The very idea that you can find a job on your own is ludicrous. I don’t know anyone who really believes that. At very least, you need an employer to hire you.

Yet how many job seekers intentionally create a team to support their job search?  Often, we look back and see that we had people who supported us. Imagine how much more effective and powerful – and quicker – search could be if we consciously built a team of people with complementary skills, perspectives, contacts, and knowledge.

Building a job search team requires

  1. You know what you are good at and not so good at doing
  2. You know what roles need to be filled

If I were building a baseball team or football team, I’d first identify the goal of the game, learn the roles that need to be played or functions fulfilled in order to win the game, and potential sources of team members.  I’d also recognize that different people will specialize in different things, so I wouldn’t expect all things of one person. A great catcher is not going to also be able to pitch – I need two different people to fill those two pivotal roles.

Let’s apply that to job search.

Goal: Get you a “right fit” job that uses your skills and talents, that you love or like a lot and that meets more than half of your “must have” list.

Roles and Functions Essential for Success:

  • Job seeker (you).
  • Resume expertise.
  • Cover letter writing.
  • Social media expertise (especially LinkedIn).
  • Proofreading.
  • Editing.
  • Interview prep.
  • Networking plan.
  • Contacts.
  • Informational interviews.
  • Person to vent frustrations and despair to.
  • Shoulder to cry on.
  • Cheerleader and confidence builder.
  • Accountability partner.
  • Best practices experts.
  • References.
  • New skills.
  • Personal brand.
  • Marketing help.
  • Industry knowledge.

Potential Sources to Fill Roles:

  • You.
  • Professional resume preparer.
  • Career coach.
  • Friend who can edit and proofread.
  • Industry experts.
  • Websites and blogs devoted to job search.
  • Webinars (many are free).
  • LinkedIn industry and job search groups.
  • Twitter experts.
  • Facebook pages.
  • Other job seekers.
  • Former colleagues and bosses.
  • Neighbors.
  • Schools.
  • On-line classes.
  • Certifications.
  • Family (just don’t expect too much from them, as they are under enormous stress watching you be unemployed and perhaps have unrealistic expectations for you.)

By ourselves, we achieve some things. With a team, we achieve a whole lot more. So build  a team of support around you as you go through a job search. You never know who YOU might be helping by reaching out.

If you feel you are wearing out your welcome with some people, move on to someone else. This is a time to be focused on what you need, and to go where you can get those needs met. There’s a great saying: “Don’t go to the hardware store for oranges, because they aren’t there.” That means going to the right source for the help you need.

Above all, “go where it’s warm” – to people who are encouraging and believe that you will land the right job for you. Because that is a fundamental need you have in your job search: to believe that you will land that job. When you lose faith, you need a cheerleader or two or three…who can help you get back on track with confidence in the end result.