Posted by: careerworks | February 9, 2011

6 Things You Can Do To Shorten Your Job Search

I’ve been in the career transition business since 2003 and I continue to see job seekers make the same mistakes over and over again. I write this here so that you might take a look at your strategy and techniques to eliminate the frustrations these cause.

  • Being old. It’s a dirty secret inside the employment world that age discrimination (although illegal) exists.  The fact of the matter is if you’re over 50 – maybe even over 45 – many employers aren’t interested. They say they’ll look at you but do they really? This remains a very real problem in our society. If you find yourself in this protected class, face the problem squarely and then get over it. No employer will want to hear excuses.
  • Unemployed. This one means “…desperately needs a job.” I often see prospective clients who, are working but really want to change jobs. They ask me, “should I just quit my job so I can spend my time looking for a job?” Whatever you do, try not to be unemployed when you look for another job. This is one of the reasons you should always have your eye and ear open to new opportunities.  Do you know how to be a job seeker and employee at the same time?
  • Holes in your resume. More often than not, men and women have gaps in their resume. For men, it’s usually that employment ended abruptly and they are unprepared for that event; and for women, those five years you took off raising your kids penalize you when you want to (need to) go back to work. Ladies, I wish I had a great answer for you but if you tell the truth, some employer with similar values will understand the important work you did at home.
  • A resume that looks like a dissertation. Keep it direct and simple. Use bullet points. People read in bullet points and sound bites; not paragraphs unless you’re reading a novel. Most recruiters and employers will appreciate your adapting to their reading style. And please refrain from speaking about yourself in the third person.
  • Unwilling to relocate: Being able to relocate is an advantage in today’s job market. Some people are unwilling to relocate because their kids are in school, they are near their friends and many other reasons. Still others think that given what’s happened in the housing market, (maybe they are underwater in their mortgage commitments), believe that the best strategy is to wait things out. If this is your strategy, don’t wait until you need to move. Put your house on the market and prepare to move if you need a job in the near future.
  • Can’t find you. Employers, recruiters and others in the employment business won’t spend much time trying to find you. Some job seekers omit their phone number or email address on their resume. Remember, the easier you can make it for others to connect with you the better. Oh, and remember to update your profiles on your social media pages. Some clever folks use these tools but they’re not going to spend much time looking for an enigma. People like things simple, easy, and fast.

Your career search is a comprised of many “little things” that often seem like huge obstacles. They aren’t; they’re just a combination of successive “speed bumps.” So make sure you recognize what problem you are facing and take the appropriate action to correct that problem.

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