I am a member of  the Career Collective, a group of  resume writers and career coaches. Each month, all members discuss a topic. This month, in collaboration with Quint Careers, we are  participating in Job Action Day!
This month we are discussing helping job seekers in a changing economy. Please feel free to visit the links below to read other members’ posts as well!     +++++

Blueprint

Two years ago, if I’d told you what I’m about to tell you now on how to conduct a job search, you’d look dumbfounded and frustrated. You’d say that conducting a job search like this, while strategic, is not practical and very risky.

Most job seekers turn to want ads in newspapers and online websites as the crux of their job searches. Here are the facts: an online search is akin to going to a bar to find a mate. Most people will be forgotten amid other suitors wearing similar scents and attire.

I’ll tell you right now: ditch the newspapers and job search websites. The current job search is about being cutting-edge and taking risks.

Say no to tradition

I’m telling you to ignore the old advice of going to newspaper and online websites first. They’re for the desperate, the uncreative and the people stuck in the 20th century. They can be useful, but not as a primary place to search for jobs. Most of those jobs often get filled internally or by someone who knows someone either before they are posted or soon after the jobs gets posted. These jobs are better choices for someone who is desperate and needs to apply to as many jobs as soon as possible or they’ll be in financial peril.

With the average job search at a three decade high of over 9 months, save the online and want ads after you’ve worked the blueprint.

The cutting-edge job search blueprint

  1. Scout- The first step is not to search for available jobs, but to search for companies. Pick the most appealing companies to you. These should be the companies you want to work for.
  2. Sort- Sort your list of companies by letter grade from A to F after you’ve weighed the pros and cons, checked for unlisted openings and scaled the jobs for desirability.
  3. Focus-At this stage, we’ll ignore anything that gets lower than a C on your scale. Focus on the jobs you want. These are the jobs where you should invest the most time, resources and creativity. Start with your A companies and then go to B companies after following the other steps.
  4. Research- You’ve already scouted the companies, now is the time for the research. Learn about the areas they need to improve and where they’ve had success. This insider information will set you apart in your job search.
  5. Adapt- With the information in hand, adapt your skills and message to how you can help them. Make sure your message shows that you’ve done your homework.
  6. Impress- These companies may or may not be hiring. Either way, your goal is to impress. You’ve spent time on these specific companies for a reason. Treat this like a first date. Start with a phone call then send your package. Wait and deliver a friendly call back. During these calls, establish a rapport so you can call back in a few weeks to keep inquiring about openings and keep your name in the game.

Rather than send out dozens of resumes, you’ve put your best forward with a few jobs. This cutting-edge job search blueprint will first separate you from the mob of online job applicants. The blueprint then puts you in a position to take advantage of opportunities you want. There is no worse feeling than having rushed to take an average job when you could have had your dream job, but you thought they weren’t hiring or limited your job search to only what you and everyone else saw.

——————

Enjoy these other posts by the Career Collective members in support of Job Action Day.

JobActionDay2009Logo

Meg Montford:  Job Action Day: Finding Your “MOJO” After Layoff
http://coachmeg.typepad.com/career_chaos/2009/10/job-action-day-finding-your-mojo-after-layoff.html

Debra Wheatman: Plan B from outer space; or what do you have in case your first plan doesn’t work out?
http://resumesdonewrite.blogspot.com/2009/10/plan-b-from-outer-space-or-what-do-you.html

Heather Mundell: Green Jobs – What They Are and How to Find Them, http://dbcs.typepad.com/lifeatwork/2009/10/green-jobs-what-they-are-and-how-to-find-them.html

Grace Kutney: Securing Your Career While Navigating the Winds of Change http://sweetcareers.blogspot.com/2009/10/securing-your-career-while-navigating.html

Hannah Morgan: Career Sherpa– Why Our Job Search Advice is the Same but Different http://hannahmorgan.typepad.com/hannah_morgan/2009/10/why-our-job-search-advice-is-the-same-but-different.html

Gayle Howard: The Enlightened Jobseeker http://www.theexecutivebrand.com/?p=500

Laurie Berenson: Making lemonade out of lemons: Turn unemployment into entrepreneurship http://blog.sterlingcareerconcepts.com/2009/10/30/making-lemonade-out-of-lemons-turn-unemployment-into-entrepreneurship.aspx

Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter: You Can Thrive In, Not Just Survive, an Economic Slogginghttp://careertrend.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/you-can-thrive-not-just-survive-an-economic-slogging/

Rosalind Joffe: Preparedness: It’s Not Just for Boyscouts http://workingwithchronicillness.com/2009/10/preparedness-its-not-just-for-boy-scouts/

Rosa E. Vargas: Are You Evolving Into The On-Demand Professional of Tomorrow? http://resume-writing.typepad.com/resume_writing_and_job_se/2009/10/furture-careers.html

Dawn Bugni: Your network IS your net worth http://thewritesolution.wordpress.com/2009/10/30/your-network-is-your-net-worth/

Miriam Salpeter: Optimize your job hunt for today’s economy http://www.keppiecareers.com/2009/10/30/optimize-your-job-hunt-for-todays-ecomony/

Barbara Safani: Where the Jobs Are: 2009 and Beyond http://www.careersolvers.com/blog/?p=1301&preview=true

GL Hoffman: The Life of An Entrepreneur: Is It for You? http://blogs.jobdig.com/wwds/2009/10/30/the-life-of-an-entrepreneur-is-it-for-you/

Katharine Hansen: Job Action Day 09: His Resume Savvy Helped New Career Rise from Layoff Ashes http://www.resumesandcoverletters.com/tips_blog/job_action_day_09_his_resume_s.html

Martin Buckland: Job Search–The Key to Securing Your Future Careerhttp://aneliteresume.com/job-search/the-key-to-securing-your-future-career/

Chandlee Bryan: Where the Green Jobs Are: http://emergingprofessional.typepad.com/the_emerging_professional/2009/11/where-the-green-jobs-are.html

J.T. O’Donnell: Actions that got people jobs in this recession http://www.careerealism.com/4-actions-that-got-people-jobs-in-this-recession/