TAO Self-help

Title:To Be Hired: Be Focused and Clear About the Job You Want

Author:Susan P. Joyce, © 2015 All rights reserved

Date:April 2015


Yet again, in the Job-Hunt Help LinkedIn Group, a job seeker has posted an announcement about his availability with a description of himself as a "fast-learning, analytical problem-solver." That's all. Let the job offers roll in!

Nope, didn't happen. Not a single job offer appeared...

The issue: No one knew what kind of problems he solved. Employers definitely need people to solve problems, but one person isn't likely the solution to all of those problems.

Unless he specifies the kinds of problems he solves (snow removal, tax preparation, leaping tall buildings in a single bound, or ?) with details on his accomplishments, skills, and experience, he's not going to be hired by anyone based on that information (or lack).

Lack of Focus = Limited Options

Many job seekers have told me that they don't specify the job they want in LinkedIn and networking events because they fear that being specific will "limit my options."

This strategy backfires more often than it works.

Unfortunately, by not being clear, these job seekers have actually eliminated most options, except those with people who already know them and know what they can do.

The bad assumption people make when they try this approach is that someone will have the time to carefully read a resume or LinkedIn profile to determine where they could fit into an organization. No one - except maybe their family - care enough to take the time to do that!

So, lack of focus in their job search really limits their options rather than expanding them.

Lack of Focus = No Keywords = Invisibility

Worst of all, if you aren't clear about the job you want, your profile and other LinkedIn activities (Groups, Pulse, etc.) won't have any keywords relevant to your skills and experience!

[More about keywords essential for a successful job search - To Be Hired, Be Find-able.]

This lack of keywords is damaging to his career and income in several ways:

  • Recruiters with the right jobs open for him will not find him when they search LinkedIn or Google for qualified candidates.
  • People who do see his profile won't know what he does unless they already know him. And what he has done in the past may not be what he wants to do in the future.

Don't "keep your options open" - keep your eyes and ears open, and stay focused. Know the keywords most important for your next job (check Indeed's JobTrends), and make them visible on your LinkedIn profile and your other online visibility.

To Be Hired, Be Focused!

Since most people - and most businesses - do have problems that need solving, describing them is effective.

Without an investment of time and effort into figuring out the job you want (the problems you can solve) - you are impossible to hire!

For a successful job search, picking your target job(s) and your target employers is YOUR most important job.

Don't know what you want to do? Find help here:

  • Your state's employment office/Career OneStop has people whose job is to help you find work.
  • If you have attended a college, that college probably has a career center with people who can help.
  • Your local bookstore and, probably, public library, have a book named "What Color Is Your Parachute?" by Richard N. Bolles. It's been an enormous help to me whenever I've faced a job search. It doesn't take long to read, and it is extremely helpful (which is why over 10,000,000 copies have been bought).
Bottom Line:

To be easy to hire, update your LinkedIn profile, Twitter bio, Facebook About, Google Plus About, and other social networks with your job search goals (unless you are currently employed). Work on your "elevator speech" - a 20 to 30 second summary of what you want to do and who you want to do it for when someone is kind enough to ask what you are looking for. Be easy to hire!

More About Being Hired:

Online job search expert Susan P. Joyce has been observing the online job search world and teaching online job search skills since 1995. Susan is a two-time layoff "graduate" who has worked in human resources at Harvard University and in a compensation consulting firm. In 2011, NETability purchased WorkCoachCafe.com, and Susan has been editor and publisher of WorkCoach since then. Susan also edits and publishes Job-Hunt.org, is a Visiting Scholar at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and a columnist on HuffingtonPost. Follow Susan on Twitter at @jobhuntorg and on Google+.

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