As a member of the Career Collective blogging community of resume writers and career coaches, this post is one of many this month offering a mid-year job search checkup. I encourage you to visit other members’ responses linked at the end of my post and follow our hashtag on Twitter all month long: #careercollective.
We’ve passed the halfway mark of 2011 and are halfway through with summer as well. As with anything, it’s important to stop, take a step back, and assess your performance – your hits as well as your misses. I’ll break my assessment parameters down to what I consider three of the most commonly discussed components of a job search – online job boards, networking, and resumes.
Are you posting your resume on all the big job boards but not getting much back in the way of quality leads?
Try posting to niche boards instead. First, let me preface this with saying that I am not a huge proponent of job boards, but if you’re going to do it, do it right. I do agree that they can be a viable part of a larger job search plan. The danger is when job seekers place too much weight on them. The big job boards were never the most efficient job search method, but in recent history, have become known within the careers industry as one of the most inefficient job search strategies out there. Plus, depending on your profile settings, you’re leaving yourself susceptible to identity theft and/or caught by your current employer if you’re gainfully employed. Niche boards which may charge a subscription or other fee to join are built around an industry, geography, or job type, and are a more effective use of your time and efforts. Never say never, but for most job seekers out there, don’t upload your resume to Monster or CareerBuilder and expect too much.
Are you networking from behind your computer?
Try getting out of the house more often. Social media has changed a lot in the way of job searching, but sitting in front of your computer is still not the same as picking up the phone or getting out and meeting and speaking with people in person. It’s been said before, and it’s worth repeating (and remembering) – people hire people. At the end of the day, a company is hiring a person for each role, not a resume or a profile. It boils down to personal connections, chemistry, and fit. You can’t generate or convey that from behind your computer.
Are you using a one-size-fits-all resume and not getting called for as many interviews as you’d like?
Try customizing your resume for the position to which you’re applying. This may or may not require working with a professional resume writer, but it will require more time and effort on your part. Before you tune me out, ask yourself — how is your one-size-fits-all resume working for you now? If it’s not securing you the interview you want, then why not try something new? How much longer are you willing to wait that your existing resume will make the phone start ringing? Resumes targeted to specific job types include a focused headline and possible subheadline, a targeted list of keywords, and a streamlined presentation of your past experience as it relates to your job target. If you’re not submitting a targeted resume, the next candidate may be. It’s time to stop thinking that one resume can multi-task effectively in a job search.
The dog days of summer are the perfect time to take a break and review how well your search is progressing and which changes you could be making to jumpstart activity for the fall. Take the three questions above as a start to your own assessment.
Read along for more advice from my esteemed fellow members of the Career Collective:
4 Summer Strategies to Step Up Your Job Search, @DebraWheatman
Putting Your Job Search Up On The Rack For Inspection, @dawnrasmussen
Mid-Year Job Search Checkup: Are you wasting your time? @GayleHoward
What is your unique value proposition? @keppie_careers
It is Time for Your Check-up Ms/Mr Jobseeker, @careersherpa
Mid-Year Career Checkup: Are You “On Your Game?” @KatCareerGal
How to Perform a Mid-Year Job Search Checkup, @heatherhuhman
Mid-Year Job Search Checkup: What’s working and What’s not? @erinkennedycprw
Mid-Year Job Search Check-Up: Getting Un-Stuck, @JobHuntOrg
Mid-Year Check Up: The Full 360, @WalterAkana
5 Tips for Fighting Summer Job Search Blues, @KCCareerCoach
Are you positive about your job search? @DawnBugni
Where Are The Jobs? @MartinBuckland, @EliteResumes
Mid-Year Job-Search Checkup: Get Your Juices Flowing, @ValueIntoWords
When Was Your Last Career & Job Search Check Up? @expatcoachmegan
Is Summer A Job Search Momentum Killer? @TimsStrategy
Is It Time for Your Resume Checkup?