Friday, July 30, 2010

Strategic Shift

I have been confident for the past few months that if I stuck with the professional problem solving, I would make my fortune. It would only be a matter of time. However, time is not an unlimited resource when money is not coming in to replace money going out.

I was talking to my fiancee last week and she suggested I should look for a regular job. I was not against the idea, but I lacked confidence I could find a job. You see, I am very good at many many things... job searching for myself is not one of them. Any employer would be fortunate to have my skills of problem solving, writing, personal relations, strategic thinking, computers, social media, etc. I would be very fortunate if I could tell them so.

Annie, however, was very confident that such jobs were out there and that I should go for them, so she searched online. (Jobs in the Valley is and excellent site by the way.) She found a few and the hunt was on.

The first thing we did in this process was set a deadline. I have until August 17th to find the kind of job I am looking for. After that, all the stops come out, and I will pick up whatever short term work I can get to fill the gaps until something more permanent comes along.

Fortunately, there are a few tricks that I have picked up along the way in how to find a job. That is why I have decided to cover this process in this blog, to share those techniques with you. Furthermore, to expand my playbook, I am read the book on job searching What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard Nelson Bolles.

My first insight that I will share with you today: make yourself stand out. Chances are that any job you are applying for has at least 50 candidates. This means that there is about a 50/50 chance that you will not even be noticed, your resume and cover letter discarded to the excess stack.

How do you stand out? Be more than just a couple sheets of paper. Email or call and confirm that they got your resume. This is a good thing to do anyway, because you actually want to know if they got it. Even better, consider this. If you ask someone to check to see if a resume is in a stack of resumes, what will they do? They will look through and find yours and look at it. Then, they will probably just toss it back on top of the stack. Sure, it will get buried again, but at least you know it got looked at once, and that is something!

I would love to hear what you have learned in your searches, and please share this with your job searching friends. Let's share ideas. And, remember, the whole purpose of the application is to get an interview. In other words, like many online endeavors in business, the Internet is a vehicle to get to the in person connection. Good day and good luck!

1 comment:

  1. Interesting post Michael. I'm sure you'll find something that matches that outgoing personality of yours. Don't forget to work that network.

    My girlfriend is going through a similar (though more extended) process as she finishes her last year of grad school and searches for her first real career focused job.

    One step we've taken is to create a website where she can post her resume, projects she's working on in school, publications she has, and that sort of thing to (hopefully) give potential employers a better and more complete picture of her as a professional than just a resume/cv.

    As a web developer this project naturally got the wheels turning on a potential new market, so I'd love to get yours and others thoughts on the usefulness of personal websites (like in the job searching process.