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3 Ways to Salvage an Unsuccessful Job Search

If you are unemployed, under-employed or tired of your current employ, you already know that looking for a job can take far longer than anticipated. With the overall market improving (latest government shutdown notwithstanding) job search durations may start to come down, but the feedback I’ve received from my clients is that it still takes a good six to nine months to find the appropriate next step commensurate with the types of incentive packages and compensation mid-career executives and professionals seek. If you happen to be in a rut with your search and looking to jumpstart your effort, below are three ideas to think about that could help.

Salvage an Unsuccessful Job Search (Photo: iStockphoto)

Consider alternative industries
You’ve been in your job ten years in, let’s say, investment banking. You’re tired of it, and looking for something else. You are laser-focused on landing a cushy VP-level role with a brand name private equity or hedge fund. It’s not been going well and taking way longer than you thought. Have you thought about taking your M&A skills in house? OK, fine, you have. But have you thought about applying your negotiation, analytical, deal-making, and client service skills to a pure marketing role? Didn’t think so. There is tremendous demand among younger, less established companies for strong analytical talent and you could come in and flourish right away. You may end up in an obscure industry, but functionally, there would be a strong synergy and you can still do very well.

Evaluate local market opportunities
Think about what industries are thriving in the city or town where you live, or where you potentially want to live, and pursue roles in those areas. If you are job searching in New York, there are many corporate opportunities that come around in finance, consulting, media, advertising, tech, telecom, and start-ups.

Re-brand with a new resume and LinkedIn profile
If a job search just isn’t going well, maybe it’s your personal marketing strategy. Your traditional resume may not be performing the way you want and it’s time to re-brand. Understand that your online presence is now equally as important to remain up-to-date and you need a strong LinkedIn profile to get noticed by recruiters. Invest the time and resources that will present you in the best light, and be assured that if you are a professional, you are not alone. It’s pretty much the default these days for busy, successful professionals like you to outsource production of a new resume to an experienced professional or advisor.

Debra Wheatman is a certified writer and career coach who has guided the professional development of thousands of clients globally. She is reachable at

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