I was on one of my favorite soapboxes, talking to a client about how much time I thought he needed to devote to his search in order to get good results. I was sharing my opinion that since he was unemployed and looking for a job full time, he ought to give his search at least 25 hours a week. And…he ought to track his time to make sure that he was giving that much time.
My client gave me a sly smile and said, “Hey wait. Are you taking into consideration how easy it is to apply for a job nowadays? Now that I can just click to submit my resume on Indeed and on Linkedin, it doesn’t take much time at all. I can do so many of those in just an hour or two! Don’t you think you should adjust those hours down to fewer hours?”
This comment made me laugh because really, on a certain level it was so true. It used to take so much more time to apply for a job! I also laughed because I thought maybe my client assumed my calculations were based on some out of date belief that people were still writing individual cover letters and then mailing their resumes through the US Mail.
It is undeniable that applying on line is a reality of the job search as it is with so many other things in life which are just a click away. We use our phones to deposit money in the bank and then click to pay our bills. We can shop for just about anything, connect with friends old and new, and summon up music to entertain us while we are doing all of these things.
The unfortunate truth is that the job search is one of those areas where the internet is not always our friend. It would be great if all we had to do was “click to submit resume” and be on our merry way to an interview. However, this one click job search usually doesn’t work unless you are searching for something that is in reasonably high demand and/or you have very specialized and hard to find training or experience.
When Benjamin Franklin said, “Never confuse motion with action,“ he probably wasn’t talking about a job search but he could have been. You can be very busy in a job search but not making progress because you are not doing the right things. You might be very busy sending out lots of resumes but not getting interviews. Anyone who has sent out hundreds of resumes and not gotten many/any interviews knows this is a miserably humbling experience.
Whether you’re working full time plus and at best can give just 30 minutes a day to the job search or you are unemployed and plan to devote most of your day to the search, go for the quality approach. Here is how you do that:
- Tweak your resume as it relates to the job at hand so that it creates a strong first impression. Write a profile that reflects the specific requirements that are listed in the job description
- Carefully read how the job duties and requirements are described and try to use the same point of view throughout your resume, even including some of the same descriptors so you’ll trigger keywords that are being sought out
- If you are given the option of including a cover letter, take the time to create one. Notice I said create rather pasting in a one size fits all letter. Use your cover letter as a way to create a bridge between your resume and the job at hand by specifically pointing out how your experience matches up with their requirements
- After you apply, think about who you are acquainted with that could put in a good word for you in order to help you get that interview. Research shows you are ten times more likely to get an interview with an internal referral.===
Ten times more likely to get an interview. Wow. That is definitely activity more likely to result in job search progress. Benjamin Franklin would be proud.