Take the Long Way Around to Shorten Your Job Search
If you believe you need a new resume right away to turn your job search around, you might be right. You might need a new resume to start getting interviews, but will your resume get you the right interviews? If you’ve never explored your deep motivations for seeking a particular job function, job level, industry, company size, and more, you might get interviews, but they’ll be wrong for you. Thus, taking the longer, more exploratory, path to job search strategy might actually improve your chances for getting the right job, as opposed to just any job.
At the outset, taking a step or two back to strategize about what the right job or industry is for you seems like going miles out of your way, when you know if you had the right resume, you could start your job search today. Let’s dissect this plan. First, you build a resume that is necessarily very general, or, worse, based on your most recent role, which was the type of role you never want to have again. Both strategies would result in a great resume that reads well, is visually appealing, and has great keywords. Now let’s say you start applying for positions, and somewhere between the completion of your resume and the fact that you’re not getting the right job interviews, you realize that the resume is targeted to a position you would never take. You’re blaming your resume, but it’s really your strategy that is at issue.
Now, let’s take another look at your plan. Let’s say you know you need a new resume, as most executive job seekers do, but you want to start by taking a hard look at the work you’ve done, the professional goals you have for yourself, your network, your industry knowledge, and so on. You engage in an exploration over weeks to months to learn what the market or industry has to offer. You craft your resume in response to these professional and environmental cues. You have been learning about potential positions and companies along the way, so when it comes time to apply for roles, you’re clearly the perfect fit–and the roles you’ve applied for are perfect fits for you.
This scenario can take place only when you’re willing to take what seems to be the longer path. In practice, you’re putting a lot of effort up front, essentially measuring twice and cutting once. As a job search strategy, this process will help you connect your needs with those of the employment marketplace efficiently and give you the greatest chances of success.
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