Stop Dreaming! If you want a new Job in 2015
Welcome and Happy New Year! Are you dreaming of getting a new job in 2015? Someone once said to me in my career that people who have dreams have goals. I agree, but if you dream too much and have your head in the clouds, then you will never get anywhere. I suggest you get real and let go of some or all of these typical job hunter dreams. Get them out of your head if you want to get a job in 2015.
If you want to get a job in 2015, I suggest you get real and let go of some or all of these typical job hunter dreams: get them out of your head now!
Dream # 1 The most qualified candidate gets the job.
Seriously, when did you last apply that practice in your own world? Get real. For realistic people this is simply not how it works. I know, because I hear this at least 20 times each week and it is pretty clear to me that it’s hard for so many job hunters to let go of this dream. If you can manage to think differently about finding work and accept that it really means that you have to get a job and do a job, and that they are two different things, then you will get interviews and jobs.
Dream # 2 They will read all of the data in my resume.
There’s only one definition of a good resume—it’s the one that gets you the interview. The vast majority of submitted resumes have evolved into ‘data dumps’ and in doing so, what’s been lost to the is the time tested value of telling your story. It’s the story, not the data, that engages the reader and communicates your value. Get it wrong and the reader will not consider you. Facts, figures and numbers, only matter when they form part of a larger story.
Dream # 3 Just work harder.
This is probably the most evil and most common of all the job hunter dreams, because it can lead to blaming the victim. Not a single week goes by when I don’t read or discover yet another encouragement from self-professed recruiting experts, who tell job hunters to “just work harder.” This unspoken judgment that hard work is all that separates the employed from the jobless is absolute nonsense. Never mind the irrational system we have in place for connecting people and jobs. Never mind luck, chance, connections, age, sex, race, disability, experience or sometimes even talent. Just work harder. Simplistic solutions like ‘work harder’ can feel good because they create the perception that the problem is solved. But it’s not. The dream remains. What you really need to do is search and apply smarter, not harder. That’s how you get job interviews. Call me if you want to know more; simply follow my blog or contact me during our Pro Bono Friday sessions or attend our seminars.
Dream # 4 Network, Network, Network till it comes out of your ears.
Ask any job hunter or hiring manager what networking means and you’ll get a different answer each time. The word ‘networking’ has become so overused, that it has started to lose its real meaning for so many job hunters. To them, it actually means NOTHING because no one has an outright answer. Networking isn’t everything and it certainly is not wrong; it’s just not enough. And when it’s put forth as ‘the answer’ it becomes a dream. What’s worse is that it becomes a focus on the wrong thing. Networking is not the magic key to a new job.
Oh, and while we are on that subject, just knowing someone, or knowing someone who knows someone, will not get you a job either. You need to do much more than just ‘know someone’. This is probably the weirdest and hardest job hunter dream to challenge or even to dispute because sometimes it’s true! But more often than not it’s really just a start, especially if the connection is only online or simply weak. What’s weak? For starters, so many LinkedIn users believe that networking via their mouse clicks is a connection or a lead to a new job. Need I say more?
What’s even more important than knowing someone via a few mouse clicks or Facebook connection tabs, is actually being a part of something.
Being an active, visible and regular contributor to a community—any community— is real networking. Because it’s from these communities that the genuine connections required to find work are found. You have to put something in to get something out. A mere endorsement or a commentary post in a LinkedIn group does not make you a valuable networker.
Dream # 5 Be honest.
We are all for honesty. The problem is the job hunters who confuse including EVERYTHING in their application versus simply including what matters. No small task. And it means something different to every individual. Most job ads are short and simple. So many jobs today are very narrowly focused. That means that the focus in your application has got to be on what matters, NOT on telling your life story. I just looked at another 8 page resume. I am not kidding. 8 pages?!
Telling what matters is what counts. Bottom line? Instead of a focus on being honest and including everything, change the focus to reading and LISTENING and speaking to what’s needed and what matters the most. Less is More!
Dream # 6 Go to LinkedIn and you will get a job. Yeah—dream on!
It is like saying, “Google Translate will solve your language problem.” Get real—LinkedIn is a database. As one of many tools, it might help you find work. But it’s a database, not a magic online kingdom. There are at least 10 alternative sites who do more for you depending on your industry and job search segment.
Dream # 7 Job Boards will do the work for you.
There are lots of published speculations on the percentage of time job board’s lead to jobs and they range from 5-15%. Is that really true? Maybe. Maybe not. What’s consistent is that the numbers are never more than 20%. What is larger than 20%? The dream that online job boards will do the work for you. Approximately 70% of all job hunters focus their job search energy on online job boards hunting for less than 30% of the actual job opportunities.
Dream No. 8 You just need to get past the Gatekeeper.
Yep—the gatekeeper used to be the receptionist or the protective ‘HR guy’; nowadays the first gatekeeper can be resume parsing systems and software. The idea is the same. The dream that if you could just get past something, or someone, is a silly idea. Wake up. Job hunting is about doing things smarter—not harder—and with consistency.
If you want to get a job in 2015, get your head out of the clouds, focus on what really matters and remember to hunt wisely!