How To Revive A Stalled Job Search With High-payoff Activities

I frequently talk to potential clients who tell me they have been conducting a job search for X months without any success, or that they have sent out X number of resumes with virtually no response. When I press for more details, I hear stories about resumes posted in online resume databases and resumes sent in response to ads found on online job boards.

What is wrong with these job search techniques? Well…nothing is fundamentally wrong with them. In fact, they play an important part – a small part – in most well-constructed job search plans. However, these are extremely low-payoff job search activities, and if these are the only techniques you are using, the chances are far greater than not that your job search will generate disappointing and slow results.

If you are unhappy with the results of your job search, it is time that you took an objective look at your job search techniques. Are you spending too much of your precious time and energy on low-payoff job search activities while you ignore those that will produce the positive results that you want and deserve?

While the more effective job search activities – such as networking -usually require people to step out of their comfort zones, the returns generated by your investment of your time and energy will almost always be worth it.

So, if you find yourself stuck in a stalled, ineffective search for your next job, here are some high-impact tips.

1) Take a hard look at your resume. Like it or not, your resume is your first introduction to most employers, and your only chance to make a good first impression. Effective resumes are focused marketing pieces that are strategically written and designed to sell YOU as THE best solution to a potential employer’s needs. Your resume should be written to illustrate your unique value proposition, with succinct “stories” that differentiate you from your competitors in the job market. Does your resume accomplish these goals? Is it focused effectively? Does it accurately present you in the way that you wish to be presented? If not, it is time to rewrite.

2) Now, take a hard look at your methods. Do the methods you are using in your job search convey professionalism at every step? Is your approach courteous and does it illustrate an understanding of common business protocol? For example, do you always send at least a brief letter of introduction when you send a new contact your resume? I can’t tell you how many times a prospective client tells me he isn’t getting calls on his resume, and when I quiz him he will tell me that he has been sending his resume as an attachment to emails, and then admits that he has not been including an introductory note. In this day and age, when everyone is concerned about viruses and spam, do you honestly believe that a recipient will open an attachment that arrives with a blank email? Of course not! Or…Does the message on your answering machine make you sound like a polished professional or a party animal? Is your email user name a professional-sounding one or a cutesy one? You have tough competition in the job market. Details matter! Courtesy and business protocol matters! Everything you do in your job search should convey an impeccably professional image. My best advice: Apply some basic common sense and remember your manners.

3) Ramp up your networking efforts. Of all of the possible job search methods, networking is the most effective by far, and yet it is the method that the fewest people use. I know that you don’t want to hear this, but no matter how uncomfortable it might be for you, networking is absolutely crucial and is the fastest way to your next position. Remember that when you are networking you are not asking people if they know of an opening or to give you a job, you are just asking for referrals or advice. Would you be upset if someone you knew contacted you to inform you of their job search and asked if you might be able to offer any advice or point her in the right direction? Of course you wouldn’t. In fact, you might even be flattered. This is the same reaction that your personal and professional networking contacts will have. If you don’t have frequent face-to-face contact with your network, the quickest way to jumpstart your search using networking is to send your resume and a brief letter to every single one of your contacts, and then follow up with a phone call a few days later. In most cases, people will be more than happy to help you out. But whether they are able to help you immediately or not, follow up with a brief handwritten thank you card. This is a gesture that will make a lasting positive impression.

4) Do your research; don’t just blindly and indiscriminately send out your resume. Research the geographic and industry areas that interest you and identify the companies and opportunities that seem most promising and intriguing to you. With the vast quantities of information available on the Internet, you really have no excuse not to research thoroughly. Identify the hiring decision-makers and learn all you can about them and their company, their competitors, their challenges, and their future potential. This is a great time to call on your professional network. Who do you know who knows someone who knows some else at the company you are interested in? Once you have an “in” through a referral, it is time to make sure you are absolutely clear on your value proposition. In what way do you feel you could add value to the company? How would hiring you be beneficial? What is the return on investment that the company could expect if they hired you? Once you have the answers to these questions clear in your mind, it is time to approach the targets.

5) Consider a targeted e-mailing of your resume to headhunter/recruiter firms. But don’t just use one of the cheap broadcast services that send your resume out to some unspecified list of 1000s of supposed recruiters. If you are going to do this, use a high-quality service that uses an up-to-date database of recruiting firms that they can break down and segment based on the firms’ specialties. Approaching the distribution of your resume to headhunter firms in this way ensures that the recipients of your resume are individuals who have a sincere interest in learning about you and your credentials. They will try to match you to their current searches, and if you are a fit, you will get a phone call right then. Otherwise, they tend to database your resume to search in relation to future recruitment assignments. Of all the suggestions, this is the most passive and the easiest for you to implement with the least amount of work. But, passive or not, if you are in a profession that is among those often handled by recruiting firms, you should definitely make this a part of your overall job search strategy.

Finally, I can’t stress enough how important it is for you to follow up. Be assertive and approach your job search as if it is a job in itself. Schedule your activities, keep track of the contacts you have made and the resumes you have sent, and follow up regularly and consistently.

Yes, there is no doubt that job searching can be a highly stressful time. But you do have choices about how you will spend your limited time and those choices can have a profound impact on the success of your search. Choose to focus on the high payoff activities and you will find yourself back to work, in the job you want, much faster than you thought was possible.

What Would You Do To Guarantee A Quick Job Search?

Today there are two job marketplaces. One is the old-fashioned traditional marketplace of resumes, classified ads, website postings, agencies and recruiters, interviews and rejection letters.

The other is the hot fast-track job search marketplace of career partners, contact banks, automated interviews, professional introductions, interactive dialogs, on-the-spot employment creation and savvy negotiations.

You see, the 21st Century job market has changed a lot. The old-fashioned ways of job hunting mean that you could be looking for a job for months. Besides, expectations of both employers and job-seekers have moved in decidedly new directions. For example, employers expect job-seekers to know and understand corporate goals. They want prospects to demonstrate how they can contribute.

On the other hand, job opportunities are being created on the spot and the candidate can be part of the creation process. Above-average deals are the products of above average negotiations where “dollars” is only one part of the total package.

Most importantly, if you want to excel, if you want a superior job with more money, if you want to select your next job rather than settle for it, you must understand and embrace the dynamics of today’s job marketplace.

We call this new dynamic as The 10 Power Principles of Your Job Search Success! Here they are:

1. Run your job search like an entrepreneurial business using basic marketing strategies.

2. Identify your specific strengths, capabilities and key transferable skills.

3. Develop a compelling communication and presentation plan to position you as a highly attractive job candidate.

4. Identify and recruit personal contacts and career partners.

5. Research and target organizations that match your interests and skills. Identify specific decision-makers to approach.

6. Utilize various methods to arrange non-interview meetings with targeted decision-makers.

7. Practice and perfect assertive face-to-face communication techniques.

8. Master powerful closing and negotiating techniques.

9. Follow through and follow up on each employer contact.

10. Repeat the process to acquire multiple job offers so you can select your next job rather than settle for it.

Put these principles to work for and you guarantee your next job . . . and you can do it in a matter of days!

You Better Build A New Job Search Success Blueprint!

If you’re disappointed in your job search success, you’re not alone. People go into the job market with a set of expectations . . . especially about how long it should take to find a good job. And most people seriously underestimate the time.

So they get understandably nervous. Then the pressure of being unemployed gets intense. And job seekers start to take seriously unhelpful actions. For example, they resort to mass resume mailings or desperate postings on job websites like monster.com or hot jobs.com. Or they start making useless phone calls hoping against hope that they’ll run into someone who will want them.

If this sounds like you, it’s not a very pleasant position to be in. The fact is that there are plenty of great job opportunities out there for you. You problem is that you’re going about finding them the wrong way. You need a new blueprint!

First, some kind of random, shotgun approach is a waste of time. In the old days (20th Century) you could count on the numbers eventually working for you. No more. Today’s savvy job hunting blueprint has to include an alternative approach like “targeting.”

Very simply, targeting means you aim your search at a specific company or organization that’s compatible with your interests, capabilities and skills.

Secondly, you do the research to find the right person within the company who typically you would report to.

Finally, you plan the best kind of approach to get yourself in front of that person without requiring him/her to see you as a job candidate.

How hard is that?

Actually it takes a lot less time than mass mailing all those resume and waiting for the phone to ring. With this new blueprint you have a workable strategy that you can repeat until you find a job that’s right for you instead just trying to fit into someone else’s idea of a job.

Without a clear target or set of targets, the average resume-pushing job seekers have condemned themselves to an endless cycle of disappointment.

The reasons are very simple. A hiring decision-maker will have an interest in you only if you’re perceived as a candidate who’s taken the time to learn something about the organization and it goals. And then can come forward with ideas or a proposal that specifically shows the contribution you can make to the bottom-line or what you can do to make their job easier.

Does your current blueprint allow you to do that? I’m afraid you’ll be stuck in resume limbo until it does!

The good news is that there’s a fabulous blueprint of proven alternative job search strategies already formulated and ready for you to implement. Follow this blueprint and you can be entertaining good job offers in as little as 14 days!

How To Find A Great Deal When Shopping Online

No matter where you shop, you want to get the best deal for your money. Online shoppers are no different. Here are some ways to find great deals when shopping online.

Shop for deals online after a major holiday occurs. The best time for shopping is after Thanksgiving. Retailers in stores and online are looking to maximize their profits with your shopping dollar. Most of your favorite outlet stores will be offering popular items on sale at a fraction of the cost to attract more customers.

Some online retailers offer deals to customers that can’t be found in the stores. Special online deals allow people to shop from the comfort of their own home instead of standing in long lines outside the retail stores. They may offer free shipping for orders over a certain dollar amount.

Use coupons to shop at online stores. Check Sunday newspaper circulars. Some stores offer customers the option of using their coupons online. Since you have shipping and handling in addition to sales tax, online merchants will offer more money off with their coupons for online purchases.

Electronics are a popular item to purchase online. Check the comments made by other shoppers before purchasing. Their comments give you an idea of the quality and satisfaction you will receive from the product. Stores like Circuit City offer deals on their electronics which includes in-store pickup.

What they will ask you to do is to enter your address into the computer. They will give you the address of the closest store location and the availability of the product you seek. If the product is available, you have the option of paying online and picking it up in the store. You avoid shipping and handling and long lines in the store.

Sites like Overstock.com are always offering deals on all sorts of items. Some are new and some are refurbished. Be sure that the site you use is an authorized reseller of the selected product to avoid getting ripped off. Again, check comments from other shoppers that have used that site for shopping purchases.

Taking surveys can garner deals at shopping sites all across the Internet. Places like MyPoints.com offer shopping deals to their members through daily bonus e-mails just for trying products for a trial period. Members also earn points towards gift cards and services for trying these offers. There is no cost to become a member. Just sign up and create a profile.

Deals are available to online shoppers, but you must know when and where to look. Online shopping offers the convenience of browsing and buying without leaving your home computer.