Get Your House In Order

Candidates, are you job search ready? Let me begin by saying everyone who has bills to pay and food to put on the table is job search ready. The problem is most will suffer poor results due to a lack of solid preparation. And it starts from the very beginning when job seekers’ first instinct is to dust off their resumes and begin the apply-apply-apply approach without doing their due diligence.

Credit: cdn.sandboxadvisors.

Credit: cdn.sandboxadvisors.

In our digital-dependent age, countless online job search engines and various social media platforms have caused candidates to fall into the common hiring trap – thinking more is better. But the truth is, blindly submitting to hundreds of jobs with the same resume template sets you up for failure. Being selective and bringing your A-game to fewer opportunities will bring you the results you’re looking for.

I’ve interviewed guest employers in various mediums: radio shows, webinars, consultations, etc. Their list of job seeker pet peeves is always the same: generic resumes, lack of clear direction, and the big winner: being unprepared. My message today is simple: whether you’re advertising yourself solely in print or through social media channels as well, get organized!



Record Your Job Search. Keep track of positions you’ve applied to and recruiters you’ve spoken with. Break down your job-search strategy into sections: active openings, companies, dates, job titles, descriptions, and sources. That way, should you receive a phone call, you won’t have to resort to guessing games.

Memorize Important Contacts. It may sound simple, but knowing the name of the recruiter or hiring employer who reaches out to you, and, better yet, the corresponding job title as well, is the first step to setting a good impression. Use LinkedIn or spend some time on the company website. I can’t begin to convey in words how frustrating it is to play jeopardy with confused candidates I reach out to, and it happens more often than I care to admit. I live for the day when a job seeker picks up the phone and says, “Hi Joan, thanks for reaching out to me. You must be calling about the application I sent you for the Design Engineering position.” Again people, the little things count.

Get Help From Professionals In Your Field. Do you have any contacts in your field that you can reach out to for guidance? Make a list of trusted colleagues and come up with a strategic plan for connecting with them. Groups and associations are also helpful venues for networking – find meetings in your area you can attend or LinkedIn groups you can join. And don’t forget about your alma mater – be sure to check your alumni job boards and connect with former classmates in your field. People are always more than willing to help out a fellow graduate.

Find Good Employment Agencies. What employment firm in your area has the best connection to the type of work you’re seeking? Reach out to them and inquire if they have any available listings that make sense to your professional growth. My recruiters are more than happy to speak with and help new job seekers. Lastly, don’t ignore temp agencies. More often than not, they’re advertising permanent jobs disguised as temporary – a secret technique companies use to test-drive employees.

If You Can, Apply For Training Money. Find out if you qualify for any state or federal incentives that may help you get your foot in the door at your first-choice organization. But don’t expect your local employment office to tell you everything you need to know – research growth-oriented companies and associate with people who fall into your niche to discover any unknown advocates.

Attend Local Job Fairs The Right Way. Avoid mindlessly visiting booths and expecting employers to figure out your life’s purpose – trust me, it’s not good practice. Before approaching an employer’s table, ask yourself, have I submitted my resume to this company before? A face-to-face introduction is a great way to climb out of the “resume black hole” and separate yourself from the competition. But before you do, research the company and their open positions, and customize your background to fit their hiring needs – in other words, have a solid plan before diving into a pre-interview situation.

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Career Reform ReportsBuilding a strategic job search starts with becoming more familiar with your career situation and individual needs. Every job seeker is different. Find out which career approach is best suited for you with our FREE Career Reform Reports. 

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