Job Seekers: Your Super Bowl Resume? I’m Lovin’ It!
Looking for a job? How marketable are you?
Yesterday a client sent me a question I’ve heard often, especially in this era of nearly 10% unemployment: “Am I marketable?”
If you are asking this question, the first thing to do is to congratulate yourself for “getting” it, for understanding that you have to deliver a compelling message. The answer is a surprising one.
It doesn’t matter how marketable you are.
The success of your job search depends on how good your marketing is, not on you being a quality candidate. Think about it. Does McDonald’s have the best hamburger, or even a “pretty good” hamburger? No. A monkey could fry up a better sandwich. What they do have is a strong brand, a compelling message, and a way to deliver it to their target audience.
Of course, if you ask a recruiter or a hiring manager what compels them to choose a candidate, you’ll rarely get an admission that the decision has anything to do with marketing. They’ll talk about qualifications, experience, and occasionally a “good” resume. If you ask a customer why they’re in line at McDonald’s, they’ll probably tell you it’s because they’re hungry. McDonald’s ad firm knows better.
So, you have a fantastic resume (you do, right?). What can you do to put it to work for you? Do you want Sunday 5 am placement for your ad, or are you committed to a Super Bowl showing?
- Stop applying through job boards! 20% or fewer job seekers find jobs this way. It’s the easy way to look for work but unfortunately, the least effective. Use job boards to find openings. Find someone who works in the company who can hand your resume directly to the decision-maker. (With the fantastic tool of LinkedIn, it is amazingly easy to locate the people you need to connect with.)
- Optimize your LinkedIn profile so that HR pros on the prowl can find you. A fantastic resource for this is Jason Alba’s LinkedIn for Job Seekers.
- Define the type of company you’re interested in and build a list of target organizations. Network with people in those companies, even if there are no advertised openings.
- Explore this blog for career networking strategies that will get you where you want to go.
Bottom-line, don’t depend on “winning” just because you’re good at what you do. And abandon all belief in job boards as a core job search activity. In my experience, most job seekers to not want to hear or accept these truths, but if you can be one of the few who do, you’ll accelerate your career progress.
Follow your bliss,
Kim Mohiuddin, NCRW
Chief Career Strategist, Movin’ On Up Resumes
Career Communications That Lift You Up!
Speaker and Consultant on Careers and Writing