Warning! This job search is under construction.

Guest Author: Tim Tyrell-Smith, blogger at Spin Strategy – Tools for Intelligent Job Search
Author Website: http://blog.spinstrategy.com
During my job search back in 2007 there were days when I felt I needed a man with a stop sign out in front of my house. He was there to direct traffic around my house but, more directly, around the constantly changing nature of my job search.

You see, I learned a lot in 2007. And just because I am writing about my experiences now does not mean I am an expert as a result. I made mistakes. As President Obama said recently, “I screwed up”. My expertise has grown as a result of my writing, my networking and the testing of ideas with people who are in the middle of their own job search.

You may know there are two different types of construction. The kind that happens in most U.S. cities and the kind that happens in Chicago. If you have ever travelled to Chicago or surrounding areas, you will have heard the phrase: “There are two seasons in Chicago. Winter and Construction.” So what does yours look like?

In my opinion, you need to spend significant time up front on your job search strategy. Whether you are doing a re-paving, adding a lane or building a bridge, those first 2-4 weeks are critical. Not only do they set the urgency and importance of your effort, but they also establish your early credentials.

IMPORTANT LESSON #1
All those early e-mails and networking meetings will include your most trusted and reliable contacts. Don’t ruin the unique opportunity to re-establish yourself with poorly constructed marketing materials.

So there is the upfront effort that we can all agree is critical. What then? Well, you can’t just sit still with your materials in a changing market, can you? Isn’t that job search suicide? Actually I think you can.

– Once you have established your job search objectives.
– Once you have confirmed your special qualities, your measurable successes and your relevant qualifications.
– Once you have built a complete set of marketing materials for yourself.

Then you can go out and take action with these tools. As a very astute person said on my LinkedIn group today, you can go get some “Face Time!” All the preparation in the world won’t do anything for you if you don’t follow preparation with brilliant execution. Go out and meet the key people that need to see your skills and personality proven – in person.

You won’t get a job offer over the phone. I’ve heard stories of this happening, but I don’t believe it.

Job offers come when you make an impact on someone. Either the hiring manager directly or someone who knows him or her and says to them. “Wow, you have to meet this person”.

So . . .

IMPORTANT LESSON #2
Pick a point within the first 2-4 weeks where you are done with the writing, tweaking and re-jiggering of your resume, cover letter and such. That point should become obvious as your changes get very insignificant. You can always come back and adjust your materials as needed due to market changes or when target company opportunities require a special version.

But, for the most part, once you figure out who you are, what you are good at and where you’d like to focus your talents, stop clowning around.

OK, sure, but what’s wrong with making a few changes each week? Honestly, no one will likely even notice that you made the changes. You have now left Bigpicture city and are traveling on the Wasteoftime Expressway. Your efforts will be about as efficient as four guys in orange vests standing around an open ditch. Oh, and if you are always under construction, you’ll probably sound like it in your interviews.

So . . . Build your strategy. Create materials to support it. Execute.

And stop re-digging the same holes for yourself. Get out there and get something new started.

Are you following me on Twitter? http://twitter.com/SpinStrategy

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by CollegeRecruiter.com, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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