Tommy Gun or Bow-and-Arrow Job Search?

Tommy Gun or Bow-and-Arrow Job Search?

Targeting is the Name of the Game

In the previous blog, I likened job searching to having a root canal…except that the dentist gives you some pretty good drugs.

If you’ve decided to conduct a job search, remember: no self-medicating.

Job Search Reality #1 explained the reason that passive job searches (comprised primarily of looking at job boards) are not effective.

The executives I speak with understand this, but don’t know what the alternative is.

The Job Search is an Active Process

Bear with me as I paint a picture for you: You have a medical condition. You’ve identified what that condition is, but you haven’t yet identified a medical practitioner to treat you.

Do you a) actively seek the right practitioner, based on referrals, research you conduct, whatever it takes to get the right doctor for you; or b) wait at home, looking online for doctors who are advertising for a patient just like you?

Of course, you are proactive—after all, this is your health we are talking about! You wouldn’t wait at home, and yet this is just how many people conduct their job search.

Please, Mr. Wonderful Employer, send me a sign (job notice) that you are looking for me.

It’s time to shift your thinking; it’s time for you to get into the driver’s seat of your own job search.

Know Yourself, Know the Market, Find the Match

Which brings us to Reality #2: Your job search must be targeted. Throwing resumes out into the ether for positions you see online will probably not get you’re the results you desire. Think bow-and-arrow, rather than a Tommy gun.

So, what does work?

Doing the work to determine what your brand is, what your ideal next position is, and which companies hire someone to do that job. Of those companies that hire people like you, which ones are a good fit for you?

It doesn’t matter what you value in an employer—it only matters that you seek out employers who provide what you value.

Notice what I didn’t say: “Which companies are currently hiring people like me?” If they are already advertising for you, then we’re back to Reality #1: looking at job boards.

Your goal should be to gain access to the hidden job market: those positions that aren’t advertised yet, may never be advertised if the company can find a qualified candidate by other means, aren’t known to the company yet (Mr. Manager is announcing his resignation next week), or don’t even exist.

You heard me right…don’t even exist. Companies routinely hire top-notch candidates and then find a perfect fit for them. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, calls it “getting the right people on the bus.”

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