Career Search • Career Development • Career Management

Robert W. Ridel, Ph.D.
25+ years experience

Contact for a complimentary





Sales & Marketing


RWR Consulting, Inc.

Portland, Oregon
Lake Oswego, Orego

Career searches are difficult at best – and at worst, are enough to make you stark-raving mad. Hiring managers don't return phone calls. Internet sites won't permit submission of documents. Recruiters don't post positions and are completely sequestered from candidates. Stark-raving mad, indeed.

However, no matter how daunting and challenging the process is – you have no alternative except to proceed through it. Drifting into a malaise isn't a viable option. Nor is giving up and hoisting a flag of surrender. Not at all. Best to be focused, motivated, and confident. Most important, you need to become informed about what searches actually entail and how to excel when engaged in them.

There are 4 primary components that define career searches. They are as follows: (1) diversify the search; (2) produce superior marketing documents; (3) penetrate the private market; and (4) prepare for interviews. Other components are involved, of course, but these 4 represent the primary focus areas associated with career searches – for any position, level, or industry.

The operative question is: How close are you to your "A game" on each of the components? My guess – not very or, more optimistically stated, not as close as you need to be.

Let's briefly discuss each in turn:

Diversify the Search:

Your search will probably be limited in scope – focusing too much attention on your proverbial dream job. Yes – I know. You want to remain in IT or sales and marketing. There's no way you're ever going to leave telecom or healthcare. Depart finance or public relations? What – are you crazy? Pulling an impacted tooth or rooting for the Yankees would be easier to do. But diversify you must, especially during difficult economic times. Remain too focused and you'll place your candidacy in harm's way.

Produce Superior Marketing Documents:

Your marketing documents will probably be weak – reading like mass produced, uninspiring templates. Even though career searches are uncertain, one thing is absolutely clear – you'll need powerful marketing documents to announce your candidacy to the marketplace. No doubt about it. You know that to be true. Now ask yourself this important question: Do your marketing documents stack up with and beat the competition? They better – because your career search will depend on it.

Penetrate the Private Market:

Your search will probably involve spending too much time on the Internet – and not enough effort spent networking. Easy, isn't it? Just plop in front of the computer and apply for dozens (hundreds?) of positions. But did you know that few (4% – 6%) are actually landed through the Internet? As sobering, consider that millions of people are searching the Internet for positions at this precise moment. Yes – millions. How do you compete against those odds? In a word, network.

Prepare for Interviews:


Your interviewing skills will probably be less than stellar –  sealing your fate not as the selected candidate but as an "also-ran." Sorry to be the purveyor of unwelcome news – but, inflated perceptions aside, you’re probably not the powerful communicator you think you are. Oh –  you might be good, but good might not be good enough. Today's marketplace, defined by fierce competition, demands nothing less than being interactionally "perfect." And perfect nobody is.