In job-search it is easy to do the same (get sidetracked)so we wanted to offer you eight ugly job-search truths that will (hopefully) give you a kick in the pants if one is needed.
1. You are killing your chances by sitting in front of the computer all day. Ask any salesperson (you are in sales when looking for a job) how much time they spend in front of their computer as opposed to making phone calls, shaking hands, and kissing babies and I would guess it is probably 90-10 if not more.
If all you are doing is spending time online you are missing the boat – in fact you never made it to the dock. There is a time and a place to do your online job-search work – it’s when everyone else is in bed.
2. Your résumé probably needs work. Sending in your résumé in for positions you are a perfect match for and not hearing anything back? It probably means you need to go back to the drawing board – here are some thoughts for you:
- Are you articulating what it is you do? If not you need to.
- Are you maximizing your keywords? Most of recruiting is keyword driven and if you are not using the right phrases/words your résumé will never get seen.
- Are you separating yourself out from the crowd? If not you are losing out to the competition.
- Are you showing why you are the candidate of choice? No? Then don’t expect calls anytime soon.
- Is your résumé a pretty document? If not people might overlook it.
- Are you using a Microsoft (or other) template? Those things are awful and difficult to work with from a recruiting perspective.
- Are you dating yourself? Don’t go back into your work history more than 10-15 years if you can help it and leave off the dates of your education.
3. Your chances of getting into pharmaceutical / medical device sales is slim to none. When I get calls from people (outside of my work as a recruiter) who are looking for opportunities here are how many of the conversations go:
Me: “Why don’t you take a second and tell me a little bit about what you have been doing and where you want to go?”
Job-seeker: “I have been doing XYZ (sub in accounting, IT, customer service, etc) for five years and now I want to get into pharmaceutical or medical device sales?”
Me: “Do you have any experience in that area?”
Job-seeker: “Well, no, but I think it would be a fun job and I’ve heard you make good money.”
If you don’t have the qualifications (ie have done pharmaceutical or medical device sales before) or look like a super-model (or both) you probably won’t stand a chance against everyone else who wants to get into that space.
I am not telling you to not go after these two positions (or other very popular ones), just have a plan B and plan C to go after as well.
4. If you are not networking you are probably not going to land anytime soon. In today’s market with so many people looking, your chances of really getting noticed without an inside connection is very slim.
It normally takes people a few months and several thousand unanswered résumé submissions before they finally get the message that the most important tool in their job-search arsenal is the phone.
5. If you need a survival job by Monday (and its Friday at 4:30) you are in trouble. Don’t wait until the last-minute to get a survival job, you should start your search for one as soon as your job-search starts. If you spend 30 minutes a day looking for a survival job and the rest of the time looking for a career opportunity you should be in good shape.
6. No one else is going to find you a job. Don’t expect anyone else to do your dirty work. Your job-search is a YOU project, not your spouse’s, not your career or life coach’s, not a recruiter’s. If you are not motivated enough to do the work yourself, your search for a new opportunity will be a long and bumpy road filled with hurt feelings, frayed relationships and disappointment from everyone involved.
7. Get over it. You have lost your job. It’s not fun, it’s a hard spot to be in, and I don’t wish it upon anyone BUT potential employers can smell an ounce of poison a mile off and if you don’t get over it you will never find a new job.
Everyone has their own way of dealing with hardships – some excercise, some talk about it, some beat the tar out of a punching bag, and others find a hobby. Find what works for you and do it.
8. You get out what you put in. If you are only answering five advertisements a week and not putting in a full weeks worth of networking calls, going to professional association meetings, or working your network on LinkedIn, Facebook, etc you will probably be reading posts on this blog for a very long time.
The list above is far from complete – I would like to hear other ‘ugly truths’ that you have found in the search process.
Until next time – good hunting and good luck!