Archives for multiple resumes

3 Unexpected Places to Find Job Leads

Photo courtesy of Sharyn Morrow " X marks the spot (where the center caved in on the vegan cake)." http://bit.ly/1znpXtL

Photo courtesy of Sharyn Morrow ” X marks the spot (where the center caved in on the vegan cake).” http://bit.ly/1znpXtL

In May 2011, Dianez Smith was ready to take her career an epic level. She was tired of not getting interviews and working a low-wage retail job. Dianez literally took to the streets in search of leads. Armed with a homemade sign, dozens of résumés, and a sharp business suit, Smith stood at the corner of a busy Washington D.C. intersection. The recent college graduate desperately wanted land a job that would put her bachelor’s degree in studio art to use. She passed out 17 résumés in total to anyone who would give her a second glance. Smith’s résumé eventually landed her an interview and a job as a receptionist at a law firm.

Dianez Smith’s case of standing on a street corner may be extreme, but she was willing to look in an unexpected place to find job leads. With the economy still in a state of recovery, the job market is flooded with applicants. You have to stand out from the crowd just to get an interview. The idea of doing this may cause your creative side to balk. After all, you’ve polished your résumé until it sparkles and you’ve come to dread attending the same old networking events. In short, you’re tired of searching the same employers, in the same way everyone else does. In fact, you’re itching for the novelty of trying something new. Or maybe you have yet to search for a new career, but you want to start in a unique manner. If you’re willing to take a path less traveled, you may find surprising leads in your job search.

  1. Your “Other” Network

Other realms of your community can be a great source of unexpected job leads. The idea is to expand your network beyond the professionals you normally interact with. First try asking the people outside of your immediate circle of friends (assuming you’ve already told your friends how to identify leads for you.) Consider all of the folks with whom you are on a first-name basis. Your neighbors, your barber, your hairdresser, your trusted mechanic, and the parents you know from PTA meetings and kids’ sports and activities. Think personal relationships VS professional ones.

If you want to expand even further, look into community workshops, neighborhood events, and Meetup.com gatherings related to your interests. The point is to meet and network with different people to search for job leads. I’ll use Meetup.com as an example. You might be into web development and content management. So you find a local group dedicated to WordPress (yes, they exist), and decide to attend a local event. Such meetings could be the perfect place to ask for job leads. Or if you attend social gatherings completely unrelated to your profession (i.e., clubs, board game nights, or even religious services), take a moment to ask for leads there. You never know who may be the source of an important job lead.

  1. Online Marketing

In August I wrote an article titled “5 of the Craziest Ways People Found Jobs.” In this list I wrote about one man who got a job by advertising himself on Google’s AdWords. There’s no reason why you can’t market yourself in a similar manner. Set up a personal blog or website if you don’t already have one. Get yourself a personal domain name to brand as a URL. Naturally this would be YourOwnName.com. Next, create a page just for your résumé. Once you have such a page you’ll purchase an ad and use it to promote your résumé and highlight your achievements in a few words. For the AdWords URL you’ll want to use that personal domain name you bought.

If Facebook is more of your flavor, purchase a social ad. Use the title of the ad to target the business you want to work for. Make sure to include a professional picture, and a 25-word description about yourself and the job you want. Make sure to link these ads to your LinkedIn profile, Facebook page and your other social media outlets. Ask friends on these networks to share the ad. You want to target people in your profession in order to generate job leads.

  1. Become a Public Speaker

Volunteering to speak through community and professional organization can be a great source of job leads for those willing to try. It can be a breakout way to garner attention, establish expertise and value, and to expand your network. By public speaking, you’re marketing yourself to other professionals outside of your usual network who can then market you by word-of-mouth. Seek out clubs, civic groups, and professional organizations. These engagements can be used to gather job leads from attendees. If you’ve never spoken in public before, or the task seems a little daunting, you will definitely need to practice. Christopher Witt’s Entrepreneur article “How to Get Started in Public Speaking” is a good starting point.

Be bold and refuse to leave any stone unturned by looking for leads everywhere you can think of. Strike up a conversation with acquaintances and steer the discussion to job leads. If you don’t mind contracting work, try a few gigs on sites like Fiverr or Elance. In addition to making some extra cash, try asking clients about job leads. Consider putting out ads asking for leads in your local newspaper and on Craigslist. These sources are a little more risky, and you may end up with irrelevant leads, or no job leads at all. The point is, never stop looking and asking for leads.

These methods are not a substitute for a solid résumé, strong networking, references, and researching the company you want to work for. You can think of it as a quirky complement to the good practices you’re already using. As the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

Survivor – The Search Is Over

Survivor’s official music video for ‘The Search Is Over’. Click to listen to Survivor on Spotify: http://smarturl.it/SurvSpot?IQid=SurvTSIO As featured on Ultimate Survivor.

More résumés ≠ better results

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An investment in multiple resumes usually doesn’t pay off the way people intend them to. There are exceptions to the rule, but for the most part this is usually true. Of course, when you think about it, not everybody fits in a box or a job the way a company might write a description so there are usually multiple jobs that people qualify for. However, just because you’re qualified for a job doesn’t mean that it is something you should be pursuing.

Let me explain. When I was a recruiter, often IT candidates had several different IT disciplines in their toolkit.  At the same time they could be a project manager, a program manager, a business analyst, a developer, a QA tester–all of that balled into one. As a recruiter, I wanted my candidates to be as marketable as possible for as many jobs as possible, especially the candidates that I knew were really great performers and would represent the firm very well. When I transitioned into being a career coach, I have a much different perspective on the strategy of having multiple resumes.

From a recruiting perspective, you can be much more marketable for many more jobs. If you are, say, a consultant, that’s a good thing. There’s a higher probability of you being able to land your next gig. Even though you may have skill sets in various different IT disciplines, you still can be niched in clinical trials, academic pursuits, financial applications or merchant services and still continue to get work as a consultant in those various positions.

However, people who are searching for a full-time opportunity have two choices if they are one of those people who have multiple disciplines. Number one is to target a company that needs you to fill all those jobs simultaneously. They’re usually the starter companies, the smaller companies, or the flat organizations. They usually want people with dynamic backgrounds to come in who can plug-in wherever. Those are the types of situations where, if you have a varied toolkit or a skill set and you want to be able to apply that in different ways every day, then that would be a really good target for you.

However, if you’re looking for larger organizations where positions tend to be more siloed and you’re one of these people with a varying background, you can spend a lot of time writing and sending your multiple resumes to various job descriptions that ask for a specific title and get very few results.  This can make you feel you are undesirable to that company. From the company’s perspective, especially if they see one candidate applying for multiple positions, it looks unfavorable. It looks risky. It makes you look like either you don’t know what you want or that you’d pretty much take anything.

Think about the kinds of companies that would be attracted to a candidate who’d be willing to take anything. Not many good companies want to hire a candidate who is willing to take anything, unless they’re willing to offer you the job where you have to be willing to do anything on the job. I know there are a lot of job seekers out there who are in that situation. You might have been applying to multiple jobs for a long period of time and getting very few results and feeling like at this point you just have to be desperate. You have to apply to anything. You have to accept anything that comes your way. The problem with that is you’ve come to a conclusion about your viability in the job market based on a flawed distribution strategy.

If you are one of those people with varying skill sets who is apply for a job in a larger corporation, the fastest way to your next opportunity is actually to pick the role that you want to spend most of your time doing and then market yourself specifically for that role. You can include information about the other disciplines that you also have experience with, but you have to brand yourself based on the primary position. Then when you get into that role, you can always look for ways to make yourself more valuable by lending those skills and talents to other departments or projects, other teammates, other supervisors.

A résumé is an investment. My goal as a résumé writer and a career coach is that when you make that investment, you get a return on that investment.  A return on your investment that a professional résumé produces is engagement, interviews, and ultimately a job offer. Not just any job offer, but a job offer that you find desirable that enables you to really thrive and succeed in your career with the optimum career and income growth.

So before you make a decision to have multiple résumés, think about who it is you’re targeting as an employer.  If you are targeting smaller startups, family-owned businesses or flat organizations—places where they like people to have multiple hats, that’s an opportunity for you to brand yourself as a multi-skilled talent.  You must make sure that you’re targeting a specific audience with your résumé so that you’re not wasting your time and then coming to conclusions about your viability based on a lack of response.

Recruiters and employers are not going to take their time evaluating your resume in detail to determine where it is you fit best in their organization. They’d rather move on to somebody they are sure fits the job description. You are not increasing your competitive edge in the job market by being somebody who is multi-skilled and applying for siloed positions.

So you have some decisions to make. I am here to help you make them, if you need me to. When you are ready to choose one or the other, then you are ready to brand yourself and market yourself effectively to an employer who will appreciate what it is that you are bringing to the table and extend that job offer.