Revising Your Job-Search Strategy
Although signs of an economic recovery are sprouting, job losses continue to mount, with unemployment in March rising in all 372 U.S. metropolitan areas and the unemployment rate at 10 percent or higher in about one-third of them. Competition for available jobs remains intense, and job-seekers are looking for different strategies or tactics that can lead to an inquiry, interview or offer, according to OI Partners, a global career transition and coaching firm.
"A new technique, or a way of revising one you are currently using, can sometimes mean the difference between getting a phone call or interview and not hearing anything," said Mark Leathers, chairman of OI Partners.
While most jobs are still found through networking, job-seekers may want to try a few less well-known approaches.
"Everything from the way your resume is written, to how you contact a potential employer, to how you present yourself during an interview, is critically important in a normal job market. But job-seekers need to polish their approaches and be open to trying new and different methods when so many people are competing for so few jobs," said Leathers.
OI Partners offers the following ways to revise your job-search strategy:
- Send a brief, mailed, one-page letter, without enclosing a resume, to companies you have researched. Summarize your related experience, accomplishments and what value you can bring to the employer. Address the letter to the company president or a hiring manager, not to the human resources department.
- Form a personal job-search board of advisers. This should be comprised of people who are equal to or above your organizational level. They may be connected to others who can open some doors for you.
- Emphasize what you can bring to an employer immediately. Past accomplishments can be used to illustrate how you can help a new employer solve current problems, but your emphasis should be on what results you can achieve for them in the near future. Limit these to two or three significant needs that you can fulfill within your first three to six months.
- Do not include an objective in your resume, but instead use brief key words that highlight your skills. Using key words, rather than a job objective, will give you a larger range of possibilities with a potential employer, instead of limiting the opportunities for which you could be considered.
- Follow up on each personal or telephone interview or networking meeting. A mailed, word-processed letter expressing thanks and recapping your suitability for the job is appropriate after personal interviews. Brief thank-you e-mails are suitable following telephone interviews and networking meetings. But however you choose to follow-up, be sure that you do. It can mean the difference between getting to the next step in the hiring process and not.