01 May Are Your Job Search Details in a Shoebox or on Yellow Sticky Notes?
David, an unemployed senior banker, is a high-performance athlete. He’s a very competitive marathon runner and, during our job search coaching sessions, he showed me how he documented a rigorous pre-marathon training regimen. He tracked each workout, recorded what he ate for every meal, and noted how he adjusted his goals the closer he got to race day. Yet David had no plan or preparation for his job search.
When Susan, a pharmaceutical sales representative, showed me her list of opportunities she had applied for, it was scribbled on various yellow sticky notes with random bits of information, sometimes with the company name, rarely with the title and name of the contact and stopped after about 5 pending opportunities.
Michael was reorganized out of a job and had been looking for a new position for six months. He has a family, rent, and expenses and had been in what he called fulltime job search mode. He believed he was doing everything right because he had a good résumé, he had applied for over 50 jobs and he had five job interviews. But Michael had not landed a job offer yet.
I sat down with Michael and asked him to show me his progress. I was looking forward to seeing someone who was organized around the single most important thing in his life right now: his job search. He started doing a verbal checklist from memory. Michael had no organized process for his fulltime job search.
Like most job seekers, David, Susan and Michael did not have everything in one place… anywhere. Not in a binder, in a shoe box, or on a computer. Yes, they could tell me about this company and that one and “gee, I thought I was going to get this one.”
It gets worse. I asked David to show me what he has been submitting to each job application and he handed me his résumé. Susan, how about an example of a cover letter? How about a sample of your follow-up letter you sent to the recruiter or hiring manager? Susan admitted, sheepishly, that she did not follow up on any applications and Michael shared that he didn’t write cover letters. He thought nobody read them and his years and years of experience outlined on his resume would get him the job.
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Good luck, job seeker! I’m here to help!