Good Hunting! (or Resumes, Reach and Rejection – Oh My)

It can be tough for the job hunter – the woods are filled with countless other orange-vested job seekers, all jockeying for position to trap their prey: the elusive creature known as fulfilling employment.  And the longer one spends out in the woods, more cold and alone he or she begins to feel.  But there are steps the job hunter can take to maximize their opportunities.


In the search for a job, camouflage can be a hunter’s best friend – or worst enemy.  Real hunters hide from the senses of their prey – not only sight, but sound and smell too.  And this strategy is obvious during the interview – you shower, dress in a suit and speak politely.  That’s all a given – but what else can the hunter do?

A good hunter can draw in his prey, lure him with bait.  Colorful resumes are still not in fashion, nor is anything too flashy.  A little splash of uniqueness, however, may attract the interest of your prey.  Just as a shiny bauble is a powerful lure for the fisherman, a little style in a well-crafted, accurate resume or cover letter might help attract more interest.  Avoiding Times New Roman, for example, is a good start.  For those a little more ambitious or daring, a more aggressive approach might be in order.

<See more ideas on how to Give Your Resume A Face Lift>

Watch the slide show below to see some good examples of resumes which, while perhaps not appropriate in every corporate environment, might inspire some of you to make your resume or CV just a little more unique.  View Doug’s critique of these resumes at My, What An Impressive Resume You Have.


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<See the complete list of 27 Examples of Impressive  Resume Designs>

Tracking your prey

It is a poor hunter who just fires his shotgun into the woods, hoping to hit something.  As we saw, a good hunter follows any prey they pass, spotting the merest of signs and doggedly following them through to success or failure.  A great hunter knows not only where to seek out those signs, but creates the opportunity to lure their prey to them, having the hunted eating out of the hunter’s outstretched hand.

In this new world of “social” everything, people need to make the most of the relationships they have.  And building new relationships is even more crucial towards landing that right opportunity than ever before. 

Just as hunters seek water holes, job hunters flock to Internet job boards, search engines, and the like.  But animals are skittish around those watering holes – they know something is lurking, waiting for them, so they quickly finish their business and leave.

Animals are much more comfortable in their dens, their nests, and it is ideal to find them there.  It’s even best to domesticate the animals – cooping chickens allows us eggs and the occasional chicken dinner, basically for the cost of feed.  Once you can walk up to animal without startling it then half your work is done.

So go on out – join new clubs, build new relationships with the people you want to work with in the (even near) future.  If you keep looking to the sky to catch a hawk you will miss the deer.  And if you keep your 300 yard stare set for deer you will never find the rabbit holes.

<See some more ideas on 5 Job-Hunting Ideas You Haven’t Tried>

Keep on trying

While the weekend warrior has the luxury of going home after an unsuccessful hunt and standing in front of the barbecue with his store-bought venison, most job hunters would not fall into this category.  We’re hungry.  We’re trying to fill our children’s bellies.  We’re hoping to keep strong, to fend off any trouble which may befall us.

The job hunt is not an orange-vested romp in the woods, but a struggle to survive against the wild elements of the world.  When you’re hungry and your traps are empty, you need to set more.  You have to seek out the source of water, look for the game trails, and make the odds work in your favor.

It’s hard not to get discouraged when night falls, after another day of fruitless searching seemingly for naught.  When your belly is rumbling from another day of nuts and berries, it is doubly important not to lose sight of the end goal – a successful hunt.  Sometimes you need a fire to warm your spirit – take a night off and go to the movies, for example.   Whatever it takes, you need to put forth your best effort again tomorrow – all you can do is learn from your experiences and look forward to the future.

<See some more ideas on Ways to Stay Positive During Your Job Hunt>

Bagging that game

Just as a tired, distracted hunter will undoubtedly err and let his prey escape, so too will the distracted job hunter.  Typos, grammatical errors and poor editing judgments are just the beginning.  A lack of stamina has job hunters forget to customize their resume, or write a passionate, cogent and (most importantly) unique cover letters.  A loss of self-confidence has hunters looking for “easier”game.  But job seekers who set their sights on lower level positions find themselves rooted out by recruiters, who know that more seasoned workers will not be sated by a mere rabbit after having eaten boar.  And those rabbits can be awfully tough to chase down sometimes …

Sometimes we do have to settle for rabbit – and if we are truly starving we will scrounge for grubs, pick nuts and berries, and do whatever else it takes to feed our growling innards.  But there are boar in the woods – and deer, and bear and probably several other animals you might not have even considered.  They are out there and (although I now have to abandon my metaphor – dating really does work best in this situation) this prey actually wants to be caught.  There is an employer out there somewhere who is looking for YOU.  And their own hunt may be wearing thin on them. Be patient.

Once you have found the trail, closed in on your target, and finally locked eyes with your prey, you both know what is about to happen.  Be true to yourself during the job hunt and when the time comes, your aim will be true.


NOTE: No animals were harmed in the writing of this post.  This author has never been hunting and only advocates it in the case of pests (such as certain bosses), for survival (such as certain jobs) or for the sake of humorous metaphor (which absolves most such sins).

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