- Do: Differentiate yourself. No, really, be different! Another look-alike resume, like the perfectly shaped ice cube shaped from the well-oiled ice cube making machine will not create heat! A chart here, a dab of color there, a well-thought-out value proposition statement with fleshy, rigorous challenge/action/results stories that answer the questions, ‘So what? Why should I care about you?’ will create that heat-bearing friction. Break the resume rules.
- Don’t: Quick fixes such as whipped together resumes replete with keywords and me-too language; email blasts to recruiter databases pronouncing your perfect fit candidacy; resumes erected, like a ‘for sale sign,’ on dozens of job boards; and emails to friends and colleagues soliciting their help in landing your next great gig are just a few of the quick fixes I’ve witnessed. These tactics rarely work, generally only lengthening one’s path to career recovery.
2. Be Needed
- Do: Slow down and think. Be meaningful. Seek out, research, network with others who have been through what you are going through: either have lost a job and successfully re-landed; or, perhaps, un-suctioned from a painful career role and resituated themselves with a better company, more fitting career role. Ask to pick their brains.
- Listen, identify 1-2 job search action steps that they say worked for them and which feel do-able for you, and start doing (this is where traction; i.e., heat, begins to happen). Ask for referrals in regard to further resources. If someone you know has hired a particular career coach or resume writer who helped them to heat up their search, consider the investment, and follow-up with that resource. Making the call and investigating further is actionable and tractionable.
- Don’t: Spend time commiserating with other frustrated job seekers. This may feel like healthy venting at first, but soon turns into job-search whine sessions that bear little fruit and will quickly cool down ideas of hope and optimism, until your job search engine moves from momentum to lethargy and ultimately, halts to a stop.
3. Be Company-Focused
- Do: Research companies that have the look and feel of the type of organization you would be attracted to work within. Research them online via Hoovers, LinkedIn, ZoomInfo, Manta, corporate websites, through colleagues, through keyword Google searches, etc. Research the company CEO, owner, senior leaders, key managers, decision makers and movers and shakers.
- Create a company list. Keep your mind focused on that list as you move through other action steps, reaching out to certain people with an introduction as to how your value maps to their needs; i.e., how you can hit the ground running to help them spin more revenue gold, create cost-effective solutions, solve productivity or customer service issues and so forth. Selectively and strategically approach those companies regarding current opportunities as well as possible opportunities for which they have yet to create. Innovate your own job by providing a compelling reason you will not only pay for yourself but will add monetary value beyond your salary!
- Don’t. Don’t chase recruiters expecting to convince them you are their magic bullet. Recruiters generally are hunting for square fit candidates to fill square holes. Are you their perfect fit for their current opportunities? Are you accessible via LinkedIn, Twitter and other online venues in which recruiters circulate? Does your reputation precede you? Then, the recruiter will hunt you down, and generally, your hunting for them becomes unnecessary.
- It is not a recruiter’s job (and remember, they are being paid by the ‘company,’ not YOU) to convince the company that a round peg candidate will fit in their square hole. So, spending an inordinate amount of time chasing after recruiters will definitely leave you ‘out in the cold.’
4. Be Visibly Valuable
- Do. Be visible on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, but more importantly, be valuable. Comment strategically and meaningfully to questions posed on these venues. Be helpful, positive and solutions-focused. Moreso than ever, be on point with your communications, subtly and boldly nuancing your messages in ways that show your value in your target profession. Show (versus ‘tell’), through word snapshots that your target audiences needs you.
- Don’t: Rely only on social media outlets as your sole form of communication, refreshment and job-search heat generator. Find ways, weekly, to get out of your job-search box. Otherwise, you’ll easily find yourself stuck in a rut that impacts your ability to infuse energy into opportunity conversations.
- Step away to the swimming pool, visit your best friend, favorite family member, or go-to person who always lights up in your presence. You can absorb and glean energy from their light. Network at live events where possible job search contacts or leads to possible further contacts will get to know you, face to face.
5. Be Introspective
- Do: Take time, even mid-job-search, to reevaluate your go-forward goals and specifically how your past can be woven to create a story pattern that proves you can solve the problems of your target employer’s future. Continue fleshing out beefy, nimble stories that illustrate your particular areas of potential contribution to your bullseye companies’ needs. Practice your stories; get in front of people at those target companies, and practice some more.
- Stumble at an interview? Forgettabout it! Pick yourself up, brush off the negative interview residue, and move ON! Consider hiring an interview coach to role-play your responses BEFORE your next, real-live interview. Take the time and employ the practice and intellectual muscle flexing needed to outperform the other top-notch contenders whose value may be a cut below yours but whose abilities in translating their value to the target audience soar like an eagle.
- Don’t: Be desperate, be consistently rushing and watching the job-search clock. Yes, your bills must be paid; yes, your job-search must have its own sense of urgency, but pushing never works. Generally, the more you bulldoze through a job search, the more destruction is left in your path and the ‘behinder’ you get in your ultimate job search goals. Feeling desperate and alone? Refer to “Do” #2 – seek out others who have survived and even thrived following the fall-out of job loss. Listen to their learnings and act upon those that make sense to you. Keep doing. Your purposeful traction will beget results.
And above all, remember, “Every Little Thing Is Gonna Be Alright!”
- Turn Off The Computer, Tune Into What’s Happening, & Heat Up the Job Search, @chandlee
- Heating up the Job Search-How to Stay Motivated During the Summer, @erinkennedycprw
- Light the Fire Under Your Feet, @careersherpa
- Cool Job Seekers Heat Up Their Search in the Summer, @barbarasafani
- Some assembly required, @DawnBugni
- Summertime, Sluggish Economy Provide Strong Motivation for an Updated Resume, @KatCareerGal
- 9 Ways to Heat Up Your Job Search This Summer, @heatherhuhman
- Getting Out From Under Chronic, @WorkWithIllness
- Is Your Career Trapped in the Matrix? @WalterAkana
- Put some sizzle in your job hunt – how to find a job now, @keppie_careers
- Summertime – and the Job Search Ain’t Easy, @KCCareerCoach
- Heating up your job search. 5 ways to dismiss those winter blues, @GayleHoward
- Hot Tips for a Summer Job Search, @MartinBuckland @EliteResumes
- Heat Up Your Job Search: Avoid Job Boards, @JobHuntOrg
- Heating Up Your Job Searching Skills: Networking 101 and 102, @GLHoffman
- Treasure Hunt—Yo-ho-ho! Heat Up Your Job Search, @resumeservice