Wage Your Job Search Like a Political Campaign

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Washington — April 1
Chris Jones, president of a political and public affairs staffing agency in Washington, recommends that job seekers model their job searches on the successful techniques of a campaign for political office.

“In a competitive job market, you need to campaign for a job,” Jones advised. “The candidate’s goal is to get elected. Your mission is no less difficult to get the job you want.”

Jones emphasizes using multiple strategies to get your resume across someone’s desk and land coveted interviews:

  1. Leverage social media to get your message across. Utilize Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and MySpace as tools to raise your profile, activate your network and become aware of opportunities. Like the Obama campaign, you can successfully adopt social media to achieve your goal.
  2. Knocking on doors is still important. Pounding the pavement and connecting with potential employers and contacts is still the best way to find a job, even in the digital age. Go to networking events, volunteer and socialize to keep your name and face out there. Every contact is a potential advocate, so don’t be shy about mentioning your job search.
  3. Dress the part of a professional. When interviewing for a job, dress appropriately for the situation. Look to your peers and potential supervisors as a guide to style. Don’t be Michael Dukakis in a tank helmet, John Kerry windsurfing or George W. Bush in a flight suit.
  4. Prepare for the debate. Knowing your potential employer before you walk in the door is key to standing out. Read the mission statement and know the backgrounds of the organizations’ leaders. Practice interviews and dry runs are helpful before you sit in the hot seat for the real interview.
  5. Stay on message. Be consistent with your messaging and career goals. Keep your resume relevant to your targeted industry and focused like a laser. Finally, ensure your resume and the career goals you discuss in the interview are in sync.
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