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Goal #1: secure a job

How to Avoid Job Search Agony

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Reprint from ETP Lamplighter Newsletter
by Jerrold (Jerry) Clifford

What is agony? A one armed man hanging off a cliff when he gets an itch.

Recently I went to a networking meeting where attendees were called upon to discuss their success in finding jobs. People presented techniques they were utilizing such as targeting resumes to the position, trying to contact advocates who c an positively present the applicant to the hiring manager, and generating cover letters that easily match qualifications to requirements.

One person was a holdout though. He felt that what worked for him in the past would still work for him although the economy had changed, the company’s needs had changed, he had changed, and his job competition had changed, too. He went on to state that he had been looking for a position (using his old techniques) for a very long time but with no results. He was agonizing over whether he would ever find a job.

Some people keep doing the same things over and over again even if they don’t get the desired results. Somehow they think that what they did before should yield positive results again. They put themselves in a situation where they just can’t scratch.

First, many people don’t have a true job search plan. They go on Internet job boards and blindly apply to what they regard as a match (or “close enough” match) to the job listings. They think the person on the receiving end will appreciate what they see, analyze the candidate’s background, and discern just how well they fit the requirements. They spend considerable time completing applications and treating this as a job plan. While this activity makes the candidate feel he/she is working hard at finding a job, usually, in effect, this is just “busy work.”

Here are the realities of the present job search environment:

  • Pre-screening programs eliminate most candidates (even good ones) and resumes and applications don’t even get seen by human resources personnel or hiring managers.
  • When resumes do get screened by real targeted personnel, this is done for just a few seconds and analysis is rarely done.

A job hunting plan helps overcome these obstacles.

If a job search isn’t working, then the job seeker must put a plan together and prepare to make some important changes. To do this, ask yourself some analytical questions such as:

  • Do I have an idea of what problem/s thetarget company is addressing?
  • Am I qualified for the job? Do I have a plan for obtaining this job or merely going through the motions?
  • Am I using introduction documents (job proposition) correctly.
  • Am I addressing the company’s problems effectively? 
  • What message am I trying to convey? Am I generally competent at what they want or actually adept?
  • Can I determine who the hiring manager is? Is there someone credible who can get me or my information in front of this person?
  • Do I have my plan for success in a job interview?
  • Does my online / media presence present me in the way I desire and support my stated background?
  • Do I have my references available?

Being successful in a job search takes preparation and being prepared for a job search is somewhat similar to skin lotion on itchy skin. It can help prevent the agony of a long job search.

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