Careers: Articles - What’s YOUR Weakest Link? Building
a Strong Job-Search Chain
A chain is only as effective as its weakest link—and you
don’t know which link is weak until the chain is tested. If
your job search is falling short, one of your job-search skills
may be the weak link. By analyzing your chain of job search skills,
you can build a stronger chain, one that can stand up to any test.
There are three critical links in your job search chain. Consider
each of them carefully to determine your weakest link, then work
to strengthen that link.
Link #1: Resume and Cover Letter
If your resume and cover letter aren’t attracting attention
and generating interviews, this may be your weakest link. A quality
- Sell your best transferable skills
- Support those skills with bottom-line impacts and achievements
- Be easy to understand at a glance, without dense reading
- Have an easy-to-read format with a clear outline
- Not typecast you into an industry or job you are trying to
- Focus on only one career objective
An effective cover letter should:
- Support—but not repeat—the resume
- Not sound like a form letter
- Not start every sentence with “I,” “Me,”
- Focus on the hiring motives of the reader
If your weakest link is your resume and cover letter, you may want
to consider investing in a professional resume writer. Many of them
have experience in Human Resources and recruiting, so they know
what hiring managers are looking for and the best way to present
Link #2: Resume Exposure
Even the best resume will fail to generate interviews if it doesn’t
reach a wide enough target audience. To a certain degree, generating
interviews is a numbers game. If the resume is effective to begin
with, then the more resumes you send out, the more interviews you
How much exposure is enough for your resume? The answer is subjective,
but you’ll definitely increase your exposure by using the
following methods and online tools:
- Post your resume on numerous job boards (i.e., more than two
- Distribute your resumes using a reputable online resume distribution
- Proactively mass-target your resume to prospective employers
- Proactively send your resume to a wide audience of recruiters
- Identify numerous job boards that target your specific industry
or occupation (again, more than two or three)
- Use job board profile options to have job postings emailed to
you on a regular basis
- Utilize your existing network or build a stronger network of
industry and occupational contacts to uncover job leads
If resume exposure is your weakest link, then you might benefit
from the expertise of a career coach to help guide you in better
job search strategies. A career coach can assist you in building
a campaign to gain maximum exposure for your resume.
Link #3: Interview Skills
If your resume is fine and you are getting plenty of first interviews—but
no second ones—then your interview skills may be your weakest
To analyze the strength of your interview skills, ask yourself
- Have I adequately researched this company prior to the interview?
- Am I prepared to answer tough questions?
- Do I know what questions they might ask, or do I find myself
stumped by questions I didn’t expect?
- Do I know what kinds of questions to ask in order to gain insight
into important hiring motives?
- Do I know how to uncover any concerns that might prevent a job
- Am I a good interview “closer”?
If interview skills are your weakest link, you’ll receive
more job offers by investing in interview coaching with a career
By strengthening each link of your job-search chain, you’ll
avoid months of frustrating, ineffective effort. With each link
strong enough to support your career objective you’ll win
your dream job with confidence.
Deborah Walker, CCMC
Resume Writer ~ Career Coach
To see resume format samples and read more job-search tips visit