Job Search Mistakes: Putting all your eggs in the Job Board Basket

Trying to land a job just through responding to job board advertising

Why do so many candidates focus their energy around responding to job board advertising. Here’s a great quote from an article I recently read:

“It’s a crap shoot at best, with success rates of landing jobs running at about 2-4%. Compare that to a success rate of over 60% for ‘word-of-mouth’ referrals.”

The article comes from a guest posting discussing 3 job search mistakes by former recruiter David Alan Carter. Everyone makes mistakes. That’s just part of being human. But if you’re in between jobs, you can ill afford too many of them.


80-90 percent of the jobs available – especially at the executive level are HIDDEN! They are never advertised on job boards. The only way to uncover them is through referrals of your network. If you’re building a powerful job search network capable of generating an abundance of job leads and referrals, you’re doomed to a CRAPSHOOT in your job search.


What’s your next step?

 Barry Deutsch

To see the full article, please go to

Are You Blundering Through Your Job Search?

How to blunder your way through an executive job search

This blog post by Eliott Lasson in the Baltimore Business Journal triggered an observation I’ve been thinking about during this depressing job market.

Most of the executive job search candidates I come across appear to be “blundering” OR “stumbling their way through a job search. I’m not surprised it’s taking the average executive over a year to find a new opportunity. When are you going to stop the blundering and start using job search best practices.

Wait – do you even know what are the top ten job search best practices? If not, how do you plan to learn them?

Or, do you prefer to muddle through your job search in a state that Steve Covey called being “unconsciously incompetent?”

Although Elliot’s article focused on young graduates, the same concepts apply for more experienced executives. Here’s a comment Elliot made about resumes that I find are a major source of blunders:


Always have a resume that is good-to-go to include in your email or promptly forward after a phone call. A turn-off is a resume with spelling errors and spacing issues. It is always a good idea to have some sort of objective at the top as to what you are looking for. The resume should not be over-the-top for where you are at in life, whether educationally or professionally. Make sure to list your technical skills with software, systems, and professionally relevant social media. Just saying non-descriptive terms like “proficient in Microsoft Office” might be construed as “I have a 5th grade literacy level.”

Your move – what are you going to do right now to put your job search back in effective mode and land a great opportunity in 90 days?

Barry Deutsch

Have you test-driven our Job Search Workbook – This is NOT the Position I Accepted

To read the full article by Eliott Lasson, please click below:

Top 5 job search and networking mistakes of the young — and not so young – Baltimore Business Journal.

Is Your Job Search Updated For This Decade?

Impaled By Your Downward Trend of Job Search Effectiveness

Robyn Greenspan published a recent article on Huffington Post about what has changed over the last 6 plus years for executive job search.

A lot has changed. Brad and I find that most executives are STILL conducting their job search like it was the mid-90s. That doesn’t work any longer for conducting an effective job search. How are you using new techniques, best practices, social media, and other tools to work your job search that you didn’t use 6 or more years ago?

Here’s an excerpt from her article:


What has changed in the 6-and-a-half years since their last job search? Here are the problems job seekers recently told ExecuNet they were encountering, and our solutions to mitigate them:

Not enough opportunities found at their level – This complaint is not surprising since the large majority of $200K positions are not openly posted, for fear that the recruiter will be inundated with unqualified résumés. Use job boards to research companies, but use your network to find and create roles.

Taking longer to land – You can easily shorten your transition time if you are in a perpetual state of career management. C-level executives always have an eye out for the next business partnership opportunity and so should the professional who is effectively managing his or her career.

Available positions are put on hold – “On hold” does not necessarily mean “eliminated” so stay connected to the recruiter/hiring manager and ensure they continue to see you as the solution to their problems. That doesn’t mean regularly checking in to see if the position has been re-opened; instead keep them apprised with market trends and relevant information.

Recruiters are not returning calls – Friends and acquaintances generally return calls; people you call out of the blue for jobs, might not. Establish relationships with recruiters well before you need something.

No multiple offers to consider – Just over half of the ExecuNet-surveyed executive recruiters reported that candidates had more than one offer to consider, up from 35 percent in 2010. Adjust your job search activities to reflect contemporary conditions and you might have more options, too.


What are you doing different in this job search vs. the last one you did over 6 years ago?

Barry Deutsch

If you would like to read the full article, please click the link below:

Robyn Greenspan: How to Update Your Job Search Strategy to Land Faster.

Short Video for KABC Radio Job Search Program

Job Search Radio Program

Here’s a little promo clip for the KABC Radio Los Angeles broadcast on Job Search January 16, 2011 from 3-5 pm PST.  The pre-recorded show will air on the Los Angeles Station and be syndicated to other ABC Radio affiliates across the country.

Once the show airs, you can download it from the KABC radio station or their iTunes Podcast Listing.

Great panel – great discussion – great questions (okay I’m biased since I participated). It’s still an excellent program that all job seekers should tune into.

This segment was about whether the job market is starting to come back with observations at all levels of employment trends.

Barry Deutsch

Work Ethic: What is it and do you have it?

Hard Work Ahead Sign

Sabbatical from Writing About Job Search

Brad and I are back after a month-long sabbatical where we’ve been working our hearts out preparing for 2011. We’ve got so many initiatives underway, including a couple of new e-books, an entire on-line learning university, a job board for $100k plus job seekers.

A lot of people tend to think of December as a down month, a month to kick back, relax, take time off, not work very hard. For Brad and I, this was a very busy December and we’re excited about the job market and hiring possibilities in 2011.

What is Hard Work?

Onto the real blog subject – what is hard work?

Candidates claim they have a high work ethic.

Employers desire candidates with a high work ethic.

Why do I want to tackle this subject? It came up in conversation with my girls HS basketball team the other day. We were discussing why we win sometimes and why we lose.

I told the girls that most of the teams we play are evenly matched with us in skill. Sometimes we win because we play with a higher work ethic than our opponents, and conversely sometimes we lose because we have a lower work ethic than our competitors on the basketball court.

Is Hard Work the same as Work Ethic?

How do I define work ethic – I define it as outworking those around you. Those around you could be your co-workers, your teammates, the opposing team, a project team – any group of people who are competing with you for attention, rewards, recognition, influence, promotions, more money, more playing time, etc.

Many of these other people are smarter than you. It doesn’t matter. In the end, outworking others will usually trump pure intelligence and educational background every time. It’s not what you bring to the table in a game or at work – it’s how you apply it in getting results.

Usually the people who have a high work ethic, or who outwork their peers have a variety of traits that support and reinforce their ability to outwork everyone around them. These traits include being proactive, showing initiative, working longer hours, being the first one to turn on the lights in the morning, and the one who turns the lights out at night, doing more than you’re asked to do, going the extra mile, anticipating what needs to be done, and bouncing back from set-backs and adversity with renewed energy.

Who works hard and who doesn’t?

I’m going to suggest that less than 5% of the population has a high work ethic or demonstrated ability/desire to outwork those around them. I’m not referring to workaholics nor am I referring to compulsive disorders. These top achievers simply work harder than everybody else.

The other 95% of the population is satisfied or complacent with being average or mediocre.

A few tough questions about working hard

Where are you on the spectrum from complacent to “outwork everyone”?

Could you offer examples and illustrations in an interview to demonstrate how your work ethic/ability to outwork others – is head and shoulders above your peers? Do you stand a chance of getting a job in a tight job market if you can’t demonstrate these traits?

Perhaps this blog has challenged your conventional thinking about the term work ethic – where most people associate work ethic with the willingness to work long hours – which is a small element of outworking other people.

Who is your role model for outworking others?

Barry Deutsch

Name 100 Job Search Activities

Light up your idea lightbulb with 100 job search ideas to start conducting an effective job search

Here’s my throw-down challenge to all job seekers:

Make a list of 100 job search activities you could be doing – but are not doing now in your job search. If you’re doing 2 things in your job search, what are the 98 other ideas out there as best practices, strategies, and tactics?

Are you stuck at 10?

Perhaps, you couldn’t list 25.

There are hundreds of things that need to be done in a job search to make it effective. If you’re not working on at least 100 separate tasks or activities, you’re probably doomed to fail in your job search.

Let’s define job search failure:

  • It’s taking way too long for you to find a new job
  • You have no light at the end of the tunnel other than to cross your fingers and hope for the best
  • You’re about to take any job – just to have a job – who cares if it’s a good job?
  • The last real interview to which you were invited was over 2 months ago.
  • You’re doing the same thing over and over – hoping for different results (Benjamin Franklin’s Definition of Insanity).

I challenge you to post your list in the comments to this blog posting. Let’s run a contest. We will give away a FREE copy of our Job Search Book, “This is NOT the Position I Accepted” to the first job seeker that can list 100 separate job search activities that everyone should be working on to conduct an effective job search.

One job search activity most people don’t do is prepare for a phone interview. The vast majority of candidates never make it past the initial phone interview. How can you do all the painful tasks leading up to a phone interview – and then blow it because you were not prepared.

One of our most popular downloads is the FREE Chapter of our book, titled “How to ACE the phone interview”. I insist every candidate I interview read that chapter before I talk with them about one of my executive search openings. This chapter should at least double the percentage of times you get invited to a face-to-face interview from the initial phone interview. You can obtain the FREE Chapter on Phone Interviewing by clicking here.

Barry Deutsch

Why You Must Use a Job Search Coach

A job search coach can guide you through an effective job search

I received a note from one of our LinkedIn Job Search Discussion Group members today. By the way, if you’re not currently a member of our popular LinkedIn Discussion Group, you can join by clicking this link. He posed a great question after reading my latest blog postings on why it’s important to have an executive job search coach.

You can read the previous blog post on job search coaching by clicking the link here.

Here’s the question that was posed in the LinkedIn Discussion Group:

Just curious, what specifically could a job search coach instruct a talented executive to do that they don’t already know how to do themselves? Maybe the talent level of the executive plays a big part!

I’m going to assume that I did a terrible job making the point in my blog posting that in most cases, executives need a job search coach to help them conduct an effective job search.

Here’s my first recommendation (which by the way I suggested in the previous blog article):

Take our FREE 8-point self-assessment of your job search. If you can’t score in the upper levels consistently on every single item – you’re a candidate for job search coaching. You can download the FREE job search self-assessment by clicking here.

Let’s now assume you’ve taken the assessment and like most executives, your job search is only about 40-60% effective. This translates into the fact that if you had conducted an effective job search in the first place, you could have found a role most likely in 6 months – instead it’s now a year later and you find yourself back at square one with no real prospects.

What Can a Job Search Coach Do For YOU?

The next step is to determine if a job search coach can do something for you that you can’t do for yourself. A job search coach (such as the work Brad and I do with executives) can help in two fundamental ways:

  1. The job search coach can provide specific recommendations, techniques, and strategies that you are either not aware of OR are not effectively executing.
  2. The job search coach can hold you accountable to the multitude of job search tasks that must be completed daily and weekly to find a great opportunity quickly.

Let’s take a specific example to bring the dialogue down from 40,000 feet at a generic level to a precise illustration. This example is one tiny element of an overall effective job search:

One of the many tasks I do with my clients in job search coaching is to review the capability of their existing network to generate an abundance of job leads and referrals. One tiny element of this assessment/evaluation and improvement involves breaking down all your network contacts that you track (in ACT, Outlook, Goldmine, LinkedIn) and putting them in specific buckets.

Trusted Advisors as Networking Contacts

Let’s zoom down and get more specific in terms of one of the buckets or categories:

Trusted Advisors selling services to your future boss.

These Trusted Advisors are high level professionals who have a deep trust level with their clients – and their clients share lots of information, make requests, give and receive referrals in areas that have nothing to do with the Trusted Advisors’ functional expertise.

Why are Trusted Advisors an important networking contact “bucket” or category for executive job seekers?

Keep in mind that the hidden job market is roughly somewhere between 70-85% of all executive jobs (depending on where you get your information). At a minimum, 70% of all jobs you might be interested in are NOT published on job boards or advertised in the newspaper. Imagine what happens the next time a Trusted Advisor calls on a CFO and the CFO says “We’re looking at hiring a controller, who do you know?”

You want to be that referral.

Before that referral to you gets made, there are many steps to go through – including being able to identify the Trusted Advisor in the first place.

Unfortunately, less than 10% of all professional service providers could be tagged as a Trusted Advisor.

One of my tasks as a job search coach is to help guide you to identify the majority of trusted advisors in your geographic area that are selling services to your future boss. We’re just talking identification at this stage – we haven’t even moved to discussing the process of introduction, engagement, nurturing, and generating job leads and referrals from this specific networking “bucket” or category.

If I am a Trusted Advisor working for a payroll processing company and I suggest to the CFO that he/she should speak with you about their current controller opening – you’ve got an instant interview based on the strength of that Trusted Advisor Relationship. That’s the value of networking with not just anyone who sells services to CFOs – but rather networking with those who have the added credibility of being a Trusted Advisor.

I see from looking at your profile that you are a Controller. Let’s assume one of the titles for your future boss will be CFO. Who in your city or community sells payroll processing services to CFOs at the size of company you might be interested in joining? Now let’s expand our list to who are the top trusted advisors selling benefit programs, 401K processing services, temporary accounting services, CPA (tax and accounting/auditing) services, banking professionals? The list probably has 20-25 categories. You should have in your network the top 3 people for EACH of those categories.

The Value of a Job Search Coach

So, now let’s return to “what’s the value of a job search coach?”  Here come some tough and introspective questions:

  • Have you done this assessment of your network for trusted advisors?
  • Have you made dramatic gains over the last 30 days in adding to your network these trusted advisors?
  • Do you have the 60-75 trusted advisors in your network that are selling high level services directly to CFOs?
  • Could you build this component of your network on your own within the next 30-60 days?
  • Have you gone through an exercise to identify who the very best, well connected, influencers are in your local community selling services/products to CFOs?
  • Who is missing from this bucket of network contacts?
  • What’s your precise strategy to connect, engage, nurture them – and ultimately get them to open up their rolodex to you for job leads and referrals?
  • Could you come up with a detailed plan to connect, engage, and generate numerous hot referrals on your own from Trusted Advisors?
  • Have you even thought about how this is one of numerous high value activities and tactics in your job search?
  • Do you have a specific written plan that you follow daily/weekly to build the “trusted advisor” bucket of your network?
  • Have you established metrics to measure the effectiveness of this networking strategy and do you have corrective options and back-up plans?
  • Have you established daily and weekly “stretch” goals for yourself around building your network with trusted advisors?
  • Who is holding you accountable to hitting those goals and objectives every week? What’s the pressure, consequence, reprimand if don’t hit the goals. Do you have someone giving you “tough love?”

That’s a lot of detail and work to build your Trusted Advisor Network – and it’s only one small component of an overall effective job search.

Imagine a job search coach walking you step-by-step through hundreds of similar activities, tactics, and strategies.

The number one problem in whether to use a job search coach, such as myself or Brad, is that most executive job search candidates are “unconsciously incompetent” (see my previous blog posting on this subject by clicking the link here) – you don’t know what you should be doing to conduct an effective job search.

I would be willing to wager a bet that most executive job search candidates have not even considered this as a strategy, or if they have – there is confusion over how to get started (unconsciously incompetent).

How many other powerful and impactful job search strategies are you MISSING because you’re too proud to admit that maybe someone with the right expertise could offer a lot of value to you?

I couldn’t pretend for a moment that I could do your job as a Controller – why would you believe that you could do the job of an expert in the area of job search coaching?

I don’t mean for this to turn into a personal selling message. Whether it’s me, Brad, or some other job search coach – the key point I would like to end this message on is that for most executives it is critical to hire a job search coach to help you navigate the changing job search landscape in one of the worst job markets since the great depression.

Barry Deutsch

Why is hiring a job search coach so unusual for most executive job seekers?

Could an Executive Job Search Coach help you to reduce your job search timeframe by 50% or more?

As I mentioned in a previous post, I just presented to one of the largest gatherings of job seekers in the Los Angeles area. The program was sponsored by the Catholic Arch Diocese and Interfaith Council.

Thousands of job seekers showed up who were desperate, not sure what to do next, and had been our of work for 6-12 months or more.

I don’t know about you – but I couldn’t handle being out of work for a year – and the bad news is that the job market will likely stagnate or get worse before it starts to turn around. It’s likely to be a year or more before we see a significant improvement in the job market.

Difference for coached/non-coached job seekers

This morning I started to think about what is one of the key differences between the executives I’m coaching in their job search, and those who showed up for the job search conference titled HOPE WORKS!

The key difference is that the job seekers I’m working with are getting coaching and the others are not. Allow me to be more specific:

Almost every executive candidate we have agreed to take on to conduct job search coaching has found a job within 90 days. By the 30 day mark, they are getting numerous leads, referrals, and interviews scheduled. In addition to real job opportunities, they are typically deluged with temporary and consulting opportunities. By the 60 day mark, they have a continuous stream of abundant job leads, referrals and opportunities. Their pipeline is full to the point of overflowing and they are overwhelmed with the response from their expanding network.

These candidates who are being coached have hundreds of job search tasks and activities and the combination of all those best practices is yielding great outcomes.

Conversely, the candidates not using coaching are floundering, frustrated, and not sure what to do next. Many have actually lost hope and have taken themselves off the job market.

Why are you not using job search coaching?

So, why are you not using coaching to help you in your job search?

I don’t mean the soft kind of career coaching that helps you figure out what you want to be when you grow up – I’m talking about the nitty-gritty, hardcore, focused effort around finding a great job in your specific niche.

You’ll invest in coaching for your kids piano lessons, baseball, basketball, and math tutoring – but you’re unwilling to invest in yourself to find a great job quickly.

I don’t get it.

I don’t see the logic.

Many of you might say “I can’t afford job search coaching”

Keep in mind the cost of effective job search coaching is inconsequential compared to the lost income of not being employed for another 6-12 months.

Let’s break it down into simple math. Let’s assume you earn $120k per year. If you go another 6-12 months without landing a job – which is very likely unless you’re generating at least 2-3 interviews a week right now – you’re going to be out-of-pocket $60-$120k in savings. Can you afford to do that?

What would you invest in yourself if you could cut that time in half and save $30-$60k?

It’s nothing more than a cost/benefit equation.

Okay – there is one huge issue bigger than the cost – picking a coach that has the proven ability to help you find a job within 3-6 months at the executive level.

Most job search coaches are useless – they don’t understand the process of networking, leveraging social media, blitzing an opening, having multiple strategies, and circumventing HR and recruiters to get to the hiring manager. As one example, most job search coaches tell you that it’s important to network, but they can’t walk you through step-by-step the 50 different things you have to do to generate an abundance of job leads and referrals.

Has this been your experience or frustration?

Self-Assessment of your job search

If you would like to see firsthand the value of good job search coaching, take our FREE Job Search Plan Assessment which you can download by clicking here. If you’re not hitting in the top 90% on your self-assessment, you desperately need job search coaching to accelerate and improve your job search plan. If your current job search coach is NOT covering everyone one of these issues, it’s time to make a change.

EVERY SINGLE DAY that goes by in which you don’t substantially improve your job search techniques, strategies, and tactics – means that you can basically add another week to the length of your job search. For example, if you HAVE NOT made huge leaps forward in your job search over the last 5 days, you can count on your job search taking another week tacked on to the end of 6, 12, or 18 months.

How many weeks are you going to add onto your job search, before you decide to invest in yourself like your parents did when they hired coaches/tutors for you when you were young, or like what you do now with your children.


STOP being in denial about how hard it is to conduct a job search!

STOP thinking you have all the knowledge to conduct an effective job search!

STOP thinking you have the internal discipline to stay focused on conducting an effective job search all by yourself!

STOP thinking in terms of fees for a job search coach, and start thinking about minimizing your lost income!

If you’re seeking a $100k or above level job, you owe it to yourself to find a great job search coach and immediately cut in half the time it’s going to take to find an outstanding career opportunity.

Barry Deutsch

PS – Once again, you can download the FREE Job Search Self-Assessment by clicking this link. If you’re not conducting an effective job search, perhaps now is the time to consider investing in a job search coach before you waste another 2-3 months.

Are You Unconsciously Incompetent In Your Job Search?


Recently, I was the keynote speaker for a large job search conference where there were roughly 1000 participants who had been trying to find a job for 6 months to a year or longer.

Very few job seekers in the entire conference were conducting an effective job search, and many had lost hope in terms of finding a new job.

The theme of the job search conference was JOB SEARCH HOPE. My opening remarks were along the path that HOPE comes from conducting an effective job search. A lack of HOPE stems from not knowing what to do next in your job search.

I proposed to the attendees that there are hundreds of job search activities that everyone should be working on daily and weekly in their job search. Unfortunately, many of the participants were stuck with one or two activities, such as calling on a couple of network contacts or answering job board ads. Many had put their proverbial “job search in one basket”. Have you made this mistake?

Why didn’t they know about all the other job search activities that could be doing – activities that would overflow their daily capacity and generate an abundance of job leads and referrals.

I call this the job search unconsciously incompetent syndrome.

If you’re a fan of Steven Covey, you’ll recall he puts forth a 2×2 matrix in “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”. In this 2×2 matrix, Covey puts Consciousness-Unconsciousness on one axis and Competency-Incompetency on the other.

One of the intersections is the Unconsciously Incompetent – translated to a job search – it means the job seeker is not aware that they are incompetent – they don’t know what else is available, possible, or useful. How can this be?

The job seeker has not taken the time to:

  • Research best practices in job search
  • Read job search blogs from well-known experts
  • Purchase job search books from outstanding authors
  • Download FREE materials from job search publishers

I’m confused.

Maybe you could help me.

Why wouldn’t you devote every opportunity possible to exploring how to conduct a better job search?

Most job seekers are still conducting their job search as if it’s the last recession 5-10-20 years ago.

Why do most job seekers believe they can “go it alone”, they don’t no stinking help from someone else, or “no one can teach them new tricks”?

I am shocked to my core, that most job seekers are unconsciously incompetent in their job search – in spite of extraordinary material available that is either dirt cheap or FREE. Much of this material could help the vast majority of job seekers to cut their job search time by 10%, 25%, or perhaps even, 50%.

I’m looking for your comments to help me understand this dysfunctional syndrome of ineffective job search.

I’ll close with this thought – until you make the committed effort to “master” a job search through learning what it takes to conduct an effective job search – you’ll be stuck between luck and wishful thinking.

Barry Deutsch

PS – Start to improve your job search right NOW by downloading our FREE self-assessment to determine the effectiveness of your job search. Within 4-5 minutes, you’ll have a deep understanding of where the holes, problems, and opportunities lie in your job search.

Do You Get Mistreated By Employers as a Job Applicant?

As a candidate do you NOT get any respect from employers?

Does the process of applying for a job feel like you’re trapped in a Rodney Dangerfield Comedy Skit?

I ran a recent blog article on Hire and Retain Top Talent Blog raising the question of whether hiring managers and human resource staff “mistreat” job applicants. The response was an overwhelming admission of guilt.

This blog article was sparked by a post I read on the About.Com Human Resources Blog. The primary point that the blog author, Susan Heathfield,  makes in her post, is that candidates deserve a response and they deserve the right to know where they stand in your hiring process. They especially deserve the right to know on a timely basis if you reject them.

I am amazed at the number of employers who don’t have the courtesy to tell applicants they didn’t get the job, employers who are rude and inconsiderate to potential future employees during the interview process, and employers who are not responsive in returning emails or phone calls to applicants.

Have employers lost their manners?

Do employers feel a sense of superiority in that they can get away with mistreating job applicants in this job market recession?

Have a large percentage of employers simply forgotten the golden rule of dealing with people “Do unto others as…”

When you can’t get an employer to call you back after they’ve conducted a phone or face-to-face interview,

What’s your worst horror story of being mistreated by employers – either the hiring manager or someone on the HR staff?

After the “mistreatment” how did you feel about the company? What were the words you used to describe this employer to your your friends and business contacts?

Barry Deutsch

If you’ve not downloaded a few of our FREE Job Search Audio Programs recorded off our live Internet Radio Show, now might be the time to find a tip or two to help in your job search.