Why nobody really cares about your “job search update” email. And why you shouldn’t either.
Posted by Molly Wendell // in Job Search
To my dearest Friends (so dear that I can’t even name you individually),
It’s been one month and two days since my last update. I’m so sorry for the delay as I’m certain you’ve been anxiously awaiting to hear the latest update on my job search. Well, it’s probably obvious to you by virtue of receiving this email that I still haven’t found it. I’m still actively looking for that perfect opportunity. I’ve spent the last three months really figuring out what I want to do in life (which is completely different from the three months I spent six months ago – but gave up on that strategy because I wasn’t getting anywhere). You may remember that I lost my job due to hard economic times. Perhaps you didn’t even know that I was once employed, but I was. I was at the company for twelve years and I worked very hard. The company simply didn’t have enough money to pay me and 326 others. I can assure you it was certainly nothing I did and the more I emphasize this point, the more you think it probably was something I did. While this time is very difficult, I have decided to make lemons out of lemonade!! I have a very positive attitude and do my best to articulate that through the use of excessive punctuation!!!
I’ve attached my most current resume even though I sent you one last month, and the month before and the month before. Honestly, there’s nothing updated about it. I’m just fearful that you might have accidentally deleted it and therefore won’t have the ability to refer me to everyone you know. Speaking of everyone you know. Could you please refer me to everyone you know. I will follow up with everyone you know and I will get back to you as to the status of the follow up. If there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know. Seeing as how we only met once, I’m not really sure how I can help you – as I barely even know you. But if you do think of anything, please let me know and I will send your request out to my LinkedIn Network of more than 500 people – most of whom I couldn’t identify in a lineup if you paid me.
Have a great [fill in closest national holiday here].
Have you ever been on the receiving end of an email like this? When are people going to learn? When are they going to learn that sending a mass email telling the world you’re in a job search is not going to get you a job? Sure, one person out there probably got a job from a mass email – so there goes my “it will never work” theory. But for the rest of you. No dice.
A friend of mine was recently the recipient of one such email. And boy was it a long one. Eleven paragraphs to be exact. The sender used the words I/my/me more than 25 times. He used my friend’s name twice – the first in the greeting, the second for what appeared to be a feeble attempt at personalization.
He’s been searching all his life to figure out what he wants to do… and now he’s found it. He attached a Contact Log including target companies – with instructions on how to complete the log with contact names, phone numbers and email addresses to return back to him along with the preferred way to coordinate introductions. Wow. Homework from someone you don’t even know. Really?
My friend asked me what I thought of this strategy. I told him I cringe every time I see it. For the past couple weeks, I’ve been on the receiving end of at least five of these. I’ve been on the receiving end of one guy’s “quest for the perfect job” email since May, 2009. Guess what, pal? It’s not working!
It’s time to stop the mass job search emails. If you’re really serious about getting results for your search, you’d quit expecting everyone around you to stop their world in order to help you. You’d take a look at your contacts, pick five people, call them up, and set up a time to meet.
When meeting with these people, you’d further your relationship by getting to know them better. You’d figure out how you can take this opportunity to help them (and it’s not in the form of the question “how can I help you?”). And through helping them you might see an opening or two where they could help you. Once you start to bring value to others, the value will come to you. Sometimes helps comes to you in a circuitous route – not always directly from the person you helped. And that’s okay.
Here’s the good news. You don’t have to spend any more time drafting personalized job search update emails or waiting until the Contact Log homework comes back from your network. Instead, focus on fewer, key relationships. Chances are really good that through relationships – no matter how tight or loose – you’ll come to find your next opportunity.
Hope you had a great holiday! God bless.