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job search

I’ve been living my blog–here’s how.

Hi. Remember Me?

It’s been just over a month since I published my last blog post.

To my massive audience (of ~3) regular readers, I apologize for the communications blackout. You see, I had to take a bit of time off to actually practice what I’ve been preaching in the past year.

That’s right: I left my job. I became a job seeker. And I’m happy to say that I’ve started a great new job with a fantastic new company.

So what has my recent experience reinforced to me?

  • Don’t count on a simple resume submission to land you a new job. I interviewed for 10 positions during my search. Of those, only one was the result of a straight resume submission through an applicant tracking system. You must employ a hybrid approach in your job search.
  • Speaking of applicant tracking systems…wow, what a mess. I used this opportunity to ‘secret shop’ a number of companies by applying for jobs just to see what different applicant tracking systems were like. Most are horrible-massive time sinks that require page after page of information to be entered (even though it could be parsed from a resume or scraped from a LinkedIn or Facebook profile). Only a very few allowed you to express interest by submitting a resume, applying with LinkedIn, and verifying a little bit of contact information. To those companies, I say congrats–you win.
  • Companies don’t follow up. In this secret shop process (okay, not so secret as I was using my own resume and contact info!), I applied to over 50 different positions with companies all across the U.S. Of those 50+, I received updates on my candidacy (closed the requisition/declined to move me forward) from five. (Yes, 5.) Recruiting departments everywhere: This matters to candidates. Fix it.
  • Your network is massively valuable. Grow it. Nurture it. Do good things for the people in it. All of the compelling opportunities I’ve seriously considered have come through people in my network. I have been continually astonished and humbled by how many people were willing to help me–by connecting me with other people in their company, introducing me to other leaders/decision makers in their network, or reaching out to discuss a possible opportunity. I seriously cannot thank them all enough (for those in my network who helped me out and are reading this now, I’ll say it again: THANK YOU!), and am keeping a list of those to whom I now owe a big favor in return.
  • Don’t let your foot come off the gas pedal. It can be easy to lose the focus that is driven by leaving (or losing) a job before you have your next one. Do whatever you have to sustain that focus and drive. Work out regularly. Get out of the house and work in a coffee shop or library each day. Make networking appointments each day of the week, ideally in person. Volunteer your time. Teach yourself something new.

I’m excited about what comes next, and to get back to blogging. Thanks for sticking around.

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Discussion

4 thoughts on “I’ve been living my blog–here’s how.

  1. This is very informative! i found out most of these when I was also in a job search position:-) The reality of job search is that there are so many candidates out there and these companies don’t have the time to follow-up with each and every person. You have to instill that motivation to get out there and actively search. Glad you found something awesome!

    Posted by Tarri Madison | March 19, 2014, 8:16 am
  2. Congrats on your new job, Jon. I am so happy for you!

    Posted by cynditefft | March 20, 2014, 8:44 am
  3. As a fellow recruiter, it shocks me how many of our colleagues let their own industry contacts lapse once they become “comfy” in a corporate recruiting job. Congrats I think this new opportunity will be HUGELY successful for you! K

    Posted by Kristen Fife (@employeeze) | March 21, 2014, 7:28 am
  4. Congrats on the new job, Jon…and thanks so much for using your experience to test out your advice. 😉

    So when the tracking system fails you and you don’t hear back, as always you can count on your network to help you through it all. I hope this means you’ll be back to your regular blogs again soon.

    Posted by Nancy Kick | March 22, 2014, 8:55 am

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