Category Archives: Job Boards

Make your job search into a learning experience 

2 1/2 pounds of trail mix per boy each day for a total of 90 pounds. 3 packages of hamburger helper for one meal for 6 boys. Oatmeal every day for breakfast for 6 days on the trail. Coyotes, raccoons, elk and a 20 acre meadow of ripe blueberries. It was a great adventure. By the end the boys learned they had taken way too much trail mix and hamburger helper. They also stopped liking banana flavored oatmeal. They planned, saw, did and learned things they would never have known about without that 50 mile hike. Later most of the boys did 70 and 100 mile hikes. On the later hikes they carried less weight and had even more fun.

Job hunting

If you want to constantly move up you have to stop looking at your job search as an occasional sprint. It has to become a planned excursion. It may become a safari.

Job hunting does not get any easier at the next level up. When you get better at what you do, it takes longer. The number of jobs decreases and the number of good people looking for the great jobs increases as you move up. Moving laterally isn’t hard. Moving up is hard. Getting a promotion is tough. Beating the 20 other people who want to be raised to Executive Vice President or be the highest paid technician in the company is very hard. 

It takes one month of job searching for every $30,000 of salary in today’s market. That’s how hard it is to advance. That is how much harder it gets later.

If you start now and decide to LEARN while you search for a job, you’ll do better next time. You need to study and try different ideas. Find out what works for you and what flops. Everyone is different. There is no reason for you to do things exactly the same as someone else.

My boys started out with 2 mile, 10 mile and then 20 mile hikes. They got better, but kept learning. The 50 and 100 mile hikes were a lot of work, but not as painful as the 20 mile hikes because they had learned and prepared better. Your job searches may get longer, but they don’t have to be as difficult as your current one if you keep on learning.

Something to do today

Go to your job journal. List your employment dates so far. Also list your promotions. You will probably see a pattern. If the new jobs or promotions stopped, was it really your idea or did you just stop advancing? Write down how quickly you really can earn that next 3 raises, promotions or jobs. You may want to set up a personal progress program.

Find the real qualifications for a job ad

In a murder mystery on TV show the culprit is never the obvious answer. It’s not the neighbor who hated them and their dog, and their kids and who had their blood on their clothes. it’s always an unassuming character from left field.

Man in Gray Long Sleeve Suit Holding a Pen

Job ads are like a murder mystery TV show. Job ads often have long lists of qualifications and most are going to be red herrings. Only a few of those are really going to be important. Remember, these ads are written by HR, not the hiring manager. 

Job ads all seem to be long lists of skills you absolutely have to have in order to get a job.  My experience is that job ads are more red herring than meat. When a company sends me a job ad and asks me to find a person for the job, I always have to talk with the person who wrote the ad.  I ask, 

  • “What are the absolute minimal qualifications for the job?” 
  • “Which of these skills in the ad are the hardest to find?”
  • “What has kept you from hiring the people you have already talked to?”
  • “Is there a hidden qualifier that was left out of the ad?”

As you look at a job ad, ask these questions.  You may even want to call up the HR (Human Resources) department and ask them the four questions.  

If you know any of the answers, you can change your resume.  Put your most important qualifications first in a group of bullet points. Mention them in the very first sentence of your cover letter.  Make sure they come out in a phone call.

Most job ads are huge.  The minimal qualifications and the most important skills are usually hidden in the middle of a school of red herring.  Figure out what the most important need is, and point out in an unavoidable way that you qualify.

Something to do today

Have you ever called an HR department to find out the real qualifications for a job?  Try it today.  Use the 4 questions above.

5 Weeks – How to find a job in 5 weeks

Do you need a job now?  Then use the best job search plan ever created.

Come on!  How could it possibly be the best EVER created? Because it was created for only one person.  You.

I have seen it happen over and over.

One guy is out of work for less than a month, and he gets a job offer with a raise.

free from a bad job

Find a job in 5 weeks – that is freedom

It takes 6 months to get a job for the guy who sat next to him.  This poor guy was doing exactly the same job, got better performance ratings, and would get rehired first if the job was re-opened. To make things worse, the guy who took six months accepts a huge pay cut.

          It isn’t fair, but it happens every day.

It isn’t luck.  The guy who finds a job quickly did things differently.  He may have instinctively done the few most critical steps within the first days of losing his job.  He may also have mapped out a strategy and executed it.  Either way, he got the critical steps executed.  He got the job.

The critical steps most often screwed up by the guys who take 6 months to find a job.

For 22 years I’ve been watching people get jobs in days, or wait a year to find a job.  The steps most often screwed up are:

  • The resume stunk, and he never found out.
  • He burned his best leads before he was prepared.
  • Monster became his momma.
  • HR (Human Resources Department) was his master.
  • He never expanded his network, but he talked to a zillion people.
  • Interviews never seemed to go right.
  • He waited for a phone call back.
  • He thought recruiters were his friends

Give me a call or research these topics on my blog.

If you want to have the shortest job search possible.  Fill out the survey at this link and then contact me. or call Bryan Dilts at 717-975-9001.

No, I don’t guarantee that you will get a job offer in 5 weeks.  But I will put 22 years of experience behind your job search.

Cockroach resumes, paper resumes, and carpet bombing

An 18 inch cockroach is the best resume I’ve seen. A friend of mine was applying for a job as a programmer of railroad simulators. He knew that many programmers could do the technical part.  He also knew that the artistic part was just as important. Drawing is difficult, but sculpture is even tougher.  He sent a giant cockroach sculpted in great detail as his resume. He got a call back, the interview and the job.

A good resume gets you an interview. Electronic, paper, CD, metal, cloth, or clay.  If it gets you an interview, it is a success.

Sometimes I hate success.  Every time I get a paper resume I like, I have to ask for an electronic one.  I hate it.  Those few paper resumes are successes.  They get a call from me.  I hate those successes. The candidates love them because they work.

Should you send out paper resumes?  That depends.  Some places automatically trash paper resumes. At those companies paper is a waste.  How about a multimedia CD?  I get the resume off and then throw them away.  I don’t like those either.  But that isn’t the criteria.  Does it get you an interview?  If it does, it is a great resume.  And notice I said I get the resume off the CD’s. That means I had to browse them.

I suggest you send paper or CD resumes out in small quantities only.  Target your recipient. Follow up closely in case they require a different format.

Some people strongly disagree.  They will ask you to pay them a few thousand dollars to send out a huge postal or email blast of resumes for you.  I just heard sending out thousands of resumes called “carpet bombing.”  Some services carpet bomb recruiters.  Others carpet bomb companies. I receive carpet bomb resumes every day.  I’ve never made a placement from one, but I will admit I at least glance at them whether they are paper, faxed, or by email.

I do think ResumeRabbit is a good way to get your resume on a lot of internet job boards, if you really want broad exposure and know the downside. There is no other carpet bombing/resume blasting service in paper, electronic or fax media that I recommend.  Before I would spend money on that, I’d spend it on getting another certification to help my job search.  But I’m not you.  Just be careful with your money.


Something To Do Today

Go through the list of companies you sent a resume to.  Are there some that really should have contacted you but didn’t?  Can you do anything to your resume to get a call back from them?


Next:     Certifications – gold and lead

Later:              Recruiter motivation

Resume blasting

Should you put your resume out on one internet job board?  On 50?  It really could get you a job.  But there’s a down side too.  Consider:

Your boss calls you into his office and closes the door.  “Two days ago you posted your resume on an internet job board.  Why are you quitting?”  Are you looking forward to that conversation?

Want even more fun?  You may not have posted your resume on the internet for 6 months.  A job board you never visited may have bought your resume and posted it without permission.  That way they can attract employers.  I know one guy who got called in by his boss 2 years after he first posted his resume.  The funny thing was that 2 years ago that posting got him his current job and the boss who was cross examining him.

One way to avoid this problem is to post a confidential resume.  It isn’t very effective, but it will keep you from being recognized by all but those who know your background in detail.  The problem is that you will get fewer responses to your posting.

Recruiters and resume blasting are a two sided coin.  Putting your resume on a website may get you calls from a lot of recruiters.  However, some recruiters refuse to work with candidates who have posted their resumes.  The ones who refuse to work with you because you posted your resume online are far fewer in number, but tend to have the more exclusive job openings.

Posting your resume online can absolutely energize your job search.  It can also be a long term problem.  It is easier to post your resume than to get it off the internet.

If you decide to post to as many places as possible you may want to consider a service like ResumeRabbit.  It can submit you to up to 85 sites instantly.


Something To Do Today

Go to ResumeRabbit and look at the places they will post your resume.  Whether you use the service or not, you may want to look for job postings at some of those sites.


Tomorrow:     Resume blasting –  mail services

Later:              Certifications – gold and lead

Recruiter motivation

Networking, referrals, recruiters, and job boards

Even a fox can get a job guarding a henhouse if he has good enough references.

Internet job boards fill 25% of jobs, recruiters fill 16%, and referrals fill 27% of jobs according to one survey.     So where do you want to concentrate your job hunting time?

But there are so many jobs on Indeed, Monster, Dice, and Career Builder, shouldn’t I try to get those jobs?

Absolutely!  But that doesn’t mean you should automatically send a resume through those services.

22% of jobs are found on a company’s own website.  Gotta like that.  Still, don’t even apply at the company’s own website until after you have tried to take advantage of this country’s main job finding system: Networking into referrals.

Print out the jobs you want that you find on the internet.  Make a list of the companies.  Next to each company, make a list of people you know who work there.  Include people who know someone who works there.  Add a list of recruiters who can get your resume past HR (Human Resources) and directly to the hiring manager.  Get into and see if you can find someone working at that company.  (Link to to expand your network.) Add the people at companies you are targeting to a list.

Your objective is to find someone who can drop your information on the hiring manager’s desk.  Look at your whole list before you make a move.  Who has the best chance of helping you?  Who is the best connected?  Is it a professional networker or a recruiter?  Is it your friend’s wife?  Get your resume in there and follow up.  If you don’t get a call within a week, try again through another person.

27% of jobs are being filled by networking, 25% by job boards, 16% are being filled by recruiters.  Shouldn’t networking AND job boards AND recruiters be your main job search tools?


Something To Do Today

Get into

List where everyone you know works, their spouses too.  Keep adding to the list whenever you find out where someone works.  Keep track of coworkers who leave.  Start making a list of where everyone who knows you works. It may be worth more than gold to you now or in the future.


Later              Personality tests

Resume blasting

Certifications –  gold and lead

Is your job search evolving or going nowhere?

If you kill time, you’ll murder your future. In your job search, are you comfortable doing the same thing over and over?  If you are getting interviews, you are doing a lot right.  If you are not getting interviews, you need to add something different.

Here is an example of people with potential dying early because they weren’t challenged.  You won’t die from boredom, but I bet you can learn new skills and look for jobs in a new way.

Down Syndrome vs down syndrome part 3

Up until the 1980’s it was common to put babies with Down Syndrome into asylums.  They never learned to read, talk, be toilet trained or do much of anything.  They seemed to be content.  They would sit in the corner and rock or wiggle their fingers in front of their eyes.  Most died before the age of 21.

The singing cowboy Roy Rogers and his wife Dale Evans had a baby with Down Syndrome, which they refused to put in an asylum.  Dale Evans wrote a book about the child’s two years of life.  She began a revolution.   Most kids with Down Syndrome, like my daughter Merrilee, now learn to read to a fifth grade level, are toilet trained, and live to be at least 50.

Merrilee would sit in a corner and rock or wiggle her fingers in front of her face if she didn’t have something more interesting to do. We have to purposely work at it.  We have to provide something better than rocking in the corner. Are you doing the same for yourself?

Job seekers with down syndrome often end up doing something equivalent to rocking in a corner.  They find an essentially useless, brainless task and concentrate on it.  They don’t want to think.  They just want to be doing SOMETHING. Or they find a task that looks like it should be useful, but is producing absolutely nothing, and they do that.

Do you keep submitting the same resume online to hundreds of jobs with no result?  Do you mail a resume to all the ads in the paper without getting an interview? Do you scan websites for jobs and never find one?  Do you just watch TV because it is less painful than trying to get a job?

You really do have amazing potential.  Sometimes discovering your talents is painful and difficult.  Worse, trying to get paid for those talents the first time, before you have “experience”, can take the wind right out of your sails.

Try something new.  Make a completely different resume and submit it a few places.  Call a few companies and ask for the person who would be your new supervisor.  Do some serious networking by having friends critique your resume for you.  Study interviewing skills at the library.  Read, “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie.  Read “Acres of Diamonds” by Russell Conwell (Google for it)


Something To Do Today

Try something new.

Tomorrow:  Ash wind and sailing

What if there are 6 ads and you really want the job?

You see 6 ads for one job you really want.  It is so good you would quit you’re your current job just to apply.  What do you do?

High Priority Jobs

Getting your resume into the hiring manager’s hands is your quest.

First gather information. 

Is there anything that makes you think the writer of one of the ads knows the hiring manager personally?

Check the date on all those ads.  When were they posted?  What day did they appear?  List when the company and each agency first advertised.  Did an agency advertise before the company itself?  They may have a close tie to the hiring manager.  Have the ads been going on for months?  The company is either getting a little desperate, has decided not to fill the job, or the job is full but recruiters haven’t bothered to pull the ads yet because they are still getting lots of calls.

How are the ads different?   Does one include a lot more in-depth information?  Is another extremely short?  Look closely.  Do any of them make you feel like the writer talked to the manager?  You want to talk to someone who has the hiring manager’s ear.

Second work your network.

Call the people you know at the company, or invite them out to lunch.  Call up recent employees. Connect on LinkedIn to everyone at the company you can.

What can you find out about the job?  Is there someone who can personally take your resume to the hiring manager?  How about to the hiring manager’s boss?  This is still the research phase.  Don’t give anyone your resume yet.  You only get to submit it once.

Is there a recruiter you trust?  Find out what information they have.  If they can bypass HR (Human Resources) or have other great connections then work with them.  For instance, there is one company I work with that requires all recruiters to submit resumes through their online system.  But I call the HR manager and tell her when my candidates go in so she can immediately extract them.  She is afraid of missing a truly hot candidate.  Other people who submit themselves are first sorted through by the receptionist.

You really do have to quiz recruiters about their connections.  If you answer a particular ad when there are 6 ads out there, you have a right to ask why you should send a resume in through them.

Third decide how to apply.

If the job is not exciting, it doesn’t matter how you submit your resume.  Just do some quick cosmetic changes and submit it through an agency or the HR department.

For the job that really turns you on, figure out who should submit your resume.  For any company it could be you, a friend, a recruiter or an acquaintance.  Choose in this order:

  1. Someone who can hand your resume to the hiring manager and personally recommend you.  It doesn’t get any better.
  2. Whoever can get your resume past HR and talk to the manager.
  3. The person that can talk to the HR manager or screener and get you past the first cut.
  4. At this point all submissions really are equal. Do it yourself, have an employee there submit you to HR or let a recruiter you trust and who gets back with you do it.

Fourth get your resume perfect

Put the bullets on your resume in order of importance.  Put a few key words in bold to make sure the screener and manager sees them.  Get rid of bullets, lines and sentences that do not apply to the job!!  A two page resume is fine for most jobs, but the second page may never get read.

Do the 10 second test with several people.  Hand your resume to a few friends and ask them to read it for 10 seconds.  Time them.  Take it away in 10 seconds.  Ask what they remember.  Do they mention your most important qualifications and accomplishments? If they do, it’s a winner.  If not, change it.

The 10 second test is critical because most screeners and managers give all the resumes a 10 second review to try to find the best ones first.  They will probably throw out your resume without further reading if they can’t see what they want in that first 10 seconds.

Fifth submit and follow up

Submit your resume.  Call up and find out what happened two days later.  Did your resume arrive there?  Did the manager see it yet?  When will he decide?

You really want that job? After your two day follow up call send a thank you note. Give them a nudge, short and friendly.  It is amazing how a thank you note can get someone to personally try one more time for you.

Keep calling back at least weekly.  Sometimes it does take a couple of months to fill a job.  Keep your candidacy alive until it is pronounced dead by someone who knows.

Take Your Best Shot

If you really want a job.  Go all out.  There may be 100 applicants.  In some cases there may be 1000.  Use personal contacts to set yourself apart from the herd.  Make sure your resume instantly says, “I’m qualified.”  And follow up in case you somehow get missed.


Something To Do Today

Start prioritizing all the jobs you can apply for.  On your written list make sure the jobs you crave stand out.  Treat them differently.  It is worth the extra effort.

Next week:  Recruiters and the hair on the back of your neck.

What to do if there are Six Ads For One Job – part one

You see 3 job board ads with almost identical wording for a job in the same suburb.  You go online and find 3 social network ads that are almost identical from 3 more different companies.  It has to be one job, not 6 different ones. What do you do?

First decide how much you want the job, then give it the time it deserves.

You have to set your priorities first.   Would you quit your job just to apply for it?   Then it will be worth a few phone calls and some research.   Is it so marginal you would NOT quit your job if it paid 5% or 10% more than you are earning today?  Treat it differently.

Low Priority Jobs

Look at all the ads.  Are any by a recruiter you know and want to work with?  Give them a quick call.  Often you can get more information from a recruiter than from the company itself.  Ask them if you have a chance at the job.  Do you want the job?  Commit the recruiter to submitting you for the job.  Then call up in two days and ask what they have heard back.

If you can figure out who the primary employer is and don’t want to work with any recruiting agencies, just apply directly.  For low priority jobs it isn’t worth stressing out about whether an agency or a direct submission will work best.  Call the company in two days to see what happened.

High Priority Jobs

This is more involved.  We’ll talk about it tomorrow.


Something To Do Today

Look online and find a job with more than one ad. Figure out which ones are from agencies and which is from the actual hiring company.  Make this a habit.

Tomorrow:  Job Boards:  What if there are 6 ads for the same job? – part two

Tricks To Get Past The Screeners

First of all, apply for every job you are qualified for.  It is impossible to tell if the job is real.  You may as well take 5 minutes and apply.

Did you notice I did NOT say take 15 seconds and apply?  Internet job boards let you send off a resume without thinking.  You can send off a hundred in an hour.  That just assures you of 100 failures.  If you take 5 minutes and send off an effective resume for each job, you’ll do better than if you spam every employer in your area.

Most resumes are screened out electronically for large companies.  Every company then uses a clerical screener to throw out 90% of the resumes that are left with only a 10 second glance.  The remaining resumes get a 45 second read through and often only 5 out 100 original resumes are seen by anyone outside of HR.

Machines only care about one thing….a perfect match.  You have to have every requirement.  Look at the job advertisement.  Does it have an acronym like “MS Word”?  Then have “MS Word” and “Microsoft Word” in your resume somewhere.  Does it ask for “PC experience”?  Then put the words “PC experience” somewhere.  You may want to put a “Technology Experience” section at the end of each job or the end of the resume.  You can put PowerPoint, Access, SAP A/R, Lawson GL and other cryptic requirements there.  The machine will find an exact match and you will get to the clerical screener.

The clerical screener really wants to throw out as many resumes as possible.  Every one he keeps means more work.  Look at the job listing.  What are they asking for?  Don’t bury your most important experience in a paragraph.

Screeners do not read paragraphs.  They read

  • The first 5 words in bullets and paragraphs.
  • The first 3 bullets only.
  • Job titles that are in bold type
  • Words that are in bold type.

They may read italicized words, but not as often as bold.  Warning:  Don’t camouflage your qualifications by bolding everything YOU think is important.  Only bold the things asked for in the ad.

Make sure a screener who doesn’t want to have to read your whole resume sees you match the job.


Something To Do Today

For every job you are applying for, create a resume that will get past the screeners.  Bullet and bold everything the job ad asks for.

Tomorrow:  Job Boards:  How to beat the internal candidate.