Executive Careers Blog

Bold Job Search Moves Are Not Required


At a recent workshop, one attendee asked me if she should hand deliver her resume.

This is a tight market.

Jobseekers should be casting as wide a net as possible.

Jobseekers need to go after many positions, certainly more than in a boom market. Jobseekers may need to expand their geographic horizons just to have more leads.

Now you want to add personal delivery to the mix?

I think this idea comes from the urban legend that every jobseeker hears of the candidate that shows up unannounced, talks their way into HR and gets a job on the spot. How about the one of the candidate wearing a sandwich board, announcing his work availability? How about we send unique gifts, perhaps a singing telegram or a cheesecake, to hiring managers?

I understand why these legends persist.

There is a lot of competition out there, and it’s easy to think that unusual moves will be the ones that cut through the noise.

However, I have a news flash: Bold job search moves are not required. In the most competitive market, the basics count for much more because basic job search skills and common sense often are given short shrift in the market panic. Many more jobseekers are out, and the majority haven’t search in awhile. Their techniques are outdated and sloppy.

If you come in with a clean, tight job search that cuts through the noise:

  • Tailor your marketing (e.g., resume, pitch, cover letter) to your specific job target.
  • Practice your phone demeanor. You need excellent telephone skills to schedule all these meetings you need to be getting, and first interviews are often done via phone screen.
  • Master the common interview questions. Don’t let a real interview be the first time you are saying the key points you need to make. PS: Know the key points you need to make.
  • Know how to network and follow-up in a compelling and respectful manner.

Many jobseekers say they already know the above, but I know that’s not true because I saw poor job search skills as a former recruiter and I see them now as a career coach. Stop trying to be bold. Start with perfecting the basics. Good bold moves are when you take the basics and infuse them with your unique personality. But you can’t do that until you master the basics first.

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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career coach, writer, speaker, Gen Y expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart (www.sixfigurestart.com), a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others. Caroline is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs and posts at CNBC Executive Careers and Vault.com.

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