Put Your Own Skin in the Game and Get a Job

Throughout our decades of working with great people who have sought a new job or a better opportunity, we have observed a missing advantage. Let us take a clearer look at what job seekers are facing now.

Today’s job seeker faces a very challenging marketplace and discouraging economy. Nearly everyone who finds themselves in a search for new or better employment feels that they are behind the “eight ball” so to speak in facing an endless litany of media pundits and “chicken littles” touting the doom and gloom.

Okay, we get it. It is an uphill battle, yes, but by no means an assured failure. Some folks have resigned themselves to an existence in their homes and either on the computer or couch watching television. This is not to make a disparaging comment about these folks; it is just a widespread and unnecessary reality.

Some folks are unemployed as a result of circumstances beyond their control. Some are coming from high performance careers. Still others were released from their jobs for falling short of outrageous demands put upon them or by organizations so compressed that they couldn’t expand their staff. Finally, others are without jobs due to a myriad of economically insane moves by employers and our government alike. This has caused a widespread sense of fear and futility causing huge numbers of those who simply feel like giving up the good fight.

Reality is a harsh element when you are a job seeker. Nevertheless, you must pull yourself up and press onward. The major reason many “throw in the towel” is because they see a lack of results using what they have come to believe works to gain new employment. I suspect that the underlying cause for a sense of desperation is that the “tried and true” practice of compiling a mega list of employers, writing a resume that seems to meet the recommended one size fits all models, creating a resume blast campaign and then waiting on the flurry of calls. How is that working for you?

The disappointment most face from this well intended process is often caused by the inevitable fact that you just joined a thundering herd of folks doing exactly the same thing. Let’s examine an alternative way of looking at your situation and how to approach it in a manner that will create results in the form of interviews and offers.

Go back to the time when your major focus was on achieving the highest performance in your career positions. These are a few of the tactics employed by the most successful professionals in their position.


  • See the status quo and determine how they can reach outside the box.
  • Amass the resources they know are essential to their success.
  • Prepare a value-based proposition to “sell” the outcome of their ideas being implemented.
  • Identify the potential pitfalls they face and either chose to avoid them or seek a means to overcome them.
  • Align themselves with those who can be a resource and asset to achieve the success they envision.
  • See obstacles as an opportunity to adjust and improve the game plan for victory.
  • Know that resilience is a prerequisite when dropping common practices as barriers to success.
  • Never feel that they must accept the bird in the hand, even in the darkest times on the road to success.

Many of you reading this know these tactics and attitudes to be self-evident. Others know that they may have done more had they been a stalwart in applying them. Regardless of which person you may be, these are the same fundamentals applied by those who find the job they want (or need) and stay in control of the outcome of their plan to do so.

This now begs the question, “How does this translate to a job search?” Here are some paradigms that will help in understanding how seizing a great opportunity and the job that you can count on parallels the same behavioral attributes of highly successful people. They:

  • Create a list of well researched potential employers that are high probability targets
  • Make contact with every individual who can prove to be a resource in their campaign
  • Exploit the use, not abuse, of the technology tools at their disposal wherever they exist
  • Quantify and detail their career accomplishments to a bottom-line level
  • Create a value-proposition that is specifically tooled for each targeted position they pursue
  • Construct a list of direct and liaison contacts as touch stones who will provide competitive interview intelligence
  • Amass the knowledge essential to create the impressions that dramatically separate them from the job applicant stereotype
  • Investigate the real time status of any position of interest and plan their approach with a timely strategy
  • Categorize their references according to their key skills and accomplishments
  • Approach the refined list of high potential employers with a well crafted dialog
  • Craft a material presentation that creates an admired perception of their professional ability to create exceptional results and solve the most challenging obstacles facing that specific employer.
  • Understand the “buyer-seller relationship” and how to pilot it to their goal, an offer.
  • Conduct interviews in a professional, qualifying and compelling manner knowing that the best contributor is not passive

The missing advantage of many job search campaigns is the application of a targeted process to identify and research potential employers, prepare a professional inventory of career accomplishments and then tactically apply your insights to each unique situation. Top performing professionals constructing a job search have mastered a process that includes an aggressive action plan. The put some of their own skin in the game rather than send a resume and passively await the results they want. Of greatest importance to those who seek and find the best opportunities, under any conditions, is acquiring the process and the knowledge of the few who have mastered it and know how to help you apply it..

Here lies the “rub”. I know of no college or institution of higher learning that teaches an individual the seemingly elusive secrets of a successful job search. It’s equally rare for either an employer or consultant outplacement firm, hired by an employer, who provides any advice, let alone a total process, which will run against the “common wisdom” of get your resume together and send it to anyone who will read it, etc. etc. Empowered with the insights of top professionals, jump into the game and win big!