A Great Resume Does Not Prevent All Job Search Problems

by Randall Scasny, Director, MilitaryJobHunts.com

Most job hunters who seek out my assistance receive no response from employers. They believe their resume is the source of their problem. While it is true that most military resumes need to be rewritten, I have found that resumes aren’t necessarily the primary job search problem.

I was working with a Navy vet who had sent out his resume for nine months getting no response. He blamed his resume. I reviewed his resume and saw there was nothing wrong with it. So, I told him to stop sending it out and begin attending industry trade shows to meet other professionals. He found a job within a couple of months after applying a new job search technique.

There are plenty of reasons why your resume may not be your problem. Unlike the military service where recruiting is predictable, private industry’s hiring is variable and depends on need, contract awards, economics and other things.

Applicant availability is another reason why you could be having problems. Successful job hunting is a numbers game. You may be confronting a lot of competition.

Geography may be working against you. All industry sectors have geographic hubs where most of its jobs reside. For instance, most security clearance jobs are on the coasts. If you MUST live in Wisconsin and are seeking a clearance job, don’t blame your resume. The numbers rule here and you should expect a long job hunt.

How long you expect your job hunt to last plays a role in how you perceive your resume is working for you. If you expect a 1-month job hunt and 2 months go by, your resume can become the convenient scapegoat.

I have found that you should budget at least three months for a job hunt. The longest job hunts are for Federal Government jobs. Since your application package has to work its way through a bureaucracy, this should be expected.

Another informal rule is the higher the pay, the longer the job hunt. I know a job hunter who has a great resume and receives job interviews regularly. But her compensation package is typically around $100,000. She has been on the hunt for at least 5 months. This is not abnormal.

What can you do (besides fussing with your resume) to get your job hunt performing? Here are a few suggestions:

1. Get to Know Your Industry. If you understand the big picture of your target industry, you will run a more efficient job hunt. (To help my customers, I read daily The Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal.)

2. Get To Know Your Local Employers: If you understand what kind of job skills your local employers need, and communicate those skills on your resume, and in your employment applications, you will have a shorter job hunt.

3. Get Out of The House and Meet People. In nearly all cases of long-term job hunts, the job hunters were glued to their computer and never left home. Yes, the Internet is a powerful job search tool. But it is one of many tools.

4. Ask For Help. Military life generally requires service members learn self-reliance. However, in civilian life, cooperative relationships are the rule. You have to learn to trust the knowledge “bank” of others. By the way, it’s okay to ask for help.

You must have an effective resume to play the job search game just as a baseball player needs a good bat and glove. But once you have them, you must move beyond the equipment and get into the strategy of the game to succeed.

Hunting for a job with little success? Are you feeling frustrated or just don’t know where to start? Then email me at [email protected]. I’ll try to give you some suggestions.

For those who are seeking help with resume and cover letter writing, job-hunting strategies, or are in need of inexpensive job-hunt coaching/advising, I offer a variety of services to help you efficiently conduct your job-hunt campaign. You can learn about these inexpensive services by clicking here: THE RESUME SERVICE

About The Author
Mr. Scasny is Founder and Director of MilitaryJobHunts.com. Previously, Mr. Scasny was employed in the Internet Industry where he was the Managing Editor of the Chicago News Bureau for InternetNews.com. Prior to his writing career, Mr. Scasny was a Regional Field Service Representative for Square D Company (www.squared.com) where he serviced emergency power supply systems for a variety of computer and industrial applications. He began his civilian employment at Eaton Corporation’s (www.eaton.com) Electric Drives Division as a Field Service Engineer. Mr. Scasny was a First Class Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy when he was honorably discharged in 1987, after 10 years of service. During that period of time, he was a Technical Instructor at the Advanced Electronics “C” School of the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, a Work Center Supervisor aboard the U.S.S. Manitowoc (LST 1180) and U.S.S. Inflict (MSO-456), and a Repair Technician on the U.S.S. Yosemite (AD-19). Mr. Scasny is a graduate of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (www.nmt.edu) and Western Illinois University (www.wiu.edu). He attended Hartford Union High School in Hartford WI.

All opinions, advice, statements or other information expressed in this article are solely the author’s and do not necessarily express the opinions of MilitaryConnction.com or the publisher.

Copyright 2006. Randall Scasny. All Rights Reserved.