Re-tooling a Stagnant Career

G.B. writes:
I’ve been at the same company for 12 years and recently started getting the runaround when I inquire about certain posted positions. I feel that it’s time to move on. So I recently returned to college. I enrolled for certain classes that are given at my company and I re-tooled my resume. I’ve sent out countless resumes and have posted my resume on several sites on the Internet yet it’s still not enough. I’m beginning to feel as if I’ll have to stay at this company forever. My question to you is what else can I do?

The Career Doctor responds:
You have to remember the old but true cliche: looking for a job is a job itself. Make sure you are doing a complete job search. The Net should be just one part of your job search but you should also make sure your resume is posted at all the best (and free) job sites. Answering want ads and job postings can be another part of your job search but the percentage of people who actually get jobs from this method is small.

Developing a list of companies you want to work for and contacting them directly should be a key part of your search.

Contacting recruitment or headhunter agencies — if your field has such companies — is another method.

Finally networking should help. If you have been with the company for 12 years you must know a lot of people who are still with the company as well as those who have left. Talk with them about possible positions. And does your profession have a professional organization? If so network with people within your organization.

My one caveat to all this advice: depending on how secure you are in your present job or how confidential you want to be will limit some of the advice I just mentioned.

One other comment about your resume: Is it the best it can be? You might want to get it critiqued — or do it yourself. There are some great resume resources on the Web as well as some great books on the subject.

Go to the Resume Resources of Quintessential Careers for some pointers. The Damn Good Resume Guide (Ten Speed) by the late Yana Parker is a great book on resume-writing.