How to Find a Job When You’ve Been Off The Market & You’ve Hit The 5 Ohs.

I originally published this blog entry on Pulse here: Please make any comments on LinkedIn. Thank you.

After I made a pronouncement back in May that I was no longer going to work with startups and will be on the hunt for real benefits and a steady check, I had to face some harsh realities.

If you have taken a break from your proverbial career path for any length of time working as a consultant or had a startup and you are looking to get a full time job, well it can be downright crazy frustrating. And I have had lunch with a few of my friends who are trying to figure it all out.

South Florida has the extraordinarily unpleasant truth of having to compete with large numbers of northerners who apply for jobs here because they just can. We are obviously in a bit of a vacation location, so it totally makes sense. The end result is there could be 10x more job applicants than anywhere else for certain positions. So, the traditional apply for jobs is a non-starter in South Florida.

So what have I learned since last April.

Only put in about 10% of your time applying for jobs.

Applying is anathema to a job search. It could suck up hours prepping resumes and filling out forms with corporate robo cruncher job systems like Taleo (which by the way is the worst experience I have ever had with any online system). And every time I come across Taleo, which has that dreaded resume upload and it generates your online resume where the system thinks your last job is now your undergraduate college. Just letting you know that if that is the way they treat you in the hiring process, I’d wonder about the actual job itself! Actually my opinion is if an employer requires you to rebuild your life history through their system from scratch, avoid them like the plague!

Have at least 5 different resumes for a variety of jobs.

Actually you may need 10 different resumes. In fact, you probably should just customize the resume to the job! Yes, get better at Word now! If you are over 50 like me and technical with an MBA, you can probably handle being a programmer, architect, product manager, director, CTO. I have done them all and I need a resume for each.

Don’t Bite The Hand That Feeds You

I had a confusing experience with a headhunter recently who suddenly announced that I had missed the interview and sent inappropriate comments to the hiring company. The problem was, I had not yet been contacted. The other guy obvious had the same first name as me, Dan! The point is, never let your frustrations show. It’s totally unprofessional. That guy totally screwed me!

Pull, Don’t Push

Sounds like the Yin and the Yang of job search, but this is how you should be spending your time. Don’t apply for anything! Go to the top ten job sites and just update your resume. That is Indeed, Monster, Careerbuilder, The Ladders, Ziprecruiter, Linkedin, Dice. The key to this strategy is peppering your resume with the right keywords at the right time. What I mean is, as an example I have worked with Google Analytics, Coremetrics and Adobe Analytics (Omniture), so I add Webtrends, Cognos, Teradata and Tableau on there. I have worked with all of these products… a while ago. Trust me, I have. And once you find the area intensely in demand, like Adobe Analytics as I found out, you get the mother-load of emails and calls. But you need to make sure you have those keywords.

Yes Man

Say yes to everything! The impact of putting myself out there with all my resumes and this hot desirable tech skill was that I got called by 50 headhunters and received 3 to 20 emails a day for about 4 weeks. It was 90% from companies in India, who call like they are in NJ or Madison, Wisconsin. I would not be surprised if they were all shoved in a small building in Mumbai smoking together on their breaks. You need to play along and say yes to everything. These guys are not the real hiring companies, but they seem to have a way in to the decider! And why not say yes to everything? Until you get an offer, everything is on the table. And I will go as far as leaving Florida for the right gig anyway. I noticed occasionally that some jobs allowed for remote… That was interesting, because obviously that works best for me. Regardless, I am out for the highest bidder and the best locations (wink wink). I really am…

Marquee and Recency Matter

So I worked briefly for The Limited/ 10 years ago. Nobody cares now. When you’re at the 5 Oh, and you have been out on the streets as a consultant or worked for startups for a while, you need a good name or two to let employers know you can actually still work! So, when I got the chance to work at Office Depot HQ for a couple months, I jumped at it. Call out to Office Depot friends, I had fun working with you guys!

What’s the difference between web marketing jobs and web technology jobs?

The answer is $30,000 a year! So I found out I am still a tech guy and not an online marketing guy (Though I will send you a resume for whatever you want me to do!) It really sucks being an online marketer who wants a real job. Now I know why so few online marketers want a full-time job, when they can make more as consultants working on a commission schedule.

Your Community Is Everything

In the end, one of my past associates got me a gig, which I am at now. Director of Business Intelligence and Analytics (I gave myself that title)! So, the best way to put this is, hours of resume writing, fighting the robo cruncher job system “Taleo”, at least 40 hours of phone interviews, probably 60 hours of redoing my resume, skype interviews, emails and texts and so far what I have is I am back at a consulting gig with no benefits that somebody helped me get into. Life is crazy and not always fair and it is less fair when you are in the 5 Ohs or greater because the world is prejudice in favor of youth. Youth does have more energy and can work till 10pm. I can’t! I’m already asleep.

Now, speaking about community. Once again we are running a startup pitch event at Cendyn Spaces in Boca Raton, FL on Sept 21, 2016. This event has a demo day portion where startups can buy space at table/booths where they can show off their product or service to investors! If you have pitched in the past, you are welcome back to demo your service or product if you pay for a table or half a table. We already have 65 RSVPS and 3 companies pitching with 3 weeks left to go. Everything you need to know is here on Meetup:

Now the funny thing is my associate who landed me my recent consulting gig I originally met at an AIP meeting (Association of Internet Professionals). Get out there and get networking. So community is everything! Hope you enjoyed this entry and I will see you at our pitch event!