There is plenty of information and resources for job seekers that sounds like:

  • You need a career brand
  • Be active and network
  • Let people know you are looking for work
  • Share your career story

This is refreshing because it helps job seekers to know that sending out resumes is not enough to land a job. There is room for creativity and depth in their search.

It is fun to watch from the recruiting side as resumes get more interesting. Job seekers started to see themselves as connectors and content creators. Some people came out of their shell and found themselves through their job search.

The stunts

Some tactics made the news. We saw things like a graphic designer design his resume on a pizza box and delivering to his dream company. There was the singing resume. There was that man who was without a home who handed out resumes and got over 200 job offers.  Those are great stories.

Those tactics are fun to read about. But they take job search away from depth and communicating towards spectacle. The thing about spectacle is that is very easy to care more about the reaction than the depth. In a job search, your motive is to land an awesome job by communicating your skills. If we were all singing about why people should hire us, or making street signs, it would get old quick. Other things have already gotten old without job seekers knowing it.

If you haven’t figured out how you help companies reach their goals + what you value in a job, it’s nothing but a marketing scheme.

The other cliches

There is so much information coming out every day that shares the same information about what job seeker can do. Because job search is so visible now, especially on LinkedIn, I see these tactics being done so often I start to see people taking action that brands them as professional job seekers instead of what they want a job in.

The cliches include:

  • The job loss story post aka “what I learned by losing my job”
  • Asking a crowd of people what three things they are good at (this one I recommend sending through an email and don’t use a template)
  • Sending a resume to new connections on LinkedIn without conversing with them first. (I immediately disconnect from people who do this).
  • Creating a new elevator speech but not considering the audience experience
  • Handing out resumes or business cards without tailoring or connecting
  • Trying to assert credibility by using the words master, guru or ninja
  • The big re-brand post where you get new headshots and make two fresh posts and then disappear
  • Sharing a highly personal story for likes/attention
  • Writing a post about how to find a job or how hard it is to work with recruiters, ATS or tailor resumes
  • Posting your resume on LinkedIn instead of content that shows your expertise
  • Using keywords and #hashtags so often it dilutes the message
  • Talking as if you are bigger than life
  • Emailing or calling people you haven’t spoken to in years and asking for leads.
  • Thinking a recruiter works for you and treating them as less than professionals
  • Sharing other people’s articles and videos without commenting on why
  • Creating content that is on target, looks great, and shows your expertise, but not engaging in other people’s content


How do you convey love, interest, and deep expertise in your job search?

The greatest gift for modern job search is the use of keywords and these marketing basics:
  • use their words
  • give examples of your work — tell stories
  • back up the works with the right titles and references
  • invest in a branding process that helps you get clear on your strategic advantage

These are great marketing basics. You also need to know the purpose of your work — the problem you solve in an organization and why — it can fall flat.

The answer is sincerity.

Look for ways to show love and knowledge for your sector beyond marketing tactics.

When I first started my business, I thought that people would be attracted to working with me because of my knowledge about job search strategies. They are more drawn to the way I show love and excitement for this work.

How do you show this to potential employers…being cautious not to be too excited?

Job search requires keywords, a target, and clear stories. But it also demands the modern job seeker to have a dash of vulnerability.  It requires you to continue to show that you are human looking to make a difference in the world. Make sure you don’t lose that while experimenting with marketing tactics 101.