“Insane” Job Searching

You’ve probably heard the definition of insanity that goes something like this: Doing the same thing in the same way, over and over, and expecting different results. When this concept is modified and applied to your job search, it becomes a real-world problem that could have major repercussions. If you’re doing the same things and expecting the same results in conditions that might be very different from what they were years ago, that’s a good example of an insane job search. You’re probably setting yourself up for disappointment and, ultimately, a failed job search.

First and foremost, if you’re using the same job search tools and techniques in 2011 as you did in 2001, even if they worked then, they might not work now. Unfortunately for job seekers, nothing stands still these days, if it ever did. The economy is different–in some cases, radically so–and the job market is almost certainly a lot different. Just as the publishing of open jobs migrated from newspaper classified ad sections to online job boards and other online resources, so does your choice of tools and techniques need to take into account the different conditions of today’s employment world and adjust accordingly. After all, modems are pretty much gone, cell phones are making phone booths almost obsolete, and typing resumes on an electric typewriter is the technology equivalent of a dinosaur.

So what should you be doing differently in your job search to make it sane? Maybe too much to touch on here, but just as an example:

    * Do your homework (intelligence-gathering) on likely companies and industries before you start blindly sending out resumes.
    * Take the initiative to establish contacts in, or connected to, companies you’d like to work for, whether they’re currently hiring or not.
    * Launch or upgrade your online presence to ensure recruiters and hiring managers can find you there (they will look), and make sure the overwhelming image is positive (no Facebook lampshade photos!).
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