Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Is Technology Killing Your Job Search

If Bill Gates ever builds an airplane; my flying days are over!

I recently asked a displaced executive to provide an aerial depiction of what a typical day in his job search looked like. His response was as follows.

 Fired up my computer at approximately 8:00 AM,  got sucked into myheadlines.com, checked the sport scores, screwed around on facebook.com (what todys executive jobseeker needs is faithbook.com), checked the weather forecast for the next 7 days, checked my e-mail (replied to email, bad move!)

 I'd received an e-mail from a headhunter who required that I fill out an attached form. I enthusiastically acquiesced and diligently drilled down on the 12-page document. As I completed page 11 (approximately 50 minutes later), the all too well-known (since my purchase of Windows Vista) iconic circle of death began to toil and spin round and round. At that moment, I woefully realized that the image that is forever indelibly embedded in my brain had once again invaded, corrupted, and undermined my daily job search... I am not sure why Gates replaced the hour glass with a circle; it must have something to do with circling the drain...

Meanwhile, I realized that I had five new text messages and four new voice mails on my "Hell phone"; mostly solicitations and calls from mom, wife, and friends (God bless them, but...)

I had forgotten to plug cell into the charger the previous night... No worries; I could use the landline for the 9:30 interview with the CEO of companyofmydreams.com... Oh crap! I just realized that I would be in my car at 9:30; I had promised my son that I would drop him off at the library, as his laptop was down and he had been using their computer...

Takeaway>>>If your earning potential is $200,000 annually, you are paying yourself approximately $100 per hour to engross manually in an Internet-based job search... Why not pay and admin assistant $12 per hour and just go golf or something... You are more likely to find a job at the club house!

12:00 PM... visited the usual job boards: blackhole.com, intotheabyss.net, careerwrecker.org, resumeeater.net, and youwillneverfindajobhere.crap.com. I applied for four jobs in just under four hours (racing thoughts to self: got to stop checking e-mail when I'm trying to do this; damn cell phone won't stop ringing; need a faster computer...).

The requirements for the jobs that I spent four hours applying for on this particular day were exceptionally vague. They all stated that they needed leaders with a track record, executives with vision, and senior professionals with care and a cause for their subordinates... Damn, I got that; although, I have never worked in green energy science; the ad doesn't say anything about that! I was sure that when they saw my resume ranked amongst the other 350 executives with a green energy background, it would be apparent that I should be their top choice... Maybe I should send two resumes, or maybe I could put something in the e-mail subject line that would get their attention; something like HIRE ME... Yes, that would surely make up for the fact that I have only worked in insurance for 27 years. I am most certainly their best choice...

4 PM... thought I should follow up on the 10 resumes I had sent 2 weeks ago... But somehow, I convinced myself that I should probably cut the lawn again (third time this week)... I was sure that if I waited long enough, they would come to their senses and call me... Somebody at a networking meeting said that I should reach out to everybody I know to be sure that they are aware of my search for new employment. My problem with that was... I didn't know anybody! One guy even suggested that I contact my attorney about my job search, and even my accountant. He further suggested that I let the people I used to work with know that I was seeking new employment... This all seemed like a huge waste of time; these people wouldn't have a job for me, and I was sure they didn't know anybody either...

This guy could have gone on for hours about all that he was doing to absolutely sabotage his job search. But even worse, he was discrediting his personal brand and cheapening his net market value, executive demeanor, and professional profile. Worst of all, he thought he was doing all the right things to find a 200k job!

Five rules to maximize technology's effectiveness in your executive career search

1. Do not apply to posted jobs online between the hours of 8 AM and 5 PM. These are prime business hours to be used for follow up phone calls, networking, and interviewing... When you do use the Internet for a job search, employ a site or sites akin to indeed.com that simultaneously search multiple sites for you. Furthermore, do not allocate this valuable time to researching companies on the Web, etc....
I have concluded that the only truly valid reason to gaze wearily at job boards is to intermittently and temporarily keep your hope alive while you are laying the foundation for the revival of your network. Moreover, utilizing Internet job boards must not be considered a proactive search activity... Confusing it as such will lengthen your search by months or longer.

Job boards are a delusion, and chasing them is like chasing after the wind... It may be many months before you reach the oasis, only to find that it's a mirage, and it's now too late to turn back and start networking! To be precise, every man, woman, and child on the face of this planet who might recognize your name needs to know today that you are job hunting... This includes your butcher, baker, and candlestick maker!


2. Set up a separate e-mail address for all of your job search activities and don't check personal e-mail between 8 AM and 5 PM... Just as you wouldn't check personal e-mail when you were running your corporate business during normal business hours... E-mailing, tweeting, and facebooking will suck the life out of your search campaign...

3. If you believe that your job search is a business, you should have a separate phone number for your search activity... When you were running your business in corporate, did you use your home phone? Use your new business line, which, of course, is a landline, for important follow-up calls and interviews.

4. Make all follow-up calls between the hours of 7 AM and 11 AM and 2 PM and 6 PM... This will sometimes help you avoid *jail mail during lunch hours... Use a landline-one with a cord, not a remote handset with a battery that will die in the middle of a salary negotiation.

5. Use the Internet as a means of aggressively promoting your personal brand. One of the most awesome and powerful utilities offered by the Internet is the power to endorse your personal brand. Be sure that every e-mail address you have stored in your e-address book and/or elsewhere has been notified of your newfound mission for next generation employment. Do not send a resume, just a very short "hey, how ya doing?" letter; I call this "pinging." Also, if you do not have a LinkedIn account, create one. Ping the heaven out of your LinkedIn connections too!



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