Revamping your job-search strategy
If you’re not landing interviews, it’s time to try something new
By Eve Tahmincioglu
Stephen Cobain was laid off from his executive position at a major Pittsburgh financial services company in December of 2008 and spent nearly a year looking for a job with little to show for it.
“I was doing all the things everyone tells you to do,” he said. “I prepared my résumé, wrote letters, contacted recruiters, looked on all the job boards, responded to 400 positions and maybe sent out 1,500 résumés.”
It all led to no job, just frustration.
Until this past Thanksgiving, when his always-supportive wife stunned him by saying: “You must accept the fact that you’re doing something wrong.”
“My reaction was to say, ‘I think I’m doing everything right. The right thing will come along,’ ” Cobain recalled. “And her response to me was, ‘It hasn’t come along yet.’ ”
It’s hard to hear this type of criticism, especially when you feel you’re doing everything in your power to land a job. And clearly, most job seekers have a great excuse right now — a crummy economy.
But if you’ve been job searching for months with few tangible results, it may be time to take a hard look at yourself in the job-hunter’s mirror.
A change of strategy:
That’s just what Cobain did.
Instead of wearing pajamas, he started dressing in a suit every day to go to his home office. He stopped searching the job boards. He hired a financial services placement firm and a career coach.
The placement firm led to just one phone call back from an employer. However, he said the career coach he found through Guerrilla Job Search International helped him focus his search. The coach aided him in revamping his résumé, taking it from three and a half pages to one page, and ditching the job-chronology format for a list of his major career accomplishments. The coach also advised him to target an assortment of companies he would like to work for even if they had no advertised job openings.
“I mailed out 10 résumés, got eight interviews and got three job offers,” he said.
Today, he starts his new job as senior vice president for a financial services firm in Pittsburgh.
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