Don’t Follow The Norms Of Job Search

Nov 29 2011 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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Most of the candidates I talk to fall back on the traditional norms of job search.

It’s what we’re used to, it’s what we were taught by our college placement office, it’s reinforced by most career coaches, outplacement firms and career authors.

So why wouldn’t you want to follow the norms?

… because the norms don’t work.

“What do you mean they don’t work?” you ask. Why would all of these career bloggers write about the norms if they didn’t work?

There’s a few reasons you don’t want to follow the job search norms:

  1. Different goal: Traditional job search is based on what you were taught by your college placement office. Your college placement office taught you to write a very specific resume, with an objective, a summary, and taught you to present yourself just like everyone else. Your college placement office’s goal was to publish hundreds of similar resumes in a book, sold to employers (today it’s an eBook). Your current goal isn’t to publish your resume in a book, is it?
  2. Different market: You were taught how to search for a job during a time of candidate shortages. Today’s market is one of job shortages.
  3. Random job search works for low hanging fruit: But when there’s no more low hanging fruit (for instance, in today’s job market), random job search methods (job boards, fixed/tweaked resumes, networking events, etc.) no longer work.
  4. Small imperfections can be overlooked during candidate shortages: Any imperfection is death during job shortages.
  5. Looking the same as everyone else makes you a commodity: Most of the job search norms show you how to make you look the same as everyone else. As long as there’s not a commodity shortage (candidates), the only difference between commodities is price – otherwise they are equivalent. Unless you are marketing yourself as the unique solution to a specific employer’s best career advice, best job search information, career advice, job search information, job search advice, job search help, job search tips, career information, career help, career tips, career info, job search infoproblems, you are indistinguishable from thousands of competitors for each job.
  6. Information rules: The candidate with the best information has the best chance of winning.

How about you? Are you still depending on job search norms?


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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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