Chances are good that your job search results are less-than-stellar and you are wondering what to do about it. There is lots of advice both online and offline about how to land an interview, such as how to “tweak” your resume with keywords, how to write a targeted cover letter, and how to answer “tough” interview questions intelligently and persuasively. You do need to pay attention to those suggestions, especially since any one of those items could be the “Achilles heel” for your job search.
But what about some common sense ideas? Have you thought about where the competition for jobs might be working for and against you? Indeed.com’s blog post on Best and Worst Job Markets for the Unemployed compared the number of unemployed to the number of job postings in the 50 biggest cities in the US. The list they produced might just be an eye-opener for you.
For example, of three cities listed in Florida, one is ranked #2 Best and the other two are near the bottom of the list at #42 and #49. Now, does that mean you could not get a job in the cities near the bottom of the list? Definitely not! But think about the odds: if there are three job openings for every job seeker (city #2) versus 10 job seekers for every one job posting (city #49), you don’t have to be a math whiz to figure you might have to work that much harder to get noticed.
Here’s another idea: could YOU be standing in the way of your own job search success? Scott Ginsberg, the Nametag Guy, asks Are You Putting Yourself in the Way of Success? His four simple strategies apply whether you are pursuing your next career gig or if you are self-employed. Here are Scott’s tips along with my interpretation for job search purposes:
- Find your pool of prospects and start swimming there regularly. For a job seeker, your prospects are anyone who can help to get you noticed in a positive way by your target audience. Who is your target audience? If you think it is the whole wide world, you have stretched yourself a bit thin!
- Get richer friends. This does not necessarily mean monetarily more rich – it means rich in wisdom and genuine enthusiasm and support. Scott suggests associating with people who value you and are willing to advance your cause.
- Practice Strategic Serendipity. Craft a well-though-out and researched action plan that will put you in the path of those who can best assist you in reaching your job-search goals. If you are at a professional conference, who are the influencers you need to hang out with? How can you get on their radar screen? Where is the one place everyone at the conference must go? Be there!
- Remember that behavior is the broadcaster of attitude. Are you demonstrating the kind of behavior that an employer would want to hire when you greet and professionally interact with the receptionist at the time of an interview? Or are you a networking “user” who is only in the game for yourself and not helping others with their goals? Which one of those two behaviors enhances your job-search prospects and which one turns everyone off? As Scott says, “Everyone is watching. Every conversation matters.” Pay attention!
Revamp your job search game plan to get the results you need. It starts with you. How will you get in the path of success today?