Reality 101 – Keeping Your New Year Job Search Resolutions

Suggestions on Keeping Your New Year Job Search Resolutions

It’s time for a gut check to see how you’re doing with your New Year job search resolutions. Here are five areas where you can improve your odds of succeeding in today’s highly competitive job market:

  • Change your mindset… Don’t send a resume!
  • Stop playing the Internet lottery
  • Broadcast your value, not your resume
  • Act like an employee, not a candidate
  • The interview’s over… Now package your value to be remembered

So, how many of these resolutions have you been able to keep so far? The reality is that we all make New Year’s resolutions that we inevitably fail to keep. The reason is that we all are reluctant to change, to move out of our comfort zone, and we all look for “legitimate” excuses to justify our failure in keeping those resolutions. However, if you continue to be frustrated with the lack of progress in your job search you must be willing to move out of your comfort zone.

I’m a big fan of being proactive in your job search instead of reactive. Proactive means creating opportunity instead of waiting for opportunity. As you know, at least 75-80% of the jobs out there waiting to be filled are below the surface, hidden from view. The rest we know about because they’re advertised for the world to see. The trouble is the competition for these publicly posted jobs is incredible. The odds against you landing one of these advertised jobs are enormous.

It’s not too late, so let’s take another look at these resolutions. If you’re willing to move out of your comfort zone and work smarter, not harder, here are some tips for tapping into the hidden job market, getting the interview and becoming the candidate of choice:

Use a one-page biography along with a cover letter to introduce yourself to hiring managers in companies of interest. Don’t send your resume. Remember, SENDING A RESUME IS AN INVITATION FOR REJECTION. Use your biography to convey the potential value you could bring to the organization. Your resume should be used as backup, as reinforcement, and only when specifically requested by the hiring manager. Your biography is your sales brochure conveying your value. Your resume conveys your technical specifications (track record of employment). Stay in touch with those hiring managers and, over time, you’ll learn about opportunities BEFORE they become advertised jobs.

Once you’re in the interview keep in mind that you still need to differentiate yourself from the competition. Take subtle control by conducting a strategic interview. Remember, the interview is not about you. It’s all about the problems and issues facing the hiring manager. Use innovative tools such as your Management Endorsements to clearly separate yourself from the competition, connecting with the hiring manager and creating that mutual attraction that will get you the job offer. You need to differentiate yourself AFTER the interview as well, so be sure to send your Post-Interview Packet. This is a tremendous tool that will clearly give you the edge in becoming the candidate of choice.

Remember, Einstein’s definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Mass distribution of resumes is insane. Fighting HR and the traditional system of finding employment is insane. The year is still young and you still have time to move out of your comfort zone. Follow these suggestions and you’ll find that you’re right in line with keeping your New Year’s job search resolutions.

Keeping Your New Year Job Search Resolutions

How are your New Year’s resolutions going?

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Greg Wood

Greg Wood is a Certified Career Management Professional, author of TheHireChallenge™ and TheHireTactics™ book series, and creator of TheHireRoad™ job search tutorial. Having experienced firsthand the challenges and anxiety of being unemployed several times during his 30 years of business experience, Greg brings a wealth of expertise to the field of career counseling. Greg is a frequent guest speaker at a variety of professional and career transition support groups throughout the Southwest, and has presented his unique perspective on job search on radio and television. For more information on strategic job search visit or email Greg at


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