If you are reading this you are probably coming to the realisation that sending out another resume is just not going to get you the job you want. You are probably creeping into long term unemployment, classified as 26+ weeks without work, or you are already well entrenched in it. For you playing the resume lottery is probably not going to work, don’t give up on it just yet. However you need to supplement your resume send-out efforts with a new tactic.
Resumes and gambling
For many of you your resume is keeping you unemployed because today screening for jobs is mostly done on skills and qualifications and you just don’t fit into that neat little job box. If there are 100 well qualified professionals that apply to a posting, such as an accounting, engineering or chemist job advertisement online and the employer only intends to fill one position from the pool of 100 – effectively you have a 1% chance of getting that job.
1000 resumes sent out and nothing
I run into seasoned pros who tell me they have sent out 1000 resumes, in fact recently an IT professional told me he sent out over 1000 resumes with nothing to show but 2 live interviews and 8 telephone screens from recruiters over a 6 month period. He told me he is feeling desperate but is unwilling to change his approach– does that make sense? He is not alone; when I tell these seasoned pros suffering from long term unemployment that their reliance on their resumes to open doors to a job is keeping them unemployed they agree but are unwilling to change their approach even though most of their applications simply collect digital dust in the employers’ databases. What to do?
Get to MIDMs
Be a candidate first not an applicant first. If you have been looking for a while, it is critical that you start doing a targeted job search regardless if there is a relevant job or there is not a job posted at your target employers. Make a list of the employer targets you want to work for and specifically in what capacity, i.e. functional job title. Find out who the Most Important Decision Maker (MIDM) is at the employer you are targeting and approach him/her by leading with you, not your resume. For seasoned pros the MIDMs are CEOs, Presidents, and Vice Presidents, that are the decision makers who can make a hiring decision. Make a call, leave a message and/or send a letter with a compelling pitch why you are the solution to his/her problems or how you can enhance his/her business, department or division.
Lead with your potential not your qualifications and skills
specifically, your pitch or value proposition needs to clearly state how you can:
- make money
- and/or save money
- and/or improve processes or procedures
- and/or ensure compliance
You the winner vs. the rest
Most of your competitors who apply to job postings or who make pitches will lead with a resume and/or lead with their qualifications and skills and leave it up to the decision maker to figure out where they fit in. This approach may work sometimes but what will set you apart is how you draw from your accomplishments and then describe the potential you have, to do what needs to be done in order to solve the MIDM pain/problems. While your competition is boring him/her by describing their experiences and responsibilities you are drawing a compelling picture and linking it through your pitch that demonstrates clearly how you will make money, save money, improve things, or make sure things are in compliance.
Opening doors to hidden jobs
Targeted job search works with posted jobs and it also works with non advertised jobs (the so called hidden job market). The important thing to understand is that a targeted search that identifies employers, the ones you want to work at, followed by a professional pitch focused on business results, opens the door that leads to getting hired by an MIDM. Why does it work? Because you are talking a MIDMs language, the language of business punctuated by results. For a seasoned pro if a MIDM is going to hire you he/she has to get to know you and eventually trust you. If you can’t get in the door to talk to anyone then how can you get hired? You need to be bold and pro-active. Don’t sit back and wait, instead put a plan in place to go out and get what you want and don’t simply rely on sending out resumes. Sure you may get a job from sending out resumes however by stepping it up with a targeted search plan directed at MIDMs you will also build a powerful network that can last a career and lead to greater opportunities now and in the future.
Looking for more information on targeted job search? Pick-up a copy of The Panic Free Job Search online or at any good bookstore. If you would like intensive live training that gets professionals hired check-out The Ultimate Job Search Boot Camp. If you are transitioning and want to lower the barrier to full-time employment then check out TryME, the complete TryME-on-contract-first-employment-solution you can offer to employers to get your foot in the door quickly with less hassle and knock your competition out. You can reach Paul Hill at 416-831-6964 to discuss any of these options.