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Blue-Collar or White-Collar… Different Strategies???


As job seekers hear various job search tactics and strategies, they often think… “That doesn’t really apply to me. Those techniques are for different kinds of jobs.”

Is that true? Are there different “rules” for ‘Blue-Collar’ vs. ‘White-Collar’ jobs?

Well… Yes… and No!

Here are some things to consider…

Online tools. While LinkedIn and other online resources are “must-haves” for an effective white-collar job search in today’s market, they are rarely used among blue-collar or ‘hourly’ job seekers. Although there may not be the same expectation by employers for a Grocery Store Cashier to have a LinkedIn profile, it can be an exceptional way to be found and to stand out from the crowd.

Because, statistically, so few blue-collar professionals utilize online tools, it is a challenge for employers to find them easily. They are often reluctant to place an ad anywhere since that brings a flood of applicants that can be difficult to sort. If you are seeking a blue-collar position, posting your information on LinkedIn and other online venues makes you one of the few that are there, you are easier to find, and more likely to get a call. Are online resources only for white-collar professionals? Not at all, so give yourself an advantage and use the same advice.

Resumes. Similar to online tools, blue-collar professionals are more likely to show up and fill out an application than to have a prepared resume. Having a well prepared representation of your work history and accomplishments, however, can be an excellent way to set yourself above the crowd. Utilizing good advice on creating an effective resume can be a great way to give yourself an advantage over the competition.

NETWORKING! Whether blue-collar or white-collar, networking and pursuing companies whether there is an applicable position posted or not is THE most effective way to land a new position! Once a job is posted online, in the newspaper, or anywhere else, the floodgates open and everyone seeking that kind of position flows into the application process. At that point, your chance of getting singled out to be considered is extremely hit-or-miss. Ideally, you are able to connect with an employer before an opening is widely known. Your chances of landing a job increase dramatically when you are a lone candidate or one of a few, versus one of dozens or hundreds. Talk to everyone you know, let them know you’re looking for a position and would be grateful for any contacts they know that may be worthwhile for you to connect with. Not just hiring managers with jobs, but others in your field, or industry, or anyone at companies you are interested in pursuing. Especially in this job market, networking is the critical strategy in gaining new employment regardless of the type of job you are seeking.

Proactively contacting employers. In today’s job market, filling out an application in-person or online, and waiting for a call is a VERY poor performing strategy. You invariably are one of dozens, or hundreds of other candidates simply doing the same thing. Regardless of the type of position you are pursuing, it’s imperative that you contact someone / anyone in the organization to make your application more personal. Be professional, be prepared (write scripts), be upbeat, and be brief! However, make the call to anyone you can find from LinkedIn or other personal networking. Introduce yourself, let them know you are pursuing opportunities through the prescribed method, but also ask if they might be able to help you make a better impression than most, by pointing you to the hiring manager, or provide advice on how to best navigate the organization. You won’t always succeed, however, when you do the results will pay off nicely. Don’t wait for a call… take the initiative yourself!

Whether pursuing an “hourly” job or an executive level position, the basics of an effective job search apply equally. Don’t dismiss ideas and strategies because your field is “different”. You’re likely to find that there’s much more that works the same way than whatever differences there may be!

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