The Job Boards Are Broken

If you’ve been looking for a job recently, you’ve probably already discovered the ugly truth: the job boards are broken.

Or, at least if would appear to be…

Let’s face it: if they’re not broken, then they’re just ignoring you… right?

Online (or off-line) job boards don’t work. I’ve really never found one that was worth a pinch of salt. They just don’t help, and they’re not getting you where you want (or need) to go.

Yeah, I know… it’s nice and easy to apply online, and that’s how most of them want you to apply these days anyway. In theory, it’s easy to apply to jobs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. But, it’s also easy for the automated HR system to delete your application when it doesn’t match up with certain key words.

A “human” in Human Resources WILL NEVER SEE YOUR APPLICATION. And, if they do, you’re just lucky.

The Internet has made it too easy for anybody to apply to any job. But, it has also made it too easy for thousands — or hundreds of thousands — of others to compete with you by applying for the same job listing. Which is another reason why you’ll be lucky to get “seen” by anyone.

You’ve got a snowball’s chance in hell…

The typical job posting on the big name boards can get hundreds — or thousands — of applications, which means talented professionals like you can’t stand out from the crowd of student drivers, stand-up comics, and late-night janitors who have also thrown their hat into the ring.

Recruiters and hiring managers have discovered it as well. Job boards are broken for them because when they have an important position to fill, and only a little bit of time to do it, they don’t have hours and hours and days to sort through all the inappropriate applications that come to them over the internet. That’s why their systems are automated and keyed to pick up certain key words.

How many folks do you know in HR with tons of extra time on their hands these days?

Figures… I don’t know any either.

With all of the budget cuts and layoffs over the last couple of years, they have less time than ever for each job they’re working on.

Job boards are broken

…I know, I know… it sounds like a broken record, huh?

Well, that’s why you need to re-invent yourself.

You have unique talents and capabilities that you need to exhibit to prospective job openings, and most jobs are not even advertised any more. Like a lot of people who have just given up on looking for work, a lot of companies have also given up advertising for quality help these days.

You must do something to stand out from the crowd, and you’re not going to “get there” with the traditional resume and application approach. This is where you’re going to have to “re-tool” yourself, dust off your knees after you’ve been knocked down, and wear out some shoe leather and go “door knockin’.”

No, I’m not talking about cold calling on the phone. It’s too easy for the proverbial “gate-keeper” to give you the brush off.

You’re going to have to spend a little money on some professional business clothes, if you don’t already have some. Another thing you’re going to need to do is get some business cards printed with your name and contact info on it.

Under your name, put the title to what you’re good at. If you’re a programmer, say so. If you’re an accountant or bookkeeper, say so. If you’re a writer, or a consultant in a specialty industry…

…well, you get my drift.

Each and every one of us has special backgrounds, a twist on our experience, or insights that nobody else has. It’s this special background, after all, that makes you so valuable to employers. Put a “mini-resume” on the back of your business card highlighting some of your skills in a bulleted list. List 3 or 4 key points that would be of interest to an employer.

You don’t want to put EVERYTHING on this card: just enought to get your foot in the door and get the interview.

Also, on the front of your card, make it easy for an employer or prospect to get in touch with you. If you have a cell phone, a home phone, an office phone, an a fax number, don’t go listing all the phone numbers on your business card. Keep your business card clean with just one phone number.

Why, you ask? Because if you give them more than one number, they’re going to trash your card, because they’re not going to waste their time “chasing” you down.

Get a “follow me” type toll free number then set up your system to “roll over” to the numbers you assign it. You can plug in your cell number first, then your home number. If you’re employed, you DON’T want to put in your office number as that is not only unethical, but can cause you problems if your employer knew you were “looking” outside for other work.

Are you doing the most to make yourself stand out? Are you taking the right steps to make yourself more attractive? With a toll free “follow me” number you will stand out “head above shoulders” everybody else.

Set up your greeting to introduce yourself then give them instructions to “press zero for operator” to connect directly to you. And have that information printed on your business card.

Everyone I know that has followed this formula has not been out of work for very long. And if they didn’t get a permanent job, they got a lot of contract work out of the method.

Good hunting!

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