If you are looking for this week’s article to include a list of tips and tricks to improve your job search, you are going to be disappointed. I will get back to more instructional writing with next week’s article. But give me a week here. I have some thought and opinions, and I need to vent a little steam. I am more than a little fired up!
Have you seen the new Monster advertisements that are launching this month? If not, allow me to fill you in on the details. There are two new advertisements created in partnership with MullenLowe, the advertising agency that created the award-winning “When I Grow Up” Monster Super Bowl ad from 1999. Both of the new videos, shot in dark light, paint a bleak dystopian view of resumes and the current job search process. Let’s break down each of these new advertisements, and you can judge for yourself.
The first ad is titled “The Perfect Resume” and focuses on one woman’s exhausting journey to produce the perfect resume and find a new job. Countless hours are spent crafting the resume, only to have it reviewed in less than 30 seconds and buried in a pile of resumes with other rejected candidates.
Monster’s message is for you to find a better way to hunt for your next job. The suggestion is to spend more time on the Monster website leveraging the company’s employment services.
A little truth in advertising here. Yes, producing a winning resume is tough work. And on average that resume will only be viewed, initially, for a maximum of 10 seconds when submitted for an online job posting. But no, the resume is not dead, and you will not land your next great job without a well-crafted resume. Well-crafted means a professional summary based on your elevator pitch. Well-crafted means optimized with keywords built on pre-application research. And well-crafted means results and metrics and not just a list of prior responsibilities.
Some more truth in advertising? With this ad, Monster is telling you the answer to all your job search problems is to spend more time on their website. Makes sense. They are the ones paying for the advertisement. The reality, not so much. Focusing most of your job search efforts applying for jobs online is a losing strategy. Online job postings receive an average of 250 applications per posting with only one guaranteed winner. Buy a lottery ticket instead! Better yet, spend more of your time networking and tapping into the hidden job market to increase the probability of finding that next job. But that would require Monster to suggest you spend more time with their competitor, LinkedIn, and that is not going to show up in a Monster ad. So, I will have to point you to a more positive advertisement on the power of networking for your next job, delivered by LinkedIn, shot in the bright sunlight!
I’m not done yet! There is a second Monster ad titled “Daddy” where a father tucks in his son at night with a less than tender story about the soul-crushing life of work, job loss, and job search. Uplifting? Not so much. Again, Monster’s message to you is to focus on their website, find a job with a perfect fit, and work and your life will be happy ever after.
Truth in advertising. Over a 40-year career, you will hold, on average, 13 to 14 different jobs. Not every one of these jobs will be paradise. But you will learn something from each position, make new friends for life, and keep moving forward to the next opportunity.
In my coaching business, I speak weekly with mid-career professionals who need guidance in the job search process. Many of these clients are over 50 years old, recently jettisoned into an uncertain market where the job search rules have changed dramatically in just the last decade. Fear, frustration, and uncertainty about their future are constant companions. The last thing I am going to do is go tell them to spend all their available time on an online employment site. Instead, we focus on upgrading their brand, building a robust job search professional network, and polishing up their personal selling or interview skills. Call me the Chief Motivational Officer. But I will leave the dystopian movies to Netflix. The sun will shine again. You can win the job search if you stay positive and use the correct process, strategy and techniques.
With this article, I am probably not getting invited to Monster’s next sales-kickoff meeting. But I am not anti-Monster or any other online employment site. Today’s job search technology is both a blessing and a curse. The prevalence of job boards such as Monster is a blessing to job seekers because they speed up searching and applying for an open position. Too much of a good thing, however, can also be a curse and that is where we see the law of unintended consequences. Spend all your time on these job boards, and you quickly start to believe that they represent the universe of all available jobs. The truth is that they are more like the Milky Way galaxy than the entire universe. Like a horse with blinders on, when your job search process establishes permanent residence on the job boards, you lose a line of sight to a large percentage of open opportunities.
So, build a job search action plan that has a healthy dose of networking and keep the online job posting to less than 20% of your available search time. And Monster, let a little sunshine into your next advertisement. Life, career, and work is not really that dark!
If you like getting your job search advice served up with an authentic voice, a dose of humility, and some popular culture, please subscribe to my AdvantEdge blog.
Dan Troup is the Managing Director of the AdvantEdge Careers coaching service. If you are interested in learning more about how a job search expert and certified career coach can assist you, please contact AdvantEdge Careers for a free initial consultation.