The Desk

April 16, 2008

Why Is It Important to the Job Seeker?

Filed under: Job Search — Yvonne LaRose @ 7:43 PM
Tags: , , , ,

It was probably the 23rd or 24th of March and I was having another bout of apathy in regard to interminable waits for unreliable buses that take me on two-hour rides to the next destination. On that day, I was contemplating the mania job seekers have about having the perfect resume. It was astounding how many articles can be found on how to email a resume (even in 2008)!

It was one of those days when the redundancy of the questions from job seekers was wearing. No matter who or where, the questions were essentially the same, repeatedly. Perhaps it’s because each job seeker graduates from high school and university every year and because new or returning job seekers hit the market on a daily basis. They are either starting out with absolutely no clue about what they’re doing at any level. Or they’re restarting and trying to do things in the most up-to-date, modern style possible without tripping themselves out of the running.

They need someone to guide them and show them the ropes. And there are so many ropes! Then there are others who have the rudimentary information but still need some fine tuning. And finally, there are those who’re short-selling themselves and would benefit from some type of coaching.

These “reasons” were not comforting. There’s got to be more to this than just learning how to present yourself. There are professionals, C-level officers of companies, people in their 40s and 50s, who are striving to know the answers to questions about how to write an effective cover letter, how to interview. Some of these people have no clue about how to start researching a company or even that it is reasonable to do so for a job search.

These sorts of ruminations don’t go away easily. These are the type that linger. So I decided not to rely on my own apathetic perspective. Instead, it was time to ask two well-known friends and trusted colleagues. On March 25, I sent a message that said:

Okay you two. I trust your judgment and discernment. Your words are usually reliable. So I ask you — both of you — Why is any of this recruiting, job search, resume writing, networking, social media, world’s best candidate stuff important?

Yep, the date and time that message was sent was 7:06 pm, Mar 25th. To date, neither colleague has responded. Maybe because the question stumped them as well; maybe because they’ve been too busy to pay attention to it. (It really does happen!) And as I continue to compose this piece, I find little pieces of this and that which indicate others (including my colleagues) are also ruminating about these matters. For example, on April 22, one of my two friends Twittered, “Getting to focus on the part of my job that I love the next few days, all brainstorming and defining the candidate / job seeker experience.”

But I’ve heard nothing.

There must be a more meaningful answer than the pitiful ruminations that wedged their way into my brain.

Aha! As I said, there are pieces of this and that which indicate others in the industry are also considering this question. On April 29, an advertising bit reached my Inbox. It was from Legal Authority, the legal recruiting agency that specializes in attorney placements. (You see? Even lawyers need help with finding a job!)

Time Is the Essential Factor

Legal Authority reveals why the job seeker experience, and all of the elements involved in it, is important by reading between the lines. The first thing they point out is the time factor in relation to doing research.

It’s one thing to broadcast your well-crafted resume and static cover letter to any and every company that has an ad running. It’s quite another to have some idea of what you want to do and where. The “plus” is knowing what “Where” has to offer and which among the thousands are offering something even remotely close to that overall picture.

Legal Authority continues by talking about how they’ll help you craft the perfect resume and cover letter through collaboration with their certified resume writers. In my jaded opinion, there is no “perfect resume” because everyone has their own concept of how it can be done better. The perfect cover letter is the one that conveys your personality as well as your qualifications and causes the reviewer to want to talk with you more than any of the others. But having someone who is expert at getting the right descriptions into those brief documents is oh so tricky.

Here, crafting the best resume and cover letter possible is a bit like coming up with the one right thing to say in order to get that special person to pay attention to you and say “Yes.”

Tools for Optimization

Social networking and Web 2.0 are tools that are supposedly designed to optimize our ability to meet the right people, like-minded and like-motivated people (or else complements) who are parts of a greater whole in which we want to be involved. If they’re not part of the place, they at least know about its insides and even a few people there who can provide greater insights.

To a job seeker, that means finally connecting with the person who knows about the holy grail – the right company, the right position, the right contact name and information. It’s about cutting down the amount of scant time doing the search and getting into the nitty gritty of determining whether this is the situation that will really work. It dispenses with the blind alleys and cul de sacs.

But we’re getting so bogged down with social network entrepreneurs who’re trying to make a fast buck on the social networks with their handy-dandy tools that the duplicative nature of the vast number of them available on all of the networks boggles the mind. How one can make meaningful connections while also trying to determine which tool will deliver the optimal connection opportunities is overwhelming; it deadens the quality time for actually doing the search and coming up with the right connections.

This subject goes much deeper. But it’s starting to become clear that this “recruiting, job search, resume writing, networking, social media, world’s best candidate stuff” is important. It’s important to the job seeker not only for the sake of time and cost containment but also for maximizing one’s return on investment in the advanced education and training and the just plain old “F” word – fulfillment.

Business Perspective

From a business perspective, financial sustainability, the importance of the job search goes back to time efficiency in completing business endeavor goals, putting to use the skills gained through all channels of training and experience, and keeping the “treasury” measurably above breakeven point.

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