There are two ways to conduct a job search – random, also known in the South as ‘willy nilly’, or strategic, which is to say purposeful.
The first option is the least productive approach. It requires less homework. It is reactive; a company or organization posts a job opening on their web site or Internet job board and you respond, along with hundreds of other reactive applicants. Most of the resumes will be eliminated by a computerized Applicant Tracking System (ATS), also known as an applicant tossing system. The odds for applicants using this approach are not that great. It is a numbers game. You must apply to a host of companies if you want to be one of the lucky ones to get an employment offer. It is all very random.
The second option is strategic. It is based on a plan that incorporates key performance indicators, goals and two buckets. It requires that you plan in advance. If you believe in the premise that if it weren’t for the last minute nothing would ever get done, then this job search approach is definitely not for you.
In a strategic search the first bucket is for your market research regarding regions of the country where you might wish to live. The second bucket is for your research on companies/organizations in those targeted regions for which you would like to work. The essence of a good strategic plan is market research. This is where the heavy lifting of your research begins. Begin connecting with senior leaders, including the CEOs and the chief human resource executives. Let them know you are interested in their company, highlight your value and record of accomplishment and ask to be considered for any future opportunities. You need to have a plan that identifies and focuses on 15 to 20 different companies.
Clearly, this is not a “wait-to-the-last-minute approach but it is the pathway to the best jobs.
This approach does not mean you should not post on LinkedIn to elevate your brand with recruiters, or that if you see online an opportunity that appeals to you, that y0u should not apply. By all means, do. But remember this: most jobs are not filled by recruiters who only handle about 30 to 35 percent of all management and executive openings The successful candidate is often a referral based on a friendship or networking relationship.
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If you need help with your job search, we have a variety of plans with special pricing options to help you find your next better job. From improving your resume to mastering the art of storytelling in a job interview, we have the knowledge, market insights and a track record of helping people succeed.
During this major disruption in the job market, we are helping executives and managers prepare to compete for the best positions. Do not delay. When the hiring market reopens, the competition will be fierce in all sectors.
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© 2020 John Gregory Self