Traditional job-search approaches just don’t work anymore, and the the new-millennium workplace requires all of us to rewrite the rules and start treating our careers like we’re running a business. Read more about How To Break the Rules And Get the Job You Deserve? By Liz Ryan

Most of us know how bureaucratic processes work. If you want to build a new deck on the back of your house you might have to apply for a permit. You'll have to get the deck-builder to submit some drawings and you'll have to pay a fee and wait for your permit application to wend its way through the approval process, but eventually you'll get your permit or somebody will tell you why your application was rejected. Because we understand how bureaucratic processes work, we approach a job search like we're applying for a building permit -- but a job search doesn't work that way!

You can fill out online job application forms until you're 150 years old. You can wait around forever for somebody to notice your application in the virtual pile but it is highly unlikely that anyone will. You can grow old waiting to hear back from employers when you apply for jobs online. That's because the online job-search process is broken. It's been broken for years. It doesn't work for job-seekers and it doesn't work for hiring managers, either. Even the HR people who staff the loathsome recruiting machine don't like it.

The only reason corporations and institutions don't get rid of their outdated recruiting systems is that HR folks don't have the clout to make it happen. I'm an HR person so I'm allowed to tell the truth about that! You can keep lobbing applications into Black Hole recruiting systems but that won't help you get a job.

You have to try something different to get a job today -- and particularly, to get a good job that deserves your talents. You have to step out of the traditional job-search box and break the traditional job-search rules. That's how you will get a hiring manager's attention and get hired into a job that will use your brain and your heart.

Which Rules Am I Going To Break?

- You'll break the rule that says "You must write a stodgy, boring, traditional resume and stuff it with keywords."

Zombietastic resumes stuffed with keywords are great if you never expect a human being to read your resume -- but if a human being never sees your resume, you are definitely not getting a job! Even people who submit applications into godforsaken Applicant Tracking Systems still hope that a human being eventually sees their application and their resume. You're not going to get an interview unless a living person decides to interview you. That's where the human voice in your resume comes in handy!

- You will also break the rule that says "You must follow whatever instructions an employer includes in their job ads." Let's think about this logically. Why should you follow instructions that appear in a job ad? You don't work for these people yet -- so why are you responsible for following rules written into a job ad that you have no reason to see in the first place?

- Lots of job ads say "You may not contact your hiring manager directly." That's because HR people don't want you to end-run their system. Well, it's too bad for them! If you send a Pain Letter directly to your hiring manager and your hiring manager wants to interview you, they will do it. If there is an HR person who would stop the hiring manager from interviewing you only because you circumvented their broken recruiting machine, then you will have dodged a bullet by working for somebody else instead of that clueless, talent-repelling organization!

- You will break the rule that says "You must brand yourself as a bundle of skills and certifications." You are a living person with a history that is completely yours. You have a personality and a pulse. You've solved a lot of thorny problems in your life and career already. You don't have to brand yourself like a zombie or a robot. You can use your Human-Voiced Resume and your LinkedIn profile to tell your story, in your own voice!

I was an HR SVP for ages. I got sick and tired of reading the same terms over and over. I said to myself "When I have time, I'm going to teach job-seekers to sound like human beings in their resumes." Now that's what I'm doing. 

Writing your Human-Voiced Resume is not only a worthwhile activity because switched-on hiring managers like to read things that as though humans wrote them. Writing your Human-Voiced Resume is also an empowering activity. When you get to write about yourself using human terms instead of dry, dusty "resume terms," your mojo grows!

It is awful to see vibrant, creative people reduced to cliches like "Results-oriented professional with a bottom-line orientation." That doesn't describe you! That awful language doesn't sound anything like you and it doesn't set you apart. You are completely different from every other person, even people whose career paths are similar to yours.

- You're going to break the rule that says "The people you work for will determine the course of your career." That's nonsense! It's your career. Every important decision in your career is your decision to make. You can change careers at any working age. You get to decide what to do next at every point in your career, and you must decide. "Not deciding" is a choice in itself. For too long most of us have been asleep in our careers, wafting along like a person on a raft in a lazy river.

Those days are over! Now we are waking up to our own possibilities. We are realizing that we have to take charge of our own careers. When we take that step, things change:

Your age doesn't matter.

Your background doesn't matter.

Your education doesn't matter.

Why don't these things matter?

If someone thinks you're too old to do a job, you don't want to work for them anyway. Poof! They are off the list. You don't have time to waste with them -- so who cares what they think? If someone doesn't like your background, God bless them. It's not worth a drop of your precious mojo to feel bad or wish they liked you better. They are beneath your notice. They don't deserve your talents.

If somebody thinks you should have gone to a fancier college, they are an idiot and you cannot afford to work for idiots. Only the people who get you, deserve you!

Hiring managers have problems, and you can help them solve those problems, but only if you step out of the traditional box and drive your own career.

P.S. The last point, if your job-search approach is working, stick with it! If it's not working, it might be time for you to step out of the box and try something new!

Source: Linked In by Liz Ryan, Founder and CEO, Human Workplace; Author, "Reinvention Roadmap"​

Photo: The above book, source: Internet,

Published on January 7, 2017

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