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VOL. 41 | NO. 10 | Friday, March 10, 2017

Where are you getting stuck in your job search?

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Whenever I meet with a new job seeker, I always ask the same question: “Where are you getting stuck in your search?” It sounds like a simple question, but it can shed quite a bit of light into what’s going on.

One of the top struggles is having a resume that isn’t put together well. Very often, the job seeker wonders what about their resume the hiring manager didn’t like. They spend hours combing over the details, refining each word, trying to craft the perfect resume.

The way the job seeker presents themselves to a hiring manager on their resume does have a big impact on their results. First impressions really are important.

For example, a typo can cause a hiring manager to automatically throw out a resume. The resume is a valid concern that really can impact job search results.

Although I believe this wholeheartedly, I reflect back on a friend. No kidding – he has a six-page resume. Have you ever heard of that being a good idea? On a number of occasions, I’ve volunteered to help him rewrite it.

But can you guess what happens? Yep. Every time I start to reconstruct his resume, he lands a new job. And not just any old job – he lands a great job at a great company. It’s happened so many times that I finally gave up on the long resume.

So why is someone with a six-page resume not getting stuck in their job search? The answer isn’t as straightforward as it may seem.

First, my friend has developed a specialized skillset. He’s focused on being the best at one particular thing. So when a hiring manager is in need of this particular skill, he’s someone they think of.

But what he’s also done that’s just as important, if not more so, is work to build and grow his personal professional network. He takes the time to get to know the people he works with.

He spends time with colleagues. He meets their families. And he flies around the world when they get married, just because he cares about them.

On top of doing a good job at work, he does a great job outside of work, and people remember that.

Most of all, he doesn’t rely on the internet to find his next job. He’s built up his contacts over the years. If he wants to find something new, he will reach out to the people he knows in the industry. They know him. They trust him. And they want him to work for them.

What’s he’s doing is that he’s playing a different game than everyone else. He’s taken his job search offline. It’s a people game, rather than an internet game.

Instead of optimizing his resume, he’s optimizing his professional network. And it’s working!

Now, if only I could get my hands on that resume.

Angela Copeland is CEO and founder of Copeland Coaching and can be reached at CopelandCoaching.com.

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