In a recent post on nytimes.com, Eilene Zimmerman compiles a list of things to consider if your job search is going on much longer than you’d like.
Since this is such an important and timely topic, I thought I’d share these suggestions and my commentary!Ã‚Â Be sure to also read my previous blog, Tips if Your Job Search Goes On and On for more tips.
Zimmerman’s article suggests:
Ask for frank advice.Â Do you have friends or colleagues who can offer a critique of your resume, professional presence and interview style?Â Ask for their honest assessment.Â (Miriam’s suggestion – consider hiring a career coach, as most people will not give you honest information.Â Or, they don’t really have the answers that you need.)
Customize your resume. I have written about this topic frequently. You must target your resume and include keywords from the employer in your resume.Â Many companies, especially large corporations, use computer software to review your resume.Â The computer scans for key word matches. Mimic the language from the ad.Â Use the organization’s website to inform you of the most important traits they seek.Â Then, incorporate them into your resume.
Network. Zimmerman’s article reiterates the importance of asking for ADVICE, not for a job.Â Informational interviews, during which you have an opportunity to learn about someone else’s career path and about their company, are KEY to the job hunt.Â A great networking idea in the article:
Host a cocktail party and ask each of your friends to bring a friend that can aid in your job search,â€ said Michael Jalbert, president of MRINetwork, a recruitment firm in Philadelphia. â€œGen Y is all about teams and sharing.â€
Don’t forget online/social networking. I just wrote about how great linkedin is for the job seeker. Take advantage of opportunities to get your name and profile out.Â If you are a good writer, consider starting a blog.Â I’ve written about how having a blog is a great job seeking resource.Â The Wall Street Journal article, How Blogs are Changing the Recruiting Landscape, reports that one recruitment manager spends one to two hours a week searching blogs for potential hires. In three years, blogs helped him fill 125 corporate jobs. Only take this on if you are willing to work at putting together something professional.Â If your blog is sloppily done, it could hurt you.Â Blogging about your industry can be a great way to gain a positive reputation.
Zimmerman’s article quotes Kurt Weyerhauser, managing partner of Kensington Stone, an executive search firm in California commenting on the issue of job seekers creating blogs.Â He says,
â€œ[Creating a blog] creates a pull strategy rather than a push strategy. Instead of waiting for a response to your resume, you create something â€” a blog with forward-thinking comments and concepts â€” and it draws others to you.”
I’ve written about how “passive” job seekers (people who aren’t actually applying for jobs) are desirable.Â This “pull” strategy concept – you put something out and they will come – plays on the fact that companies seem to like to hire people who don’t come looking for jobs.
The last two points in Zimmerman’s article focus on the interview and the job seeker’s expectations:
Don’t talk so much about yourself in the interview.Â Instead, research the organization’s problems and specifically comment on how you can solve them. Being a problem solver and offering specific examples willÂ help make you seem more attractive.
Qualify expectations. Looking for a job takes time. The higher up in the corporate food chain you hope to go, the longer it takes.Â Don’t get discouraged if you don’t find something right away.