The Desk

March 13, 2009

Job Search Effectiveness

Filed under: Job Search,Networking — Yvonne LaRose @ 3:03 AM
Tags: , , ,

There are so many in the media who are more than enthusiastic about jumping on the “tight labor market” bandwagon. It seems like everyone and his neighbor is harping about how hard it is to find a job and the extraordinary lengths to which people need to go in order to find one.

Are you having trouble finding candidates who are qualified to fill your reqs?

On yesterday’s news, a guy was interviewed. He stands on a street corner everyday at 5:30 AM with a sheaf of his resume under his arm. He passes out his resume until 7:30 AM and then goes elsewhere to do other job search activities. He said he highlights a few things here and there in his resume and relies on the person who’s reading it to do some intuitive, active reading to draw lineals from one experience to another.

There’s a flaw in that thinking. Recruiters who review resumes only have about one minute, at best two, to see the matches for the job req they have on their desk. If it doesn’t jump out at them within that time, it goes into the slush pile until the next time they’re looking for that same generic job title.

The other thing this guy who stands on the street corner does is yet another of the sins he’s committing against himself. In the discussions, we’ve shared about the one-minute impressionand how that boils down into the 15- or 30-second elevator pitch. Apparently the resume distributor has those first three elements of the positive impression down pat.

But when it came to talking about what he wants, he dismally failed. The reporter was adept at asking what he’d done before. We got a vague answer about management here and supervision there but nothing we could sink our teeth into. (Maybe I wanted to go see this guy. I may have something to offer him.)

The reporter pressed on. The next question was what type of job the resume distributor wants. This was the moment. He was asking for the world and the world was at his feet. His answer was, “well, I’ll take whatever is out there at this point in time.” After going through all of the efforts, he had no specific job he is angling to get.

I have to wonder how his resume points anyone to the precise thing they want let alone what he wants. No matter what shape our economy is in, there are certain things that are just basics. They have to be there in order for us to get started on a good job search. The resume distributor has put together a job history on paper and made thousands of copies of it which he diligently gives away to every passerby. But he hasn’t done any type of evaluation of this document nor attempted to tailor it to his search. In fact, he hasn’t even shaped his search!

Resume Distributor had the opportunity of a lifetime dropped into his lap. The reporter for statewide radio news asked him what type of job he wanted. His 10 seconds of fame and opportunity were there. All he could come up with was “I’m open to anything right now.”

Maybe he should have said, “. . . anything related to XYZ industry.”

I’ll bet I could have gone to the Occupational Outlook Handbook and found at least a dozen job titles that are related to this guy’s last job. From there, we could have worked on finding some things that are good matches for his personality and background and started a job search for him.

Since Resume Distributor didn’t give any clues about his background, let’s choose a generic job title and see if we can brainstorm some related job titles.

Accountant
bookkeeper
tax preparer
auditor
financial analyst
financial advisor
IRS agent
inventory taker
stock clerk

It might be fun to try some other job titles and see what alternates come up. At least we’d have some things to think about in case, during these times of change, some categories are simply being phased out.

1 Comment »

  1. About.com choose 3 websites where job seekers got the best results –

    http://www.linkedin.com (networking for professionals)
    http://www.indeed.com (aggregated listings)
    http://www.realmatch.com (matches you to the perfect jobs)

    For those looking, good luck!

    Like

    Comment by greg — March 15, 2009 @ 9:27 AM | Reply


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