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  • Lori A. Jazvac

Empower Yourself with an Organized Job Search

Just as there are so many myths circling a comprehensive job search, there are equally effective job search strategies. It's about getting back to the basics. Learning how to sell your brand in a job search is the most important skill you will ever need, regardless of what job you have or want.

There are five basic ways for people to find a job: newspapers, the Internet, recruiters/employment services, networking, and direct contact with employers.

The reality:

Many people search for jobs in the newspaper, but only about 20 percent of jobseekers are successful using this method. In fact, the majority of job leads originate mainly through your contacts or networks. There is no perfect recipe for an efficient job search -- a job search is filled with sometimes unexpected results and outcomes. Implementing sound strategies is your surest bet to winning the job search game.

Where most jobseekers get stuck with is accepting this fact:

A thorough job search can last anywhere from three months to even six months – provided that you have taken all the right steps. It can take even longer with a disorganized job search which often perpetuates a vicious cycle of frustration and even giving up.



The job search can serve as a growth-filled process if you allow it to be.

Realize that prospective employers won’t know your strengths, weaknesses, or offerings. Your mission is to convince them that you’re exceptional and articulate how your skills and qualifications could add value to their organization.

Reasons for an Unproductive Job Search

Many smart and successful jobseekers fail at the job search because they employ too many time-wasting strategies that simply are not productive – applying for “any job right now” often leads to very results. They also harbour a pessimistic attitude, which does little to fuel the confidence to succeed in the job search. Moreover, jobseekers predominantly rely on the visible job market where dozens of applications take time to sift through rather than tapping into the hidden job market and conducting due diligence through active networking.

Break down your job search into manageable chunks with specific tasks: Identify a career target, identify companies that hire for those jobs, find a professional to connect with at 10 of those companies, send a resume to those people, and secure an interview with 2-3 of those companies. Here are a few other tips to note:

Your resume is a valuable marketing tool.

It cannot replace your online LinkedIn profile, but complement it..

Career professionals/resume writers can offer assistance, expertise, and support, but ultimately, taking the next steps to proactively manage your career development will increase your success.


Treat your job search as a full-time job – this is your sole focus. Write out task lists and perform them systematically – strategic action leads to results. Quality over quantity is important. Many jobseekers spend time contacting and sending online applications to hundreds of companies only to never hear from them or get rejected. Be focused – know your target, know yourself, and the role and industry that you are aiming for. Have solid, updated references.

Do not apply for jobs that you are not qualified for – which means not being over-qualified or under-qualified. Review the job requirements and qualifications required.

You only need one company to hire you. Spend time identifying the right companies to work for. Utilize your resume for exactly what it is designed for. For instance, if you are applying for an accounting role, do not use that resume to apply for administrative positions. This is one of the biggest mistakes that jobseekers make.

Don’t forget to re-customize each resume and cover letter for each role – generic resumes and cover letters do not work.

If you are unemployed over an extended period of time, this can make it more challenging to get your next job. Address the gap by spending some time taking a class where you can improve your marketable skills and update your knowledge. Consider volunteering in your field. This will allow you to leverage your time doing something meaningful while refining your skills.


People who are most successful in finding and getting the job are willing to invest their time, energy, and some money in their job search. Successful job seekers are focused, understand their unique value, and are able to articulate specific accomplishments in their education, work experience, and/or volunteer work. Getting your resume in the hands of a decision-maker who has the authority to hire you is most important.

The bottom line:

You will be more successful in finding your next job if you treat your job search as a project with defined objectives, an action plan, and a timeline. Using a combination of diverse job search methods (newspaper, LinkedIn, recruitment agencies, direct contact etc.), rather than sticking with one method. Tap into the “hidden job market” by using direct contact. Determining where you want to work and contacting the company directly often breeds greater success. Always be sure to follow-up rather than play the waiting game.

Don’t forget to take a break in the interim to recharge your batteries – eat healthy, exercise, and reinvest in energizing hobbies and interests; elicit positive support from family and friends. Monitor and record your progress; make any needed changes.

Your job search may not follow a linear path as you may have forecasted, but by taking constructive steps towards your job search, the results will prove beneficial.

For more information, contact Lori Jazvac, Certified Resume Strategist/Career Consultant at

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