Origins Of Your Job Search Frustration

May 14 2012 in Featured, Job Search Strategy, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

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 info

There’s a reason job seekers face common problems and common frustrations.

Job seekers have gained the majority of their job search knowledge from the same basic source. Since you’ve learned how to search for a job from the same place, you conduct your job searches in much the same way.

Sure there are some minor differences based on your individual situation. But for the most part, 99% of you conduct your job searches in much the same way.

Why? … Because your schools taught you how to job search.

When you graduated college or grad school, your college placement office taught you how to search for a job. Your high school career advisers used the job search knowledge they learned in college and passed it along to you.

They taught you to write a resume that looks just like everyone else’s, to brand yourself as a commodity, to send the same (or tweaked) resume and to search for jobs randomly.

When jobs were plentiful, these random job search methods could work. These methods were easy and there was so much low hanging fruit that even candidates with terrible job search methods could find a job … because there were shortages of candidates from World War II until 2007.

In 2007, candidate shortages turned into job shortages, and all that low hanging fruit was soon gone. All of a sudden, poor job search methods started to matter and started to become the main difference between those who found jobs, and those who didn’t.

But schools still haven’t changed the job search strategies they teach graduating students. They may have introduced some new tactics, like job boards and Linkedin – but the basic strategy taught is still much the same as it was 30+ years ago.

Why haven’t schools changed the job search strategies they teach?

Because their goals haven’t changed … and their goals were and still are different than your goals.

Colleges’ and Universities’ goals are to brand the school – as a provider of a consistent quality of workers, much like McDonald’s teaches consumers to expect the same quality of cheeseburger from New York to LA.

In order to brand themselves as graduating a consistent quality of workers, your schools taught you how to write a resume that looked like everyone else’s – With common sections, a common format, even common fonts. They taught you how to present yourself as a commodity – to look the same as everyone else.

And they published those resumes in a book (an eBook or database) … then sold it to employers, to fund the placement office’s operations. Colleges and Universities still do this today.

In order to get you to write a resume that looked just like everyone else’s, your college told you that they were giving you job search strategies that would work for the rest of your career.

Let me ask you … In the rest of your post-collegiate career, when was the last time you found a job search opportunity from one of your resumes that was published in a book?

Never, because you don’t publish resumes in a book at any other time in your career after you’ve graduated school.

But yet, your body of knowledge about job search is still centered around writing a resume intended to be published in a book and intended to look the same as everyone else’s.

Let me ask you another question … do you think it helps you to find a job when your resume looks the same as everyone else’s – like a commodity?

Of course not …

So why do you still write resumes based on what you were taught in school?

It’s been so ingrained in your heads, so reinforced by free government, community, church and alumni resources, it seems natural. These strategies have been additionally reinforced by outplacement, recruiters, career coaches and career authors – they are so familiar to us, it feels like they must be right.

Most of you don’t know how to search for a job in a different way.

Sure, you hear career advisers telling you to differentiate, differentiate, differentiate … but no one taught you how to differentiate. Most advisers were too busy repeating all the ways you could look like a commodity and in the same breath telling you to differentiate.

Now that you’re in a job market of job shortages … you’re stuck. Your efforts aren’t working, because you’re trying to differentiate, but everything you know about job search taught your to commoditize. You can’t do both at the same time.

No wonder you’re frustrated.

It all comes down to your goals.

Is it still your goal to brand your school?

Or are you ready to brand yourself instead?

You’ll find many past and future articles within reCareered that will show you how to leave behind the strategies your school taught you … but to use instead strategies designed to differentiate yourself as the unique solution to specific employer problems.


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

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Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

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Author: Phil Rosenberg

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