What If All Your Job Search Strategies Are Wrong?

Are you looking for a job, conducting a career transition, or re-entering the workforce?

If so, the odds are heavily stacked against you in achieving success. This is due to the tremendously high level of competition that currently exists for scarce work. Even worse, you are likely relying on outdated strategies that are by their nature doomed for failure. Today’s job market is unlike anything we have ever witnessed before.

Why? We are living through today 40 years of failed, business, political, and academic policies. The leaders of our industries have failed us. Not only have venerable, old established global institutions like Bear Stearns, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae have struggled for their existence, but entire industries are collapsing as we transitioned from a post-Industrial to service and technology-based economy. Industries like advertising, printing, manufacturing, retail, automobile manufacturing, banking, financial services…all are going through significant transformation.

How can you bulletproof your career and conduct successful job searches in today’s 21st century, global contract workplace? These times DEMAND that you use unconventional, non-traditional strategies.

Your goal should be to visualize your dream job. Identify all the attributes of what constitutes ideal work for you – then write that all down. Identify the six to eight organizations in the 3-4 industries that you are interested in, whose cultures match your values and belief system. Within these 18-32 organizations, you want to find the individual that you would be reporting to in this ideal job that doesn’t exist.

You will approach them directly with a sales pitch for how you are the ideal solution to resolve their challenges in this job that they don’t know they need to fill in their Team since it doesn’t exist. Your pitch should focus on how you will accomplish the following: 1) make them more money; 2) reduce their costs, or 3) improve their operations. You are the solution to what keeps them up at night.

The resume and cover letter are dead. That one minute elevator pitch is also irrelevant in today’s challenging job market climate. In their place, you need to sell yourself as a unique solution in 3-5 seconds, by developing your own unique personal brand.

Forget job postings. If they are posted, chances are hundreds if not thousands of job seekers have already applied to them. Instead, you want to pursue informational interviews. Find the people in those 3-4 industries you want to work in that do what you want to be doing or work in places you want to work, and ask them to meet with you for 30 minutes. The goal is to find out what do they enjoy most/least about their jobs, what is a typical day like, how did they find their job, what trade associations do they belong to. You need to build a career networking pipeline of highly qualified leads. You should have a personal networking plan, a document that details how you will get yourself in front of those people that you want to sell yourself to.

As you work on building a network, you need to thoroughly research yourself. Conduct a personal assessment online. You need to know how to sell yourself like a product, inside and out. What are your “product” features and benefits, in terms of experience, education, training, skills, language proficiency, etc.

Most importantly, you must stop relying on others to manage your search. Recruiters are fairly useless, and it is important to circumvent the gatekeeper (HR person) by going directly to the person you would be reporting to, in tat job that doesn’t exist that you are going to sell yourself as the best solution. These are the unconventional, non-traditional approaches that must be leveraged for job search success in today’s turbulent times.