Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Ten Job Search Rules to Break

1. Follow the defined process.
This is the first rule I want you to break. For many people it's the hardest one to ignore, because of all the follow-the-rules Kool-Aid we've drunk over the years.

We've been trained since childhood to do what we're told to do. The Black Hole will eat your resume and shred its atoms, but people keep lobbing resumes into those gaping corporate recruiting portals nonetheless. Don't do it! Reach your hiring manager directly with a Human-Voiced Resume™ and Pain Letter™ instead.

2. If you know someone in the company, give that person your resume and tell them to give it to the hiring manager.
Just like in other kinds of marketing and sales efforts, your job search needs to focus on your message, your audience and the best channel to connect them. Your friend inside the company may be a great channel partner for you or a wretched one.

What good does it do to have your friend trudge down the hall to HR or even the hiring manager's office if your resume just gets dumped on a desk or re-routed right back into the same Black Hole you were trying to avoid?

Choose the most powerful channel for your job search, whether the channel is an intermediary friend, the direct approach via Pain Letter™, or a third-party recruiter. Don't assume that your in-house friend is your best job-search conduit.

3. Use a traditional zombie-style resume and cover letter.
Are you a zombie? I doubt it – zombies can't read. You're a creative, colorful and vibrant person, so don't brand yourself using zombie-style jargon like "Results-oriented professional with a bottom line orientation!" (Ropwablo for short.)

You can sound like yourself in your resume, and you'll make a stronger impression on a hiring manager if you do. As for your cover letter, toss that out the window and write a compelling Pain Letter™, instead.

4. In your overture to employers, emphasize the way your background matches the job spec.
If you have already held a job, you know that the typical job spec has as much in common with the actual job as I have in common with Huckleberry Hound. Focus on the pain behind the job ad, rather than the goofy and often arbitrary (not to mention delusional) bullets in the job ad. 

Rules 5-10 and the complete article

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