Targeted Job Searches – Harder Work But Worth It
If you have spent the last eight hours posting for jobs online, you have wasted seven hours and 50 minutes. Job boards are the least effective method of search: less than 5% of people find their jobs that way. But there is a better way – targeted job searches will vastly increase your chances of landing the right job with the right company.
The idea of narrowing down and then refining your targeted job searches is for some, an overwhelming thought. Some are happy to scan job aggregate websites in search of their desired role. Some then decide to just compile a large database of likely employers and try the ‘scattershot’ tactic. A bigger universe intuitively seems more likely to result in employer interest. “If I send out my resume to as many employers as I can,” then the thought process goes, “surely some of them will be interested in me.” But the opposite is true – the more you narrow down the universe of employers to a precise, narrow section of those who perfectly match your needs and expertise, the more successful you will be.
Even if your resume, cover letter and interview skills are pitch-perfect and your industry sector is in demand, you may still be in for a long job search. Many opportunities simply will not pan out through no fault of your own; budgets, priorities and hiring managers can change unexpectedly. To ensure that you will have a quick job search, be strategic, and be proactive. Target job searches will greatly increase your chance of striking gold.
Step Up To The Plate
We cannot emphasise this enough. Do not passively wait for the job posting to show up (and then compete with potentially thousands of applicants). Instead, create a plan that casts a wide enough net to include enough potential positions, and drill down that list to a size manageable enough that you can create time to follow up. Because just targeting and sending your personalised cover letter and resume off isn’t the end of the story. The one thing we hear most often when interviewing our clientele is that they hate to blow their own trumpet. In truth, not many of us do. Extolling our virtues explicitly and for a sustained amount of time does not come easy. But nailing your dream job means getting out of your comfort zone.
Research, Research, Research
Just as no one product appeals to all consumers, so no universal job-seeker appeals to all employers. Neither jobs nor employers are one-size-fits-all. Smart job-seekers survey their industry’s universe of employers to determine how to break the market down into a more manageable subset of employers that will be keenly attracted to what the job-seeker has to offer.
The proven strategy of target marketing enables the marketer or job-seeker to reach the customers/employers whose needs are most likely to be filled by the entity being marketed. That is a big reason to use target marketing in the job search.
So, check out employer websites for information on the services, vision, senior staff, internal organisation, benefits, and any other information you can pick up. Leverage your LinkedIn network for current (and prior) employees to connect with and used the ‘Company follow’ function to stay up-to-date on what is going on with the employer. Google the employer’s name to see what could be found (like pending redundancies, new product introductions, mergers, new rounds of funding, etc.).
After sending in your details, diarise the companies to follow up. You will have already ascertained the name of the HR manager, and you can now approach her via email or phone. It may take several attempts, but a good hiring manager will find time to speak to you.
Targeted Job Searches Work
You probably do not want to be doing another job search in a year or two, so use your job search as an opportunity to find a job with an employer who will be around (and keep you around) for a while. The research you’ve done in selecting your target employers should help you avoid the ones that will disappear or disappoint – although no one has any guarantees in life or work.