Part II of II
Editor’s Note: In Part I of this two-part series, international best-selling job hunting book author and professional “headhunter” Skip Freeman suggested the 7 New Year’s “resolutions” employed people should seriously consider making to land their “dream job” in the new year. In Part II, Skip offers 7 highly recommended New Year’s “resolutions” specifically designed for those who currently are unemployed and who also want to land their “dream job” in the new year.
If you entered the New Year without a job I know how you’re feeling: Discouraged, depressed, dispirited. And that’s entirely understandable given present circumstances because this year’s job market, while expected to improve at least somewhat, still is going to be mighty challenging. Why? Because not only will the unemployed be vying for the finite number of available jobs, it is estimated that anywhere from 45% to 60% of the currently employed, who say they are ready to make a career move, will also be vying for these same jobs. That’s the bad news.
The good news is that, despite the constant barrage of negative job news emanating from the media, which tend to focus nearly exclusively on the number of new jobs created in the economy, there still are jobs available—for those who can brand themselves as exceptional candidates! As a matter of fact, four million jobs were filled each and every month in 2011, with approximately three million jobs remaining unfilled at year’s end. That means that, each and every month in 2011, there were seven million opportunities to land a new job! This trend is expected to continue into the New Year.
Now, in fairness, not every available job in 2011 could be filled by everyone who was unemployed. Likewise, not every available job this year will be able to be filled by every job seeker, either. Nonetheless, there still was—and is expected to be in 2012—enough variety in the available job mix to give many job seekers, both employed and unemployed, at least a fighting chance at a new job.
In Part I of this two-part series, I offered seven strongly recommended New Year’s “resolutions” for the currently employed who want to explore new career opportunities in 2012. And, of course, all seven of those resolutions apply to the unemployed as well. In this, the second part of the series, I offer an additional seven highly recommended resolutions designed especially for the unemployed job seeker.
So, if are unemployed and would like to have a realistic chance at landing one of the millions of jobs expected to be filled each and every month this year, here is what I recommend (with applicable “hot” links to appropriate references):
1. Apply to posted positions both online and offline.
It is important to keep in mind that, depending upon the level of position, only 50-70% of all positions are ever posted. As an unemployed person you definitely want to use the job boards (and we recommend an job aggregator such as indeed.com or simplyhired.com) and apply to the position online. Recognize, however, that, more often than not, you will go into the proverbial black hole. However, people still do get hired this way.
But don’t stop there! In parallel, also apply offline. Use the “headhunter” hiring secrets laid out both in “‘Headhunter’ Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever!” and in my previous blogs (http://www.personalbrandingblog.com/?s=Skip+Freeman) to learn how to identify hiring managers, craft your direct mail message and go after the position directly.
2. Trash your current résumé and create a NEW one . . .
- Unless you have key words in it that match the job you are applying for.
- Unless you have quantifiable accomplishments and achievements documented in it.
- If you list nothing but duties and responsibilities.
- If you have used unusual fonts, colors or anything “weird” that a computer can’t scan and read.
- If you use paragraphs instead of bullet points.
- If it is more than two pages in length.
3. Launch an aggressive, targeted direct mail campaign.
4. Develop Internal company sponsors. They can significantly increase your odds of becoming visible and getting hired.
5. Keep in mind that job winners today are increasingly creative in their approach. Make sure you are too!
6. Win the job you want by learning how to “lead the witness” during an interview.
7. Make sure you know, understand and can adequately address the “ONE” question you must get RIGHT in an interview.
Now, if you make—and then keep!—all seven of these recommended New Year’s resolutions, am I guaranteeing that you will land a new job in 2012? Of course not. No one can make such a guarantee. I think you will have to agree, however, that, if you have been unemployed for any length of time, it’s got to be pretty obvious by now that the approaches you currently are employing to try and find a new job clearly aren’t working. That sort of begs the question, then, of what do you have to lose by adopting approaches that are working more often than not in today’s job market?!
How do I know these approaches I am recommending work in today’s job market? Because I am in the job market each and every business day, dealing with both candidates and those who hire them. I therefore know what does work, and equally importantly, what does not work.
Make no mistake about it, there will continue to be plenty of stiff competition in the 2012 job market, but there are glimmers of hope on the horizon. Based upon my executive recruiting firm’s conversations with hiring managers in our client companies, the first quarter of 2012 is looking very promising. Companies, though still cautious, are critically short-handed and are finding that the dollars they had been saving by not filling vacant positions are quickly being eroded by the dollars they are losing as the result of reduced business. But that doesn’t mean companies will be quick to hire. They are still only going to make the decision to invest in a new employee if, and only if, that potential employee can clearly and unequivocally brand herself/himself as someone who can either make the company money, save the company money, or ideally, accomplish both of these things!
And, finally, if you have a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage) and then click on the link below to learn how you can go about making your dream job a reality in 2012.
Skip Freeman is the author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever! and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The HTW Group (Hire to Win), an Atlanta, GA, Metropolitan Area Executive Search Firm. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.