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August 18, 2017

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4 Ways to Get Unstuck in Your Job Search

If you've been looking for a job for any length of time, you've probably run into roadblocks.

Weeks go by with no job interviews. Employers don't call. And you start to feel stuck.

Where can you turn for new ideas to get "unstuck" in your job search?

I suggest you try "funnel vision."

As explained to me years ago by marketing master Jay Abraham, funnel vision is the opposite of tunnel vision. It's a way of looking beyond your current situation for new ideas, then adapting them to create breakthroughs.

Funnel vision is how Velcro was invented -- those tiny hooks that hold clothing together were adapted from cockleburr seeds in nature.

Funnel vision is how drive-up windows came to fast-food restaurants -- before McDonald's installed their first one in 1975, drive-up service had been used at banks since 1928.

To illustrate funnel vision for your job search, I'm going to adapt four ideas from a terrific article on blogging at Typepad.com, called "10 Ways to Find New Blog Topics" (www.typepad.com).

See? We're already adapting -- from blogging to job hunting.

Here we go ...

  1. Read the comments on career blogs for new ideas Some of the smartest job search ideas come from ... smart job seekers.

    Where can you find them? Oftentimes these people share their success stories by posting helpful comments on blogs that deal with career and job-search topics.

    So, to generate new ideas for your job search, check out the comments posted on high-traffic blogs. Many of the most popular are found at this link - www.career.alltop.com.

  2. Review your greatest hits

    I'll break this idea down into two parts.

    First, look back over your career. How did you find out about every job you've had since you left school? Examples: You networked with a professor in 1988, networked with a neighbor in 1992, answered a want ad in 1994, called a recruiter in 2001, etc.

    Now ask yourself: How could I repeat that or do something similar to it?

    You may not find as many jobs listed in the Sunday paper today compared to 1994, for example, but what about the online edition of the newspaper? Or what about looking through an industry newsletter or magazine that serves a narrow niche? Trade publications can be a terrific source of job leads -- call your local library and ask for help finding them.

    Second, what did you do and say to get hired for previous jobs? What's the best cover letter you ever sent? What's the best line in your last resume? The best answer you ever gave in a job interview?

    Now ask yourself: How could I repeat those successes in my current job search?

  3. Do something different

    To get different ideas, you have to start with different thoughts.

    Example: How would you get a "job" on American Idol? Send a resume? No, you'd audition. And before your audition, you'd practice like mad.

    So, ask yourself this: Where and how could I "audition" for a job? Whom would I have to contact to get an audition? And what skills would I have to practice beforehand?

    Approaching your job search as if it were an audition for "American Idol" is just one way to do something different.

    How would you get hired for a job as a bus driver? A tennis coach? A senator? A mountain guide in Tibet?

    You may be just one different tactic away from your next job. What is it?

  4. Invite a guest author to write for you Ask three or five of the most-successful people you know to send you their resumes and cover letters. What parts can you adapt and use in your own documents?

    Your friends will be flattered that you ask. Plus, you'll be doing some "accidental networking" when you send them your revised resume and cover letter to review, which is a nice secondary benefit.

    Do you see how powerful a tool funnel vision can be? And there are plenty of other ways for you to get unstuck -- I've adapted only four ideas from the 10 in that article on blogging.

- Kevin Donlin

Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0." Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free glimpse, visit Guerrilla Job Search System DVD.

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