Q. I am a graphic designer with 10 years of experience and have applied for 119 jobs since moving to Massachusetts on June 3. I have had zero interviews. I tried doing some follow-up phone calls, but those only resulted in rude “They’ll call you if interested” replies or instances where I had to leave a message. No one ever calls back.
Please keep in mind that I only apply for jobs for which I am more than 95 percent qualified. What am I doing wrong?
A. Your job hunt strategy is a popular one. As you have discovered though, it is probably not the most effective.
Your approach can sometimes be successful with luck and in a strong economy, but in this job market, I would revise your search strategy immediately.
Here is what I would suggest:
Develop a LinkedIn profile. Several years ago, Boston.com published a great “How to use LinkedIn” article. (www.boston.com/jobs/bighelp2009/september/articles/linkedin_tips/)
Use LinkedIn every day to expand your network. Join LinkedIn groups that are affiliated with your profession and desired geographic location.
Network, network, and then network some more. Connections lead to job opportunities. Friends, neighbors, and co-workers should all know you are looking for a new opportunity.
Attend networking events in the area.
Consider a meetup group. Visit www.meetup.com.
Connect with an employment agency with expertise in the placement of graphic designers.
Don’t dismiss contract or temporary opportunities. These opportunities often lead to longer term, full-time roles.
Never say no to an introduction. If a friend refers you to a former colleague who runs a marketing agency, meet that person.
It does not matter whether they have an appropriate opening. They may know of an opportunity or put you in touch with another colleague who is hiring.
Finally, firing off resumes to online postings should be one part of your job search strategy. However, developing contacts should be the focus of your job search.