WorkWise Q&A: Where am I going wrong in my job search?

culp@workwise.netJanuary 20, 2013 


Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I spent all of 2012 job hunting. I sent out more than 300 applications from listed jobs. The three interviews I had went well, but I wasn’t hired. In each case I had at least 40 competitors.

I played by the rules. Interviewers complimented me on my resume. I dressed appropriately and arrived on time. I sent thank-you notes. I asked for referrals and kept following up. I’m burned out but I don’t want to be a business owner. What’s wrong?


A: Dear Whirligig, Your campaign’s high gear, focus and hard work overlooked one step – marketing in multiple venues.

It’s easier to whip off resumes to “real” jobs found online, but don’t make jobs sites exclusive. Battalions of job seekers hunt there. Stand out. Differentiate yourself by using multiple avenues to employers. Invest in strategies for reaching employers who might not yet be advertising.

You’ll pull yourself out of the pack by developing a list of companies where you’d like to work. Go online or get help at the library. If you see print or electronic ads for companies that appear interesting, research those companies. Investigate contacts. Check with your references and with headhunters.



Q: Dear Dr. Culp, I really like my company and want to stay here. However, I’ve outgrown my current job. My boss’s job isn’t expanding. Mine is static, too.

I want a job here to capitalize on what I know and the experience I have. We’re a very lean organization with little growth. How can I do this successfully?

Branching Out

A: Dear Branching, You’ve already identified your neighborhood. Start building on your relationships with neighbors.

Keep one eye on the internal job board while interacting with employees in areas that interest you. Which people are doing work that interests you? Which ones received promotions? How did they land them?

Take the initiative by becoming the employee of choice. When people leave, volunteer to fill in the gaps, whether the positions are eliminated or ultimately filled. Communicate a spirit of helpfulness to people doing something you’d like to do. Discuss issues covered in the company newsletter and industry at large. Give a talk to as large an internal group as possible.

Increase your visibility and enhance your reputation by being the company’s volunteer of choice for helping in the community. Speak there, too, if invited. Let opportunity gel. It will.


Modesto Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service