Without career clarity, social networking and branding, you are NOT going to land a job!

Last week, three prospective clients contact me lamenting that they have been out of work for about 3-9 months and have not been able to find a job. After conversations with each one of them, I began to see some trends; I thought I would share them with the rest of you trying desperately to land a job in this difficult economy:

·         None of these individuals had clear career goals. When I asked them, what they were looking for, I got very vague answers-“Well I could do this or that, or I will take anything”.

o   TIP:  In this economy, you need to be CRYSTAL clear on what you are looking for and the value you can offer a prospective client. And you need to know who your target audience is.

·         None of these people had any differentiation or branding on their resume. All three of their resumes started with “highly accomplished X with 15 years experience in…., seeking  XYZ”.

o   TIP:  Forget “objectives” on resumes and focus on what differentiates you from the crowd-what makes you UNIQUE, special and compelling to your target audience. Add in your brand attributes and strengths using a voice that is authentic to you.

·         Each resume I saw was just a laundry list of “tasks” that each of these individuals had done.

o   TIP:  Employers look for evidence of value-add and accomplishments. Rewrite your resume bullets to focus on your results, and quantity your results the best you can.

·         None of these folks were using social networks to leverage their job search networking efforts.

o   TIP:  Hiring managers and recruiters are using social networks more and more to source and find candidates. They are also using them for background checks as well, performing  due diligence prior to hiring. If you are not on LinkedIn, get a profile up asap. Then  consider Facebook and Twitter as these are the other two that are being used by HR and recruiters.

·         All three of these people were applying to jobs online and using job boards for their job search.

o   TIP: 88% of jobs are NOT sourced through job boards. Companies rely on personal networking, employee referrals and social networking to find candidates. Figure out a way to network with and contact hiring managers, recruiters and employees directly at firms you are interested in working at.