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Q. After this layoff, my self esteem is shot. No one is calling me, and I am not making it past applications. I only see what I don’t have that employers want. Isn’t there an easier way to get a job?

A. The job search process typically involves some rejection, so try to depersonalize it, and look at yourself as a sales person. Sales may not be the career you want, but you are on a journey to sell yourself and your skills.

Many people ask about the easiest way to find a job. The key is to get focused and the best way to do this is to develop a job search strategy. Things to think about:


You are the product. Define what you offer. What are your strengths? What are the successes you are most proud of?

Target. Everyone selling a product or service has to identify potential buyers. Have you created the target list of organizations you are interested in working for?

Market. Develop written materials. You’ll need a resume that speaks to hiring people at the organizations you have targeted. You’ll need a template of a cover letter that lets you customize it for each new opportunity. And make sure you have a new picture on your LinkedIn profile so people can find you.

Obstacles. All job seekers have obstacles. No degree, too much experience, too little experience, not exactly the right experience. Whatever your obstacle, understand why potential employers think it matters. Then, develop reasons why it doesn’t matter as much as they think. Emphasize the skills and experience that you have that will matter more to their organization.

Sales team. Build your sales team. You need to reach out and enlist supporters who might help you identify opportunities, introduce you to new people, and buoy your spirits. Give each of them a copy of the target list you developed earlier.


Take note of every positive interaction, and keep your activity level consistent and high.

Elaine Varelas is managing partner at Keystone Partners,
a career management firm in Boston and serves on the board of Career Partners International.