THE BLOG

Top 6 Incomplete Job Search Tips

05/15/2013 06:39 pm ET | Updated Jul 15, 2013
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It's not that they're wrong. They are just not enough. If they were -- we'd all have jobs.

1. Experience gets you jobs. Unless it's too much experience. When the job ad says "1-3 years experience" -- that is often code for "Not for you, Grandpa or Grandma." Recent national polling now puts ageism up there with racism and sexism as a barrier to hiring.

2. Education Matters. Of course it does! Quick show of hands. How many of you are "anti-education?" The questions are "How much and what kind of education?" And the answers always vary, depending on the job.

3. Networking solves everything. Depends on what you mean by networking. Sending an email to a stranger, or standing in the corner of a networking event with a weak drink in hand looking for someone to talk to probably won't help. The word "networking" has come to mean so many things to so many different people, that if often means nothing.

4. The more jobs you apply for, the better. Sure. More usually does mean better. The problem is that every time you toss a resume off into cyberspace in care of a blind ad; you have no idea if that job still exists. Or if it ever did.

5. Let your references know you are using their names. Besides being blindingly obvious, this tip ignores the real challenge with references. How do you make sure someone reads them and believes them?

6. You gotta know someone. I live down the street from Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago. I have met him. I used to share an elevator with David Axelrod, the president's former senior strategist. I have dozens of senior executives as LinkedIn connections. So far, none of them has ever helped me get a job. "Knowing someone" is no longer enough. In "Finding Work When There are No Jobs," we use the new word "Communitize." Communitize means being an active part of a community. ANY community. It could be government, your neighborhood, a church, or it could even be a shared memory. Perhaps an alumni group. When you communitize, you turn community into an action verb. You begin to see the needs of a community from the inside. Not from the outside. You have information about the community before the rest of the world.

How Do People Really Find Work When There Are No Jobs?

By getting away from the notion that there is a one size fits all process. There might not be jobs. But there are needs. From needs, come jobs.

Dig hard enough into any successful job search story and you will always find that the person did something different. They went beyond the standard, incomplete tips and addressed a need.

Remember that finding work is not a linear process. Like most things that really matter, there is a lot of time and effort involved. So, spend your time and effort on the right things.

Finding work means asking a lot more questions and worrying less about the perfect "elevator speech."

Finding work means thinking differently. Asking questions of everyone you know. Questions like,

How did thinking differently find you work?