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Job Hunting/Career Advancement Tools

The Paradox Regarding Job Hunting/Career Advancement Tools

A "tool" is an implement or process used to achieve a specific outcome or goal.  The value of any tool should be judged based on the degree to which it contributes to the efficient and effective achievement of the goal.  This assessment of the value of a job hunting and career advancement tool should be determined by the degree to which it contributes to achieving new employment or an advancement in the career.

The paradox regarding job hunting/career advancement tools is that the "traditional" job hunting and employment seeking tools are the creation of employers, not the job hunter.  These tools include the following:

  • the resume

  • the cover letter

  • the list of references

  • college transcripts

  • copies of diplomas

  • job applications

  • employment testing protocols

The question is "Why were these tools developed by employers?" and "To what degree do they help job hunters and employment seekers obtain new employment?" 

The answer to the first question "Why were these tools developed by employers?" is of major importance to the job hunter.  These tools were designed by employers to provide a basis for eliminating all candidates for a position with the exception of the relatively few whose resume and application data ideally match the specific job description of the employer.  These tools were not designed to help the job hunter or the employment seeker!  They were designed to disqualify candidates that did not match the employer's profile.

Based on this understanding of the value of "traditional" job hunting and employment seeking tools, it is critical to success that the job hunter only use these tools if it can be determined that their profile is an ideal match for the job being pursued.  It is predictable that any effort to obtain a job where there is not a match between the job hunter's profile and the employer's job description, that the job hunter will be disqualified from consideration based on the use of the employer's traditional job hunting tools.  Even to the extent that there is a match in profiles, the fact that the employer knows that the job hunter is seeking employment will result in a loss of negotiating leverage on the part of the job hunter.  The law of "Supply and Demand" applies to employment too.

The Identification and Use of an Alternate Set of Job Hunting/Career Advancement Tools

If using "traditional" job hunting tools is not advisable, what is the alternative?  Job hunters need to develop an understanding of how employment can be achieved without the use of "traditional" job hunting tools, and use this knowledge to identify and make use of an alternate set of job hunting tools. 

The first question is "Does employment occur without the use of the traditional job hunting tools?"  The answer is that the best new employment opportunities and career advancement opportunities come when the individual is not looking for a job, but when approached by an agency or search firm ("head hunter") based on a recruiting assignment from a company.  In these instances the agency or search firm finds itself in the position of having to offer inducements to the individual to get him/her to consider a change of employment and join the new company.  These inducements take the form of significant increases in salary, status, benefits and sign on bonuses.

The key to this process is understanding that the employment/career advancement opportunity did not come because the individual was looking for a job, but because the employer was made aware of the individual's value in filling a specific business requirement in the company.  The employer had a "demand", and the individual was not perceived to be in "supply".

Understanding and applying this knowledge allows the job hunter to develop a set of job hunting/career advancement tools that create a "demand" for the individual's talent, experience, background and business skills without allowing the targeted employers to become aware that the individual is in "supply".  This means that the job hunter must find a creative way to make the target employer aware of his/her business value and refrain from using the traditional job hunting tools which will not result in the achievement of the goal.

The Alternate Set of Job Hunting/Career Advancement Tools

The basic tool essential to the successful job hunter is the adoption of a new more scientifically based attitude toward job hunting, employment and career advancement.  This new attitude must be based on the individual making the decision to take the affirmative, creative, innovative and non-traditional steps required to ensure that awareness of business value is introduced to perspective employers without creating the appearance of being a job hunter or being in supply.

The most effective alternative to traditional job hunting tools is the communication of a "business proposition."  Simply stated, a business proposition is a statement suggesting specific business benefits that might be gained were the company/employer to make a specific decision or take a defined action.  An example of how a business proposition might be introduced would be to ask a target company/employer "If you could increase your sales in the widget market by 15% next year would you be interested?"  A person with past success in that market would be familiar with how to sell into that market and would be able to discuss a business proposition about increasing sales by 15%, that if well presented, might lead to employment interest on the part of the target company.  It is noteworthy that  it is not necessary for the company to have a job opening or be actively seeking employees for the business proposition to produce a new employment opportunity.


A business proposition has the potential to generate immediate attention and response from a target company/employer where the sending of a hundred resumes could take many months to produce a traditional job opportunity.

The Development of Day to Day Set of Career Advancement Tools:  What are the tools that will achieve the introduction of a job hunter's value to an employer and create a "demand" for that job hunter, without the employer learning of the job hunter's interest in a new job and resulting a loss of leverage by being seen as in "supply?"  They are tools that communicate a compelling business proposition that will make employers/companies aware of the specific business value that could come from a relationship.

First, individual who are interested in advancing their careers should take affirmative steps to ensure that employers in their industry are aware of their business value and the benefit that might come from having them as an employee.  This can come by adopting a strategy designed to achieve recognition in the industry.  This can be accomplished in any of the following ways:

  • Writing articles in industry journals

  • Making presentations at industry seminars and conventions

  • Joining and being active in industry associations

  • Offering articles for industry newsletters, local and regional newspapers and other media outlets

  • Volunteering to serve on key business committees in business and the community

These activities provide powerful, attractive and highly visible documentation of a job hunter's value and can provide a foundation for the creation of new employment opportunities when the time is right or the need emerges.

The Development and Activation of Career Advancement Tools:  When the time is right, the individual needs to develop a set of tools that will result in a timely introduction to new employment opportunities.  If "traditional" job hunting tools (e.g. resume, applications, cover letters, etc.) are not likely to produce quality results, the individual must generate a compelling business proposition will get attention and result in success.  That strategy must achieve the following goals:

  • Introduce the individual's value to a target employer without allowing the employer to become aware of the individual being in "supply", job hunting status and interest in employment.

  • The introduction must make a business proposition that can be transformed into an invitation to meet to discuss in greater detail of the proposition and the benefits that the employer might derive from a relationship .

  • The meeting should include sufficient detail and documentation of the value to the company gained from the business proposition to create a "demand" for the job hunter's skills without the employer becoming aware that the job hunter is in "supply".

  • The employer's demand must be escalated to a point where the employer makes a job offer to the job hunter.

  • The job hunter must conceal his/her interest in employment and engage in a strategy of leveraging the employer's demand into an environment of negotiation with the expectation that the employer will have to offer inducements to employ the job hunter.

  • The new employment relationship must be transformed into a written "understanding" that memorializes the terms of the relationship and includes some agreement regarding the job hunter's protection against any future separation or termination from the employment relationship.

The development of these tools is a highly sophisticated and individualized process that requires rigorous planning, tool development and discipline in implementation.  Career Problem Solving Services has been a pioneer in the development of these services and can guide its clients in the development, implementation and conclusive use of these tools on a personal and confidential basis. 

Complete a CPSS Information Form by clicking HERE to get started, or contact CPSS to discuss your needs in greater detail by clicking HERE.



Career Problem Solving Services is not an employment agency, nor does it provide employment agency services.

Copyright 1999 E-BMC/Dr. John T. Whiting

All Rights Reserved.
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