Are you invisible in your jobsearch?

Photo by Luca Venturi Oslo

I’ve been in business as Design Resumes for a long time. I’ve lived in Wausau, Wisconsin even longer. But until Sunday, for many people in Wausau, I was invisible.

Now for those of you who read this blog regularly or know me from Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or the many blogs I visit and comment on, I am anything but invisible! But when the story ran in in the Wausau Daily Herald and dominated both the front and the back page, I became visible in my own hometown.

All time records

Sunday set an all time record for this blog and Monday, I booked 5 new clients and answered 5 more email inquiries. The first new client came in last night and she is a nontraditional student at one of the local colleges. When she mentioned was going to have her resume written, the head of the learning center asked who she was going to see.

My new client replied that she was going to Design Resumes to see me and the other individual asked, “oh, is she the one on the cover of the newspaper?” When my client said yes, this person replied, “we cut out the article so we can post  it and recommend that our students consider using her services.”

Funny thing is, I have taught resume seminars at this college for 9 years and written resumes for both former students and management! Still, to most of the college and the surrounding community, I was invisible.

In the last year, my business expanded nationally and even globally with a strong reach via this blog and my social media presence. I can share job seeker success stories from clients throughout the United States and the world. My clients in Greece are now in new positions in Barcelona. But I was still invisible to most people here in Wausau.

Invisible job seekers

Job seekers are often invisible too. Despite a strong blog presence, people who didn’t use social media or Google didn’t see me. Many job seekers, even those who chose to have a professional write their resume and it overflowed with accomplishments and keywords, still stay invisible!

Why? They are assuming that they are visible when they use the only the online job boards to apply for positions. Unlike my invisibility caused more by people who didn’t know Wausau had a professional resume writer because they never Googled, these job seekers are hidden in the sheer volume of resumes sent to employers. They had an outstanding resume, perhaps, but no one could see it.

How to become visible

Job seekers who found me previously often came from Google and from referrals or networking contacts. A job seeker needs to commandeer their networks to increase their visibility. How?

  • Start by building a network before you need it. Harvey MacKay in his popular book, Dig your well before you are thirsty, advocates:

A network replaces the weakness of the individual with the strength of the group. The idea of the group is to benefit members who have the same race, religion, gender preferences, ethnic background, business, trade and professional interests, economic interests, or personal interests. They are the basic building blocks of any networking system.

  • If you think you need to wait until you need a network, you will not be able to successfully build one quickly. But if you have waited too long, you can still gain ground by making an effort to network correctly. MacKay also says:

A network can make you look good. To keep your network up and running, freshen up each entry at least once every six months.

  • Work your way into a company through the back door, find out who you know either in the company, or who you know who knows someone in the company. This could be a college alumni, your next door neighbor, your fellow board member in an organization, or your hunting buddy. You don’t know if you don’t ask.
  • When you find that answer, it is time to schedule an informational interview. Contact your desired individual and offer to buy lunch or coffee. Your goal is to gather information. You should always have your resume with you but it is not your goal to hand off your resume in the informational interview. If the individual is too busy to meet with you or on the other side of the country, ask if you can schedule a 10 to 15 minute phone conversation. If you get a yes, keep your word when you make the call, plan ahead what you will say so you can be clear what you are asking. Tell them you appreciate their time and if they have any leads for you, please  let you know. Send them a thank you (hand-written is a nice touch).
  • Armed with your new information, make the contact in the company and get your resume to that person, letting them know that John Smith suggested that you might be a great solution for the issues that the company is facing. Be sure you ask John Smith for permission to use his name before you do this.

Before you know it, you will be celebrating your successful job search and you will no longer be fighting invisibility. Invisibility is never fun. But the good thing, is that it can be removed and when you remove that invisibility cloak, your talents and accomplishments will take you to the next level in your career.



  1. Ed Han on March 1, 2011 at 9:37 am

    Excellent, Julie: I periodically meet people who keep on at the black hole, sending resume after resume into that insatiable event horizon. When I suggest the idea of doing this to them, they go “deer in headlights”.

    Sheesh…if it isn’t working, it isn’t working & needs to be fixed!

    • Julie Walraven on March 1, 2011 at 10:03 am

      Oh, Ed, it is scary to step outside of your comfort zone and for many people that’s what networking effectively is. Getting networking right as you well describe in your post above (that “guy”) is a challenge to many people but even the the thought of picking up the phone will terrify others.

  2. Melissa Cooley on March 1, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    This post speaks to the importance of having a diversified approach to the job hunt. Using one tactic alone will not be as effective as employing a multi-pronged approach.

    • Julie Walraven on March 1, 2011 at 6:20 pm

      Exactly, thanks for stopping by Melissa!

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Julie Walraven, Design Resumes

Julie Walraven

Professional Resume Writer

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