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Does Your Job Search Need a Kick in the Butt?

Job_Search_iStock_000018868158XSmallWhat did you spend the last week doing with your job search? Were you hiding behind a computer uploading resume after resume to any company that advertised a vacancy? Were you applying to every job, whether or not you were qualified for it? Were you using the same resume for all the positions? If you were doing all or some of the above, you were taking the path of least resistance. This path gives you the feeling you are doing something, but unfortunately you are not getting the results you hope for.

Job searching is difficult, and employers are not making it any easier when they stipulate that applications must be submitted online and that no phone calls will be accepted. When a job seeker reads these ‘rules’ they become despondent, throw their hands in the air and give up. But, it is what it is…employers have to find ways to deal with the thousands of resumes they receive on a weekly basis. As such, they use some version of an applicant tracking system to weed out candidates, and in the process great candidates are eliminated. Be that as it may, what if someone gives you a kick in the butt, or something jolts you to do something different? Would you do it?

The excerpt below is from a client who had been trying some of the same strategies mentioned above, but after reading this blog post (Put a Little Love in Your Career), she took matters in her own hands. She wrote:

“I was moping around today disgusted with myself around my job search but started to pull up my socks and your newsletter arrived!  Thank you for the extra kick in the butt.” What was this kick in the butt? She had applied online for a position with this major employer and was waiting… After reading the tips in the blog post she decided to ‘do something she had never done’. Her note continued:

“I didn’t know a soul at [Company] and I knew if I didn’t find someone to be an advocate for me, my resume wouldn’t be seen.  So I asked the Universe to provide me with a contact.  Literally, not 20 minutes later I was inclined to go to LinkedIn and look at new job postings.  My attention was drawn to the names of people who could connect me to the person who posted the job and thought – who could connect me to someone at [Company]? 

I did a search on the company and there were three people who knew people at [Company].  Of the three people, I know one really well so I called her. Wouldn’t you know that the person she knows is her sister-in-law and she is in HR at [Company]!  My friend told her about me, got the scoop on how the system works and her sister-in-law is going to see if she can get my resume into the pile for interviews!!”

She didn’t stop there. She was introduced to this new contact and followed up with her.

“I just got off the phone with my new contact at [Company].  She was lovely and extremely helpful.  She said there was nothing going on with the position at the moment and that there were no internal candidates attached to the posting which was a good sign.  She said it could take a few more months to hear anything but now that she knows the status and has spoken to me, she will bring up my resume and qualifications to the individual who posted the job.

She very kindly said she will keep an eye open for other opportunities and if one comes up that suits me – I’m to apply on line and give her an email and she’ll make sure my resume gets to the top of the pile.”

My client got tired of doing the same thing over and again and decided to do something different. In doing so, she not only got someone to look at her resume, but learned that the position was put on hold.

It’s difficult yes, but you cannot give up on your job search just because you haven’t found an opportunity. The more difficult it gets, the more you should be stretching yourself to try something different. In the next few days, instead of sitting in front of your computer and applying for jobs, why not use the time to research some top employers. This research should include company websites, libraries, annual report, and other places on the Internet where they are mentioned. Your research should also include current and former employees or anyone who might have connections to the company(ies). This exercise gives you an opportunity to learn about these companies, builds the confidence you need to reach out to them.

The Globe and Mail published the Greater Toronto Area’s Top 95 Employers a few months ago. It would be a great place to start your research. Discover why they were voted top employers, and see if just by chance any of them might have a need for your skills.

Are you getting weak-kneed yet? “Dare to begin. No endeavor is worse than that which is not attempted. You don’t know what you can do until you have tried. People, like trees, must grow or wither. There’s no standing still. Do what you can.” ~John Mason, Author

Share some of the strategies you have been using in your search and let us know how they are working out for you.