Thursday, April 7, 2011

Start With the Man in the Mirror: Updating Your Job Search Methods

"I'm starting with the man in the mirror"
-Michael Jackson

Yes, nothing like a quote from an MJ song to get your attention.  But believe it or not, I actually have a point by using that song.

Whenever we get rejected from a potential job, it is natural to blame the company rather than questioning ourselves.  You put so much effort into your job hunt, there is no way it could be your fault, right?  When you continue to see no progress, however, it becomes a little less easy to put the blame on others.  It's at this point where you need to take a step back and evaluate your job search process.

I'll give you an example from my own experience.  I had just ended an internship at a start-up company I was working at.  I would have stayed there, but there was no room for advancement, so I was starting to look for new work.  Unfortunately, all the jobs I had applied to before the internship ended (if you know you are going to leave a job, start looking for work before you leave!) wouldn't get back to me.  After a while, I realized there must be something off-puting about the image I was projecting of myself during my job hunting.  So I went back to my previous boss and asked him to look at my resume and to give me general job advice.  This is when he was able to give me all of the resume tips I have shared with you.  Basically, I realize that the resume that I had was just not up to snuff: it was too generic, not customized enough, and full of useless information.  After he worked with me on an extensive resume update, I was able to see an immediate difference.  Jobs I applied to started to get back to me, and I got tons of interviews.  Eventually, I got the job I have currently at The NonProfit Times.

So the moral of the story here is that if you are starting to see a negative pattern in your job hunting methods, you really need to get some outside help to see if you are doing anything wrong.  You might be surprised to see how a few small corrections in your process can make a huge difference.

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