Don’t Send More Resumes

When people don’t have a clue how to go about getting a job, they do two things: First, they start looking through the help-wanted ads online, in the newspaper, and wherever else they can find them. Second, they start randomly sending resumes to people they know, and people they don’t know. Many of us are willing accomplices in this. As a manager, I often get resumes from colleagues and friends who say, “I happen to know somebody who’s looking for a job and I wanted you to have their resume just in case you have something open.” Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I don’t have anything open. What does this tell me? It tells me you don’t understand what I need; you’re wasting your time and mine. That’s never a good way to start a relationship. So what can you do instead?

1. Spread your net.

Once you’re clear about the kind of job you want, and where your own unique talents are best put to use, make sure you inform everyone in your network. Tell everyone from friends, neighbors, past co-workers, to fellow church and organization members what kind of work you do best, and ask them to keep an eye out for that specific kind of job. Use social media like LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter to get in contact with specific people in your industry.

2. Educate yourself.

Use your network to Find out where the jobs are in your market. Is it a growing field with new opportunities that might interest you? Is one company merging with another? Or is so-and-so’s CEO retiring? Do your research so you know what’s going on and go after the position you want. Choose a few target companies based on objective criteria that you develop ahead of time. Relevant factors may include pay scale, internal training opportunities, geographic location, flexible work scheduling, etc. Finally, learn all you can about the companies you plan to approach, so you will be able to showcase your knowledge, refine your resume, and practice interview answers that address the company’s business direction, staffing needs, and overall philosophy of business.

3. Get online and offline help.

Don’t be afraid to use all the resources available to you such as resume posting services, job search emails, job boards, the State Department of Labor, etc. Hire a career coach, meet with headhunters, and make sure you’re doing more than just looking through the help wanted ads for places to randomly send your resume. It doesn’t work.

Oh, by the way, I happen to have a free monthly coaching call where I answer everyone’s toughest questions about how to get a great job, get paid the big bucks, and get ahead in your career. Sign up to learn when the next one is: