BIG GAME JOB HUNTING- 2: THE SEQUEL

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"Sequels" have become exceedingly popular. In recent years, they have occurred in movies, books, t.v. programs...relationships. Their purpose-- other than making money-- is often to allow interested parties to maintain an on-going association with the characters or principles they find important. A successful sequel is a function of what is deemed important by a particular segment of the public. To those who have been frustrated and terrified by recent unemployment and an unstable economic market, what is important is obvious: A job-hunting sequel.  A word of caution: Sequels often produce a following of people who become intensely involved with the material by starting clubs and producing toys, records, tee-shirts and games that depict various portions of interest. We will have none of that here! If all goes well, other column sequels will follow...
 
Now, recall from "Big-Game Job Hunting-I", that pessimistic attitudes and avoidant behaviors related to the job market "jungle" are often due to a fear of failure. But disappointment requires adequate planning! And some people anticipate failure ahead of time, then engage job searching tasks with little motivation and ingenuity, then confirm their negative beliefs when jobs are not forthcoming. Furthermore, they hunt "big-game" jobs with inadequate equip- ment, simply relying on resumes, recruiters and poor networking strategies. As a result, they return empty handed and unchanged in their negative beliefs about that jungle. However, in these highly competitive and economically deficient times jobs are more scarce-- they flee to the most remote parts of the jungle. As a result, more sophisticated tools in the form of motivation and decision skills are essential for bagging "big-game" jobs. Employers are more selective in their search for people with the skills necessary to produce a profit or otherwise in- crease productivity. The more resourceful you are, the greater your chances of bringing home a job.
 
Here are a few ideas to take along on the hunt:


  • 1- Getting around the jungle...what is your training? Write yourself a brief summary of the skills you developed in school and the contexts in which they could be useful. For example, perhaps you were able to successfully memorize large chunks of information with little notice, or excel in public speaking. Maybe a class essay was published in the school newspaper; or you carried a large class load and "aced" all of them one semester. The skills gleaned from such training, to be included in this summary, might your ability to learn extensive and varied information quickly, under pressure-- the criteria for many positions!

  • 2- What has been, to date, your best shot? Blow your horn! Review your career and develop a document that describes an outstanding achievement. What was the purpose? State the objectives leading to that purpose and the tasks you performed. What strategies were applied in your approach to those tasks? If certain obstacles developed, were you able to demonstrate your flexibility by evoking new choices? How did it turn out-- the importance of the achievement? Here is where you "strut your stuff." This accounting of an important achievement is your secret weapon in the job hunt. To an employer, an important achievement is comprised of a variety of applied skills; and the more skills you are able to cull in achieving something of value, the greater the potential job opportunities!

  • 3- Make your presence known to all who dwell... Write a contact letter to several people in your field of interest who may know of opportunities for someone with your skills. These individuals are often listed in trade directories and publications. Convey your qualifications by describing the essence of your important achievement. Be sure to ask, "What criteria do you use to hire people in this field?"

  •  4- Take aim...and aim high! Instead of the usual listing of jobs and training, create a targeted resume in which the focus consists of those specific criteria by which people are hired in your desired industry; the most-cherished values held by those that will be receiving your services! Use your major achievement, and the skills of which it was comprised, to illustrate how specifically you meet those criteria. The more focused, the better your aim...and the greater your likelihood of success.

  •  5- Fire! Extensive preparation will lead to a relatively stress-free job interview. Be impressive. Armed with your resources ask, "By what criteria will you select someone for this job?" And, "How do I compare with those criteria?" On-target communication may ring true and land you the job.