Job Hunting Tips from the Perpetually Unemployed.


I am a consultant. I have to create a job for myself each and every day.  In many ways I am perpetually unemployed. Like a Shark who never sleeps. I often speak to transition groups and am one of the Cofounders of Laguna Niguel Connectors. I meet lots and lots of people in transition.

As a marketer I see many of them pursuing a number of futile job hunting marketing tactics. Yes you market yourself into a job and marketing is a science.

During my advertising career I spent a lot of time being a New Business person. I am a Hunter. There are a lot of similarities between New Business hunting and Job Hunting.

In the pursuit of New Business many agencies waste a lot of time and efforts. They pursue resource depleting activity based on reasoning no greater than “Let’s just give it a shot.” Chasing wishful thinking and low probability opportunities is folly in New Business and the same thing is true with job hunting.

You may not feel like you are busy while you are in transition but remember there is only so much time and low probability job hunting is a waste of that precious resource.

I see a lot of people applying for square peg jobs when they are round pegs. Waste of time. If you are a sales person don’t apply for marketing jobs. Close only counts in curling. If you are a client person don’t apply for agency jobs and vice versa. If the position is with a digital agency and your digital experience is your Facebook page why apply?

Leave a low carbon footprint in futile job pursuit.

This is 2015, and we’re still in a recession. Yet people still hand me cards with scratched out contact info. That is worst than soup on your interview tie. Or they have no cards. They might as well be invisible. How will people remember them?

If you want to chase jobs in underfunded industries like Green Tech and others, get ready for a long journey. I hope you have deep reserves in your bank account.

If you want to follow your heart in finding your next job start your own company or consult. Corporate America doesn’t have much heart these days. Apple products do not say Made in America.

Don’t use other people’s networks. People often reach out to me and say I met you once, can you please connect me with this person you know on LinkedIn? I probably have spent more time lining up with somebody at Vons than I spent with them. People have different rules of engagement on social networks that often baffle me. What about if somebody came up to you in real life and said, “Hi, I am a stranger. Can you introduce me to your friends and contacts? Why don’t you ask me to lend you money as well?

The best way to get connected is to leave the house and your computer behind. When I speak to business owners I often ask them if they feel they are ambassadors for their business. They all say yes. I tell them that sometimes ambassadors need to leave the embassy and the same thing applies to job hunting.

As I have said many times in the past, Face time not Facebook leads to relationships.

So stop wasting your time and start developing meaningful relationships that make people want to help you.

Connect with Hank on LinkedIn, Twitter, & Facebook:


Watch: Bad Career Advice For Young People


8 thoughts on “Job Hunting Tips from the Perpetually Unemployed.

  1. Another piece of advice I would add is to do what you love. Networking is networking, whether you’re attending yet another business card exchange or an event for an issue that you really care about. You don’t network in order to get a job right away, anyway. You network because it’s a good way to get out and meet new people, see new ideas, and get away from the computer for a few hours.

    So why not concentrate on events that reflect your own interests? For example, if you are in to green technology because you love the environment, go to lots of environmental conferences, meetings, etc. There you’ll meet many government agents, of course. But you could also meet owners and mangers in green companies. If you like politics, get involved in your local political clubs. Same thing with local charitable organizations. Chances are you’ll eventually meet the big donors — who usually own businesses, professional practices and the like.

    Also, switch it up! If you’re a copywriter, go to designers’ events – after all, you partner with designers, not other writers. And conversely if you’re a designer, mingle with copywriters.

    I agree with Hank that networking should be face-to-face – but there’s no reason why it can’t be fun, as well.

  2. Great post Hank! You’re hitting it right on the head. I’ve written recently about informational overload, and whether you’re a job hunter and/or aspiring networker, the modern tools at our disposal have made it easier than ever to participate in the conversation. But is all this participation valuable?

    The recruiter sifting through thousands of applicants who just clicked “apply” for everything they see, just hoping for a match, is seeing sullied water. The person who researched the company and knows the industry is given the same weight as the person who just wants to see if they get a call. It adds to the noise and makes it harder for everyone. At least add a custom cover letter if you really care.

    Likewise, if you’re a networker, LinkedIn has made is easier than ever to connect. Join a group, click to connect with a member, and LinkedIn even fills in boilerplate text for you – “I’d like to invite you to join my Linked In network.” Couldn’t be easier, and that inspires laziness.

    I got an invite the other day from a person in Kenya who was in one of my groups. It was the standard generic invite. I looked at his network and saw that he had 8 connections. Really? I’m the 9th most important person to a Kenyan Businessman I haven’t met? It’s a lot of noise, and it’s just plain lazy.

  3. Mariam Yousefi

    Love this post, and I agree 100%. I enjoy getting out there and meeting different people. You learn things you can never learn sitting in front of a screen; like social skills for example! Plus, winning a client is not part of the game, its all about listening, learning and growing. If you land an ideal client, that’s your bonus.

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