10 Sure-fire Ways to Boost Your Job Search

Where to look beyond your resume for job search results.

Help Wanted: Relocate

This a guest post by Hannah Morgan. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.

It is my assumption, the reason so many people are still unemployed has very little to do with their resumes. Yet, more than any thing else, this document is being re-worked and critiqued.


Job search is about knowing the right people and having them know you. The resume is secondary. It is back-up documentation.

Top 10 things for an unemployed job seeker to obsess over

1) Explore options for work beyond a 60 mile radius

More than any other objection, I hear job seekers talk about the fact that they can’t relocate their families. Ludicrous. No one says you have to move your family. No one even said you had to relocate yourself. In today’s world, more and more jobs can be done virtually. You will never know what the options are unless you pursue them.

The one, most obvious solution, is to expand your search territory. See what happens!

2) Use a proactive approach

Don’t wait for a company to post a job, identify potential employers and pursue them.

Leave no stone unturned. Create a list of at least 50 employers that are likely to need someone who does what you do. Read Tim Tyrell-Smith’s post on Job-Hunt.org to see how this works. Now you can follow these employers on LinkedIn, Twitter, in the news and see what they are up to. You might even be able to connect with some of them (isn’t the whole idea to meet company insiders BEFORE a job is posted anyway?)

3) Convey laser focus

Be extremely clear on what problems you are great at solving (and enjoy).

You cannot, nor should not, be all things to all companies! Know what you are good at and flaunt it! (By the way, some people even call this Personal Branding!) Learn how to create yours by reading Meg Guiseppi’s post.

4) Sell yourself

No, not in a slimy way, but in a convincing way.

When you introduce yourself, use language that everyone can understand and make it interesting. Jason Alba recommends something similar plus takes it one step further in his post against cliché taglines.

5) Stop saying you are looking for a job

When you confess that you are looking for a job, you sound desperate. This makes most people want to run and hide. Even if they did have a job, they probably wouldn’t offer it to you. You are seeking information! Really, you NEED to learn about other companies and perhaps industries to see what they are doing and how they work.

6) Have more conversations

Because most external hiring comes through referrals (data from CareerXroads 9th Annual Sources of Hire that says 25+% of external hiring happens from referrals), spend more time meeting people and less time applying for jobs online. Your chances of landing a job because you know someone inside the hiring company are many times greater!

7) Really research your industry and occupation

You have to know what technology is being required, what the challenges are, and what the direction your occupation is headed in as well as your industry. Your goal is to be a walking encyclopedia on the topics facing your field. Miriam Salpeter’s (Keppie Careers) post supports this as well.

8 ) Understand and use LinkedIn

You don’t need to take a class for crying out loud. Read a book, watch a video, start a “new users” group so you fully understand the best practices. This tool will be around for awhile and you’ll want to use it once your employed too! Jobvite’s 2011 study reported 80.2% of recruiters and hiring professionals are using LinkedIn to find candidates. 94.5% said they did successfully hire someone using LinkedIn.

9) Be positive

Complaining, bad mouthing, lack of self esteem all work against a candidate. Fix this. I know how hard it is to be out of work, but you can and must control your attitude! Ronnie Anne at Work Coach Cafe explains why employers hire attitude over skills (believe it or not, it is true according to this study!)

10) Be a giver not a taker

An overriding principle of networking and strong interpersonal communication is to be a good listener. Are you developing your listening skills? Are you making sure conversations focus more on the other person? Are you volunteering? What else can you do to help others?

Yes, you do need a darn good resume, but…

Now, having said all this, I know that having a strong, accomplishment based resume is always a good thing. The resume must be customized for every job you apply to. It must convey your unique strengths in these terms- how will a company benefit from hiring your, what problems will you solve for them?! It should be error-proof and truthful. Yes, you have to have a good one, but do these other 10 things first!

About the Author

Hannah MorganI’m the Career Sherpa, (aka Hannah Morgan) and I write and speak on job search strategies. I’m honored to have been recognized as one of Monster’s 11 to watch in 2011. You can find me on Twitter and Google+ where I am sharing information to help new job seekers! See you around!

This article is part of the Over $4000 in Prizes: The 5th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest, which was made possible thanks in large part to our sponsors:

JOBlog Marcus Tandler’s JOBlog is Germany’s oldest blog about job search & careers.
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And if you liked this article, you’ll also enjoy Long Job Search? 25 Action Tips To End Yours ASAP.

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