Where to look beyond your resume for job search results.

Help Wanted: Relocate

This is a guest post by Hannah Morgan. If you’d also like to guest post here on JobMob, follow these guest post guidelines.

It is my assumption, the reason so many people are still unemployed has very little to do with their resumes. Yet, more than any thing else, this document is being re-worked and critiqued.


Job search is about knowing the right people and having them know you. The resume is secondary. It is back-up documentation.

Top 10 things for an unemployed job seeker to obsess over

1) Explore options for work beyond a 60 mile radius

More than any other objection, I hear job seekers talk about the fact that they can’t relocate their families. Ludicrous. No one says you have to move your family. No one even said you had to relocate yourself. In today’s world, more and more jobs can be done virtually. You will never know what the options are unless you pursue them.

The one, most obvious solution, is to expand your search territory. See what happens!

2) Use a proactive approach

Don’t wait for a company to post a job, identify potential employers and pursue them.

Leave no stone unturned. Create a list of at least 50 employers that are likely to need someone who does what you do. Read Tim Tyrell-Smith’s post on Job-Hunt.org to see how this works. Now you can follow these employers on LinkedIn, Twitter, in the news and see what they are up to. You might even be able to connect with some of them (isn’t the whole idea to meet company insiders BEFORE a job is posted anyway?)

3) Convey laser focus

Be extremely clear on what problems you are great at solving (and enjoy).

You cannot, nor should not, be all things to all companies! Know what you are good at and flaunt it! (By the way, some people even call this Personal Branding!) Learn how to create yours by reading Meg Guiseppi’s post.

4) Sell yourself

No, not in a slimy way, but in a convincing way.

When you introduce yourself, use language that everyone can understand and make it interesting. Jason Alba recommends something similar plus takes it one step further in his post against cliché taglines.

5) Stop saying you are looking for a job

When you confess that you are looking for a job, you sound desperate. This makes most people want to run and hide. Even if they did have a job, they probably wouldn’t offer it to you. You are seeking information! Really, you NEED to learn about other companies and perhaps industries to see what they are doing and how they work.

6) Have more conversations

Because most external hiring comes through referrals (data from CareerXroads 9th Annual Sources of Hire that says 25+% of external hiring happens from referrals), spend more time meeting people and less time applying for jobs online. Your chances of landing a job because you know someone inside the hiring company are many times greater!

7) Really research your industry and occupation

You have to know what technology is being required, what the challenges are, and what the direction your occupation is headed in as well as your industry. Your goal is to be a walking encyclopedia on the topics facing your field. Miriam Salpeter's (Keppie Careers) post supports this as well.

8 ) Understand and use LinkedIn

You don’t need to take a class for crying out loud. Read a book, watch a video, start a “new users” group so you fully understand the best practices. This tool will be around for awhile and you’ll want to use it once your employed too! Jobvite’s 2011 study reported 80.2% of recruiters and hiring professionals are using LinkedIn to find candidates. 94.5% said they did successfully hire someone using LinkedIn.

9) Be positive

Complaining, bad mouthing, lack of self esteem all work against a candidate. Fix this. I know how hard it is to be out of work, but you can and must control your attitude! Ronnie Anne at Work Coach Cafe explains why employers hire attitude over skills (believe it or not, it is true according to this study!)

10) Be a giver not a taker

An overriding principle of networking and strong interpersonal communication is to be a good listener. Are you developing your listening skills? Are you making sure conversations focus more on the other person? Are you volunteering? What else can you do to help others?

Yes, you do need a darn good resume, but…

Now, having said all this, I know that having a strong, accomplishment based resume is always a good thing. The resume must be customized for every job you apply to. It must convey your unique strengths in these terms- how will a company benefit from hiring your, what problems will you solve for them?! It should be error-proof and truthful. Yes, you have to have a good one, but do these other 10 things first!

About the Author

Hannah MorganI’m the Career Sherpa, (aka Hannah Morgan) and I write and speak on job search strategies. I’m honored to have been recognized as one of Monster’s 11 to watch in 2011. You can find me on Twitter and Google+ where I am sharing information to help new job seekers! See you around!

This article is part of the Over $4000 in Prizes: The 5th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest, which was made possible thanks in large part to our sponsors:

JOBlog Marcus Tandler’s JOBlog is Germany’s oldest blog about job search & careers.
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And if you liked this article, you'll also enjoy Long Job Search? 25 Action Tips To End Yours ASAP.

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 27 Comments

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  2. Joel Targill

    Great work as always, Hannah.

    #7 (Research the industry) is paramount to career building success! It’s impossible to add value to a company without first knowing the needs that they face in their industry!

    Research is the difference between finding another job and building a career!

  3. Kelli


    As always, valuable information that anyone can use. Great job!!

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  5. Ed Han

    Hannah, great to see you guest blogging here! Thank you, thank you, thank you, esp. re: redoing the resume, but also for being positive.

    There’s a saying: you can train for skills, you can’t train for attitude. Attitude is so important!

  6. Rusty Tyson!

    No matter how cold those freezing winds, no matter how steep that mountainside, Our Sherpa keeps that beautiful smile and that Positive Attitude going. Hannah, you are a treasure of a pillar of our Rochester Community. Thank you, and be pleased that the best way we can show the Whole World how much we value you is to share you with them all. Thanks for your immeasurable contributions to the Mental Health of all who are learning with you how to enjoy the journey through this economy and these times.
    All th’ e-Best

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  10. Tom Biviano

    Great content and directions for folks in the hunt!

  11. Jere

    Another Great blog, Hannah, always useful info!

  12. Benjamin Banks

    Excellent advice Hannah, put in a most succinct manner. Thank you for emphasizing the resume as a secondary tool.

  13. Michael Brown

    I have probably done each and everyone one of them several times. The key to finding and obtaining a job is just to nag them until they are sick of hearing you calling and asking about a job. It might be the most annoying, but it certainly gets the “job” done. It might sound a little bit desperate, but wouldn’t you give someone a job just so they will shut up about needing a job?

  14. Proactively, positively, convincingly selling oneself in a job hunt (in a focused way) is absolutely key to success. These are important tip and action steps for job seekers who want to take charge and manage their own job searches.

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  16. John Groth

    Hannah, I would add to #10, when networking yes it’s great to be a good listener, but what you do with what you learned is critical. Your goal should be to help others. Doing this means they will be more likely to help you.

    Recently an out of work Distribution Manager was networking with a restaurant manager (who was on the board of the local Chamber of Commerce) who was looking for a bus boy. The following day he was having lunch with an executive who stated his son was looking for part-time work. He got them together, the restaurant manager was happy, the executive was happy and shortly thereafter he was the first person the restaurant manager thought of when he learned of a distribution center opening.

  17. Deidre

    Fabulous! Right on the mark, easy to read and understand. These 10 steps are the right way to job search and this is a polite challenge to get away from the resume!

  18. CJ

    Nice article on filling the job gaps with activities. I wrote an article a while back (http://wp.me/puGHZ-dt) on “Mind the Gap” — addressing the job gaps that show up on your resume. I’ve linked to your article from both my private and a public blog as it is a complement to my prior writing. Thanks for a well written post to help the job seekers!

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