Competition in the Job Search

Today I was on Lisa Rangel’s webinar about how to write executive resumes that get interviews. You can probably find her next webinar here.

Lisa is one of a few hundred resume writers that I know.  Resume writers are good people.  They are nice, service oriented, and are thrilled when you get an interview, or better, a job.

Resume writers are usually masters of their craft, which includes manipulating a Word document, converting to pdf (and still having it look good), and producing a marketing document in a way that many people can’t do very well.

Resume writers are also creative, and because of their expertise (or how many good/bad resumes they’ve seen), they can be blunt, telling you exactly what you need to hear.  This isn’t always what you want to hear…

I was thinking about how different Lisa is from her peers (and the strengths and weaknesses of some of her peers), and it made me think of … YOU (the job seeker). I was wondering, if you were in a room of your peers and colleagues, all unemployed, how would you compete.

I use compete loosely because it’s not all about competition. I like “coopetition,” and working together, and win-win, etc.

But at the end of the day, some people are going to pick one.  And then the “top 10” will be picked, and eventually the bottom 50% will be left there.  Still very talented, and competent… perhaps more than the first 10 that were picked… so why weren’t they picked?

Lisa is very purposeful and strategic about her marketing.  She has a right-hand-man (Frank… hi Frank!) who helps her, and has contracted with other resume writers and ex-recruiters to help her deliver services.  She uses current tools (webinars) and reaches out to channel partners to help her get in front of her prospects.

From where I’m sitting, she appears to be crushing it.  And I’m happy for her.  There is plenty of room for others in this space, and I like to see people succeed… there’s really nothing stopping her competitors.

Let’s switch back to YOU.  How purposeful are you? How strategic are you?  Are you incorporating current tools, techniques and strategies in your own personal career management, or job search?  Or are you kind of sitting back, watching others, and waiting?

My suggestion is that you are more purposeful and more strategic.  My suggestion is that you figure out who your partners are, and who your Frank is.  My suggestion is that you don’t let your boss, or HR, or your professors tell you everything is okay, and you’ll be just fine.  I remember asking my boss “should I be getting my resume ready right now?”  The answer was “well, no, of course not!”  Within weeks I was getting my resume ready.

And that began my journey to becoming much more intentional and purposeful about my own career management.

Great things can happen to people who patiently sit and wait for them.  But there are plenty of great things just waiting for you to get up and move towards them.  Just read up on Lewis Howes if you need some inspiration on literally going from the couch to grabbing opportunities.

You are not out to crush your competition, but you don’t have to wait for their lead on how purposeful and strategic you should be.