It’s no surprise to me that many people are becoming more and more frustrated with the conventional tools available for their job-search efforts, which are predominantly internet and digital-related activities. It matters little how many online job boards you find, whether it’s five or fifty, you’re not going to find more jobs, just the same jobs and job descriptions on the various websites. One job may be posted on multiple boards but it’s still one job position posted at many places. Invariably once people realize this they can become quite frustrated, throwing up their hands saying, “but there aren’t any jobs out there!” It’s a fact that a lot of available jobs are not posted online, which means all that time spent online will not get you closer to any of those not listed. Whenever and however you do it, you must pick up the phone or knock on a door, which terrifies a lot of people who’ve never had to do it. Some overcome this and make their way; many others prefer to sit, wait and complain.
But you want to know something ironic -- companies also have a great deal of difficulty finding, attracting and hiring people for key positions; they have the same problem but from the opposite perspective! It’s true, hiring managers and HR are often just as frustrated and feel just as helpless in finding qualified people to fill open positions as you, the job seeker, is about finding opportunities. Sure, they check their own database, seek internal referrals but if a manager asks HR to go out and find for them a certain kind of person with the traits and qualifications they seek, HR will tell them they must await responses from jobs posted online. They may be internal recruiters working within HR, but they aren’t recruiting, they’re just posting online and then sit around with fingers crossed. Only a few out of a hundred or more resumes they’ve received actually fit the job description and need. That’s not very efficient is it? How do I know this, because a fast-growing part of my business are companies hiring me to consult and teach their personnel how to locate, seek out and attract qualified professionals of all types. So think about it, job seekers are limited by what they find available online and companies are limited by what they can find online.
So my point is to illustrate the depth to which ability has devolved. For you, the job seeker, this is a golden opportunity for those who know how to go out and find the jobs not listed online, while others are elbowing each other over what they can find online at the usual websites. When I see an aimless crowd all moving in one direction, I go another way and find an alternate route to my destination. Online methods may be convenient but are becoming less and less effective all the time. Believe it or not, a lot of positions out there are going unfilled for whatever reasons. Going old-school in your job search efforts is essential; learn or relearn, get comfortable with picking up the telephone and going to an office, try to make an appointment, sit and wait in reception to hand deliver your resume and get their business card. These steps stand out compared with soulless emails or lifeless resumes. Meeting people and shaking hands will get you out there, where you need to be and not at your kitchen table. No one single method is the silver-bullet solution, so don’t limit yourself to one primary activity. Keep doing the online stuff but not exclusively.
Here’s one tip I will share with you today; look online and when you ID a job and company you have interest in, don’t email your resume. Look at the company website or if need be call into the company with the goal of learning who the boss is for that particular position or section in the company. Then seek to meet that person, call their admin assistant and try to contact them with the intention of either sending your resume directly or, better yet, seek to hand deliver the resume. It’s not a waste of time even if all you do is have two minutes to shake hands and place your resume in their hands -- make the effort. If they refer you back to HR, try to do the same but now, at the very least, you were referred back and can drop a name. And don’t expect they will welcome you with open arms, it isn’t personal, its business; get over yourself. Get used to being told no. If you get knocked down, get up off your butt, dust yourself off and keep going – that’s how you take charge and you learn a hell of a lot along the way, especially self-sufficiency. Being resourceful and independent means just that. Learn it, live it, love it. Learn or regain these abilities and you’ll find some measure of success – as well as more self-confidence, and likely shorten the period of time you’re looking for work. I know, you can cover more territory online, is that right? Maybe, but if you have been looking for a while and not meeting with substantive results, try it my way. Online access and tools are meant to provide you with more options, they were never meant to be the only option.
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