Don’t Forget Common Sense in Your Job Search

Common SenseWho is the MVP (most valuable person) in a business today; in my humble opinion, it is the VP of Common Sense.

Decision makers, especially in struggling companies, have a multitude of advisers with their own agendas advising them and are deluged with a dearth of conflicting information that further confuse their thought process, and above all, allow their ego and emotions to sway their decisions.

Come to think of it, this scenario sounds very similar how most job seekers I know conduct a job search.

What these executives and job seekers need is to have a VP of Common Sense to help them achieve success.

So here are a few common sense tips I hope can help end your job search and get you back to work.

1: Spend more time on establishing a network of people you need to know than people you already know.

Networking is the most important part of any job search, and for many the most difficult. There is an emotional comfort zone networking with family, friends and present and former vendors, colleagues and coworkers. Now don’t get me wrong they are crucial, especially as advocates. But the key to your success is developing new contacts and getting introductions and establishing relations with well connected people you don’t know in your field. As always Linked-In is the perfect tool to use.

2: Determine what the odds are for your finding a job through a job board and that is the maximum amount of time and effort you should expend on this job search modality. In most cases this is 20% or less.

3: Your resume should be focused on who you want to be more than who you were. To do this you need to know your audience, build a profile of the candidate they want to hire, and leave out useless information no matter how much it may make you look good. This information is more likely to make you overqualified or a bad fit for the job than a leading candidate.

4: Make your resume a marketing document and not a keyword dictionary. Again, key words are important but the story you tell is more important. Focus on the quality of the content not the buzz words because most of your competitors do what you do, so you need to let people know why they should interview you and not someone else.

5: Don’t burn bridges behind you. Last week, I overheard a conversation between two men at a networking event where one asked the other why he did not recommend an unemployed former co-worker for a job at his new company that the former colleague was a perfect fit for. His answer was plain and simple. “ He gave me the cold shoulder when I was looking for a job and then bad mouthed me to a few people I know as being just an “OK” boss. Remember the old saying “lose lips sink ships.

I hope these common sense tips help.


Perry Newman, CPC CSMS is a nationally recognized executive resume writer, career coach, AIPC certified recruiter and SMMU certified social media strategist known for his ability to help his clients get results. You can view his sample resumes at, and email him your resume at for FREE resume critique.

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