Article by:Lou Adler

Caution: these rules on “How to Get Your Dream Job” are not for the faint-at-heart, or for those who want to pretend they’re working hard to find a new job. However, read on if you’re serious about getting a new job, a better job, or jump-starting your career.

Rule 1: Do not spend more than 20% of your time sending your resume to a recruiter or applying directly to a job posting. Only do this if you’re a perfect fit for what’s listed, or you’ve been referred to the recruiter.

Rule 2: Condense your whole career onto five 3X5 cards. On the front of each card describe a different core strength using a a short action statement for each. On the back of each card prove the front statement with a specific example, including all of the details to back it up.

Rule 3: Make sure someone looking at your LinkedIn profile or resume can find your five core strengths/accomplishments in 10 seconds. Build your LinkedIn profile and resume around the five core strengths from Rule 2. To see if it’s working, have someone look at your resume for 10 seconds and circle what they see.

You only have 10 seconds for someone to decide if they’ll read your resume or LinkedIn profile in any depth, so keep on redoing your resume and profile until these five strengths stand out.

Rule 4: Find five people who can vouch for your performance. Start with one if you don’t have five, but meet this person and review your new resume or your LinkedIn profile and have them do the 10-second test. Then ask this person to recommend you to 2-3 other people who might be connected to companies who are hiring people just like you. Then meet with these people and ask them to recommend you to 2-3 of their connections. Don’t stop doing this until you get another job. You should be spending at least 60% of your time on networking like this.

Rule 5: Never, ever say you don’t have any weaknesses. This means you’ve stopped growing. Take two more 3X5 cards, and on the front of each describe a weakness you’ve been able to correct or control, and on the back provide the details and the action you are taking to remedy it.

Rule 6: Constantly improve. The top 25% are always getting better. This gives them the confidence to follow Rule 8 during the interview. If you’re one of the legions of the long-term unemployed, you can overcome the stigma and prove you’re a worthy candidate by showing the actions you are taking to improve yourself..

Rule 7: Use the back door when you find a job of interest. When you find a job that seems interesting, but you’re not a perfect fit, don’t apply directly. Instead kick your networking into overdrive and find someone you’ve connected to in Rule 4 who can connect you to the hiring manager or someone in the company.

Rule 8: Make sure you’re accurately assessed. Don’t assume that the interviewer is competent to accurately assess you. If you feel the process is going in the wrong direction, take the initiative.

Rule 9: Be different. Don’t knock on the back door empty-handed. Give the referer something tangible to demonstrate that you’re a worthy candidate. This could be a YouTube video clip, article, pice of design, etc…

Rule 10: Prove you’re worthy. One idea, find someone who has a problem you can solve and tell them how you’d solve it. Then offer to solve it in exchange for an interview or a temp job. From a big picture standpoint, use the job-seeking and interviewing process to demonstrate your performance and potential.  Note: this could be the most important rule of them all.

The problem with getting a job today is the impersonal nature of it all, skills-infested and poorly written job descriptions, few competent interviewers, the use of auto-screening and pre-hire assessments, and the fact that most corporate recruiters are handling 20-25 open jobs at any one time. Despite all this, your job is to make it personal. That’s how you’ll win your own war for talent.

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via Job Seekers: How to Win Your Own War for Talent | LinkedIn.