One employment expert begins his workshop with triage.
"By show of hands, who has sent hundreds or even thousands of resumes without getting an interview?"
When people raise their hands the expert declares that there is something wrong with their resumes and asks them to get up out of their seats and cluster together and await further instruction.
"By show of hands, who has gotten lots of first interviews but no second interviews?"
When they raise their hands the expert declares that they need help with their interviewing skills. He asks these people to cluster together and await further instruction.
"By show of hands, who gets second and third interviews but no job offers?"
When these people raise their hands the expert declares that these people have something in their backgrounds that keeps them from getting offers and he asks them to cluster together and await further instruction.
So, according to this employment expert, the attendees who couldn't get a job offer had bad resumes, bad interviewing skills or bad backgrounds.
After the event I asked the employment expert how he got his job as an employment expert for the worldwide organization that pays his salary and travel expenses.
He told me the most important fact he could have but chose not to tell is audience; that he got his job because somebody who knew him recommended him for the job. He confessed to me that he wasn't particularly well-qualified for the job and that he didn't become an expert in employment matters until after he was offered the job.
I've often said that competence gets job seekers into a game that relationships win but here was a case where even the lack of competence did not hinder a man with the right relationship, the right co-signer.
Your logic professor may say it this way: "Most of the time competence is necessary but not sufficient to get the job offer, but not in the case of the employment expert who leapfrogged over competent candidates to get a job for which his only qualification was that he had an internal promoter who made sure he got a job at which he was not yet competent."
Why didn't this employment expert tell his audience the single most important thing he could have told them about how jobs really get filled? Did he not think it important? Was he embarrassed?
Sometimes so-called employment experts don't tell their audiences the whole truth because they want to sell resume-writing services or interviewing tips. I've known job seekers who paid as much as five thousand dollars to get a better resume, interviewing tips and even job leads all to no avail.
But in my workshops, my newspaper articles, my magazine articles and in my blog I have already told you the truth, free of charge, about how people really get jobs. Look through my archives.
If your job search efforts aren't working, don't double down and do even more of the same things that haven't worked for you. It's time to trade the low percentage game of sending resumes and going too interviews for the high percentage game of getting somebody you already know to recommend you to your next boss.
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