… the high-tech meltdown resulted in an unprecedented increase in probability of experiencing a permanent layoff, the likes of which had never been seen in the sector or the rest of the economy. High-tech workings in Ottawa-Gatineau, a major technology cluster, were hit particularly hard. Those laid off saw a steep decline in their earnings – well above that experienced by any other group, even during the jobless recovery of the 1990s. Among laid-off high-tech workers overall, about 4 in 5 (80%) did not find jobs in the sector and about 1 in 3 moved to another city. In Ottawa-Gatineau, about 2 in 5 left the city. (Source Statistics Canada 2007)
– may we live in interesting times –
To say I was struggling to find a job in this environment was an understatement. I need to be better than all the others at finding jobs and getting the attention of the employer. A simply one page resume in this climate was just not going to help. I took a multi-pronged approach which include:
- Make it easy to find me on the internet
- Make multiple resumes target for different job categories
- “Fill the pipeline” with as many opportunities as possible.
Making it easy to find me on the internet
My name is very common, “Kevin Watson” – put that into Google and you get over 1,300,000 hits. Not that anyone would Google my name, but recruiters do you Google to look for people (i.e. resume product manager Ottawa). My name and more importantly my resume had to be easy to find. The first step is making sure your Linkedin and Zoominfo are accurate, up to date and contain a recent picture.
Next make sure you are part of groups. The more groups in Linkedin, the more other people can find you by their search mechanism. Also there are “super” lists that you can import into your profile. I found one at kdkdkdkdkdkd – dave help me here —-. After importing the list, I went from 400 connections/contacts to 50,000.
I also created a website “http://beamishlake.com” (KevinWatson.com was already taken) and incorporated myself so I could be hired by consulting firms (don’t believe that an agency will help you – they won’t – if a job falls from the sky and you lottery number comes up – you win!). For those not skilled at making websites, it can be easier than you think. Simply buy a template form Bluewebtemplates.com (or equivalent) for $29.95 make a couple of small changes to the template and host it on a site for $19.95/year. Within minutes your resume goes from a PDF to a website containing extra information about you. Your website can contain compliments from colleges, quotes, press release about the products you developed, and much more than a simple website.
Using this approach (along with the ones later on) has put me at the third link on Google.
Make multiple resumes target for different job categories
I worked on my resume, I perfected, it was 25 years of work condensed into 2 pages of carefully choosen words. No one has a better written resume that I. First stop a consulting agency – get my name out there! I dropped my resume at my first consulting firm. Rather than the “Wow” I expected. I got “what we like to see is a break down of every job or project you did for the last 25 years”.
I went home with a sample resume from their firm and began writing a 25 page resume outline everything I had ever worked on. How many people I managed, how many staff on a project, time started, time ended, etc. etc. 1 week later I had completed my second resume.
Unfortunately this has became a trend. Different staffing agencies want different styles of resumes. You have to understand the audience and make your resume look like they expect. In my case I have three resumes:
- A one page introduction resume
- A two page resume target for private industry
- A twenty-five page resume targeted for Government and Consulting firms
Private industry is not interested in reading a 25 page resume so just producing one will not meet the exceptions of the hiring manager. You really do need to have multiple resumes.
For some jobs, I did a “You Need” vs “I Have” table. Hiring managers and HR managers are looking for someone who does all the work for them. Making a spread sheet highlighting how the items in the ad matches your skill set takes the guess work out for them and makes it easy for them to see how your past experience lines up with the job requirements.
“Fill the pipeline” with as many opportunities as possible.
Every salesmen knows that if you want to have 10 sales you need 30 leads (i.e. a pipeline). If you want 1 job, you need at least 3 new leads a day. Its not a scientific by any means but the last two times I was laid off it seem to be very accurate.
How do you find 3 new leads a day?
This is probably one of the most creative job hunting strategy. How to simultaneously get your name out there while filling you pipeline? The answer: create your own Job Board or more accurately stated an electronic funnel that streams a steady list of jobs to me!
After watching me hour after hour going from Job Board to Job Board, my wife said “why don’t you have the jobs e-mailed to you”.
That simple phrase sent me on a quest to scrape all the jobs from job boards like Monster, Linkedin, Government agencies, Corporations, etc. etc. categorize them and then e-mail a summary of what is new once a day. Using this approach, I had more opportunities than I knew what to do with. I was receiving and e-mail a day with over 600 new jobs (since they were categorized I could quickly ignore the ones that didn’t interest me).
After I successfully got a job using that approach. I decided to share the technology and created a web site called http://www.NatsJobs.com (after my wife’s name Nathalie). Its free to sign-up so encourage you to try it.
I should warn you, that you may have more jobs in your pipeline than you know what to do with. I know I did and that’s why I had to add a simple CRM system to http://www.NatsJobs.com The concept is simple. The engine reads all the job boards compares the results with the previous days results and then e-mails a list of what has changed from one week to the next. If you find a job that interests you, clicking on the link brings you to the original job posting.
If you want to remember it in the future, simply click the “Nat’s Tracker” link at the top of the page and every e-mail you receive will have a link to that job at the top of the page.
As your applying for jobs, its easy to forget what you sent a person. Nat’s Job Tracker allows you to write notes, keep track of contacts related to that job. Not only will you not loose a job lead, you won’t forget when you last talked to them. It also allows you to schedule appointments in Outlook so you won’t forget that important meeting.