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Restarting Your Job Search When All Else Fails

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I remember really early in my career (probably before most of you were out of diapers) when we were living in the modern world of IBM XTs (with an Intel 8088 processor at 4.77 MHz, a hard drive of 10MB and 640kb of memory) and Lotus 1-2-3. Spreadsheets were taking off, replacing all of that green ledger paper and handwritten analysis. You would spend hours building your spreadsheet (no tabs in those days) and every once in a while you would display your masterpiece (which showed profit growing by 600%!) to your boss only to find out that there were major formula errors. And you know what that meant? Yes, you would need to start over. All of that hard work down the drain (not to mention the impact on your ego).

Sometimes job search is much the same. You spend countless hours building your resume, gathering contacts, calling friends and posting your resume only to find out your resume is a disaster and that you need to start over. While that is the last thing that many of us want to do, sometimes you just don’t have a choice. Your second “release” will be far superior to the previous version. You know what they say – “what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger”.

Reevaluate Your job search strategy: Have you created your job search strategy (why you are looking, what you are looking for and what your perfect job would be) or are you just “looking for a job”.  Looking for a job is the action, but you need to have a strategy as to your approach.

  • Change The Pattern For Your Work And Life – Sometimes timing is everything. While I started writing my post several days ago and decided to finish today, this article appeared in my inbox (perfect timing) today. Posted on, it perfectly matches the topic. Take a read, it is worth the time.
  • Your Career Planning and Job-Search Calendar – If you’ve decided to look for another job (no matter the reason), you need to have a plan. This article, posted on, provides some easy steps for planning and executing your job search strategy. Presented in calendar form, the article is filled with lots of good advice. Also, there are embedded links to additional information throughout the article. And, if that is not enough, also check out the career tools on the left hand side of the page.

The best place to start is always the beginning, and my view is making a list of what needs to be done is the best place to start:

  • Research – You need to decide what you want to do when you grow up. If you already know this, great. If not, time to get started thinking about it. In either case you will need to do some research.
    • Company Research – offers company and employer research on their site.  You can search by name, industry, state, country, number of employees, rankings, etc. (or any combination). There is basic information on each company on their list as well as the company’s website (which will have additional information). There is company search on the right hand side of the page and tons of information. While you are there, take a look at the other job related information.
    • Careers and Industries – Don’t know where to begin? provides two lists:  Industry Profiles and Careers. The first provides background on trends, markets and the companies involved. The second list provides requirements for each career type as well as salary trends the the outlook for that particular career choice. Each item on the items links to a full page resource.
  • Making a Plan:
    • Find a Job: Create a job search plan – This is a great article (provided by the U.S. Department of Labor – Careeronestop) for making your job search plan. There is a general overview with some some pointers, followed by a day by day (for 5 days) list of what you should do. Additionally there are a number of great links both, on the left hand side of the page as well as links on top of the page.
    • Job Search Checklist – This article from provides an excellent guide for developing a plan of attack.The article has 5 parts with quite a few links, but the very first section (Part 1) focuses on planning and preparation with 10 or so points (understand the process, understand the jobs that interest you, creating your list and more).

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,


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