The Job Search Marathon

One of the biggest misconceptions by candidates that I’ve seen in my years as a job search coach is that they do not view the job search process as a competition. Many of the candidates that come to me for the first time are content to send out their resumes, and wait for a response.

What they don’t realize is that they are not the only one putting out their resumes for those same positions. According to, for every one position a company opens, an employer will receive, on average, 75 resumes. With all that paper, not to mention the contacts and keywords to swim through, it is very easy for a potential hire’s information to get lost in that shuffle.

Job search is absolutely a competition! One of the quickest ways a candidate can jump from being a resume to being a hire is by being proactive in a job search. Think of it as a marathon: everyone starts at the starting line; the point where you consider applying for the job. One the shot fires, everyone starts. And, ultimately, there can be only one winner.

What makes the difference between the candidate who finishes first and the one who finishes in the middle of the pack? How they train for the marathon is a big step: you can’t go straight from the couch to the marathon. Why would one try the same for a job search? Further, think of what a marathon runner goes through when training: their diet changes, and their exercise routine gets more focused. So should a job seeker make similar changes to how their resume plays to the needs of the employer, and focus on how to get connected to the companies they want to be at.

By looking at the job search like a competition, a candidate can easily go from being glazed over to being a star candidate. And that perspective adjustment can mean the difference between accepting the job one wants, and merely accepting a job.

This entry was posted in Interviewing, Job Search, Networking, Resume Tips and tagged , , , , , by jworthington. Bookmark the permalink.

About jworthington

Jeremy Worthington provides a life-long association with job search tools and strategies complemented with a Bachelors in Human Resources, Associates in Business Management and practical experience in corporate and government arenas. This background has contributed to the success of a nationally recognized and greatly respected career coaching firm. Employing his talents for capturing reader attention and commitment to a candidate’s competitive edge has facilitated numerous interviewing and hiring opportunities in all backgrounds and levels throughout numerous industries. Understanding and capitalizing on previous, current and future job markets provides him with the insight needed to guide candidates through résumé preparation, strategic allocation, and performance interviews.

2 thoughts on “The Job Search Marathon

  1. Excellent post. I tend to look at “job search” as an element of career planning and management, as opposed to something we do when we are in transition or decide we need to move on to a new position. We need job search skills just as much as we need the day to day skills we use in our jobs.

    Given volatility in the economy and organizations, it is probable that we will all unexpectedly find ourselves in a position where we need to execute an effective job search. The only way to do this is to exercise job search activities on a fairly regular basis through networking, keeping the resume’ up to date, and adding capabilities to our personal portfolios.

    Hence, the “marathon”. “Job search” is not a periodic activity; it is a component of overall career management.

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