new product may suggest positions with a new company or expansion of a larger one. To get information about prospective employers, check directories such as “Rich’s Guide,” “Million Dollar Directory,” “Moody’s Complete Corporate Index,” Internet sites and personal contacts.
3. True. Think of yourself as a product to be marketed. Polish your total presentation. Dress professionally. Radiate optimism. Be positive and direct in your written and oral communication. Appear comfortable with your accomplishments and confident about your future.
Develop a portfolio to document your accomplishments. Share these with company interviewers. Include letters of recommendation from customers, commendations from superiors, company awards, and projects and professional seminars completed.
4. False. Search firms, often called executive recruiters or “headhunters,” represent employers, not job seekers. Recruiters often specialize in certain kinds of jobs, such as engineering or senior management.
If you’re conducting a national search for a senior level position, with a company employing more than 500 people, register with headhunters. But since your chances of getting a position this way are slim, use other search strategies.
Don’t deal with firms that want a fee. For information about recruiters, consult the “Directory of Executive Recruiters” or the Yellow Pages.
5. True. Networking is the best way to get a job. It enables you to increase your contacts and gives useful information, such as what unadvertised positions are available and what companies are hiring. Eighty to eighty-five percent of all employment comes from this method.
List everybody you know who might help you find employment. Keep abreast of new developments in your field, and add to your contact list by joining professional, trade, alumni, or civic groups. Create ways to meet people who are in hiring positions. Ask for introductions. Make cold calls.
6. False. Two to five for every 100 is more likely. Although direct mail (newspaper or electronic) is not productive for most, you can make it work for you.
Identify and contact the hiring managers in companies of interest. You may uncover opportunities that won’t be advertised. Show, in your letter and resume, that you have the qualifications for a particular job. List your accomplishments that best relate to the targeted position, and request an interview. Follow up with a phone call.
Persevere. Don’t be discouraged by rejections. They’re normal. If you miss one opportunity, believe you’ll get a better one. Maintain confidence. Have faith.
Carole Kanchier, PhD, psychologist, coach, speaker, columnist, and author of the award-winning, groundbreaking book, Questers Dare to Change Your Job and Life—informs, engages, inspires you to realize your potential. www.questersdaretochange.com