Tuesday, May 4, 2010

10 suggestions to help change your job search results for the better

Just as sure as springtime is a new beginning and April showers bring May flowers, a creative, well crafted resume and a job search strategy that is focused on the prize and monitored on a regular basis will go a long way towards getting a stagnant career to blossom once again.

Recently a HR client of mine referred a good friend of his to me, a world-renowned Organization Development consultant who needed help revising his $699 ‘The Ladders’ resume that was barely getting traction in his job search.

In getting to know one another I asked him to describe what an OD does in one sentence. Without flinching he told me, "I help companies, teams and individuals to change their present state into a desired future state."

When I heard this it struck a chord in me that what he does for his clients as an OD is what I do for my clients as a resume writer and job transition coach.

And how does an OD get results. By conducting a case study talking to the parties involved from the CEO on down, and asking them to take off their rose-colored glasses for a few minutes and take an unbiased look at their goals, their strategy to meet these goals, and the tools they are using to reach them. The key to their success is in knowing how to ask the hard question - do you feel you will reach your goal doing what you’re doing, or is it time for a change? Once they establish a rapport and obtain the information they need, they collaborate to make the necessary changes to either reach or reassess the desired end results.

For those of you who can not afford a coach or have yet to see the value of an unbiased outsider’s professional opinion I suggest you honestly reassess your resume and search strategy and ask yourself the hard question – “Am I getting the results I want?” If you are not, here are 10 suggestions to help change your less than sought-after present into the bright future you eagerly desire.

1: Stop wasting precious time on job boards and start networking for 25 hours or more each week. The bottom line is unless you’re in the Top 15% of the available talent in your field, or supply & demand in your line of work lies in your favor you are likely to be lost in cyberspace; especially if your resume shows you to be much less talented than you are.

2: Stop sending emails, texting and reaching out to people electronically. To truly communicate with people and showcase your skills and your passion you must use the phone or Skype and start a verbal dialogue. There is a place for email, texting, blogging, twittering and making new friends on Linked-in, Facebook and other social media sites. Nothing replaces a 1-on-1 conversion for making a lasting impact and getting others to advocate on your behalf.

3: Look objectively at your current resume and see if it is the resume you truly desire, or is it just the best that you could write. If you find it lacking reach out to trusted colleagues in your field and get in contact with professional resume writers, HR people and business decision makers you may know and ask them for their opinions and suggestions.

4: Color code job postings of jobs you are interested in before you submit a resume. This will help you customize the resume for that job and double your chances of being called for an interview. If you don't know how to do this you can email me at Perry@perrynewman.com for a PPT presentation on this topic.

5: Whatever you do in your job search, give it your all. Don’t depend on others to do the hard work for you. My mother told me, and I sure she was not alone in giving this piece of advice, “If you want something done how you want it and when you want it – Do-It-Yourself.”

6: Throughout your job search you must honestly assess your motives, goals and efforts, and decide whether you need professional help or if can go it alone. For some job searches are like a common cold that will cure itself in a week or in 7 days with some aspirin or OTC medication that is easily accessible. For most people today it is like a torn ACL or severely pulled hamstring that needs to be diagnosed and treated by a physician or physical therapist, and if left untreated it will only get worse and take up to 10 times as long to properly heal, if it heals properly at all.

7: If you don't feel it is worth making an investment in yourself, how can you justify thinking an unknown employer should make an investment in you?

8. If you are seeking job in a profession that appreciates creativity and your resume is not performing up to expectations, I suggest you look into what I call a Bio-Rez format. You can view a few sample resumes at http://www.perrynewman.com.

9: Stay positive and realize that your being out of work has more to do with the state of economy than your abilities

10: If you want a free coaching session you can contact me. Offer is good until May 31, 2010.


Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view sample resumes at http://www.perrynewman.com and email him your resume at perry@perrynewman.com for FREE telephone resume critique.

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