"There's a difference between fishing and standing on the shore like an idiot."
Comedian, Steven Wright
This quote was posted today on Mary Lascelles' QuoteAction of the Day. (MovingLinks4You.com) As usual, I can absolutely see a correlation between this catty observation and job hunting. You can spend oodles of time, most of your day in fact, surfing for jobs to apply to, going through the motions of trying to "tweak" your resume, fuming about how to customize (yet another) cover letter, and finishing off the day feeling satisfied that you found five or ten or fifteen jobs to apply to.
However, if your resume sucks to begin with, reading like a laundry list of duties and tasks, and your cover letter is a simple (and thus ineffective) relisting of the resume's content, your efforts are quite wasted. The tweaked resume is a poor new version, the cover is a boring retelling, and your "work" renders you standing on the shore.
Even an impressive, professional quality, strategic resume is not always enough. Along with this foundational beginning (resume and cover), if times are tough, or your particular field is saturated, or you are making a complete transition much more is needed. Oh, you'll land a job eventually with the status quo, but it will take much longer, which means you've lost months of income, or you'll give up your goal and settle for a job you did 10 years ago, and earn way less than you deserve.
Don't stand at the shore, waiting for the fish to jump into your bag! Get equipped with great fishing rod, expert advice, good location - all the strategies that lead to a good catch. Don't settle for a second rate job hunt - get equipped with a truly influential resume, an interesting-to-read cover letter, and job search strategies. The longer you deliberate, the more earnings are lost and the more frustrated you get.