#1 Job Search Technique
One of the questions I always get at our office is, “What’s the best way to do a job search?” and I always answer this question the same way. The best way to do a job search, in any market, is to target the companies you want to work for and do not wait for advertisements!
Let me give you a step-by-step way to do this.
1) Target an area of the country (if you are looking outside of your local market), a place where your industry is strong, where you have family now or where you grew-up, or where you’ve always wanted to live. Whatever your reasons are for choosing a particular area. The idea is to make the country smaller and focus on your “targeted areas”. Southeast, Southwest, West, East, Southeast, you get the idea. After you have the areas of the country there may be states within those areas that you do not want to include. For instance, maybe you want to focus on the Southeast but you do not want to keep Tennessee in your targeted areas (for whatever the reason), so remove Tennessee from your Southeast targeted area. Okay, once you have all of the states in the region, now you’re going to focus on the cities within those states. For example, if Georgia is one of your states in the Southeast, maybe you do not want to include the city of Macon, got it? See how we are making the country smaller? One of the things that happens when you are doing your job search, especially if you are looking “everywhere” is, “everywhere” is too big of a target, right? You need to focus your search to have a greater outcome of what you ultimately want. A dream career in an area where you want to live! So, this step will help you target your search to the specific areas of the country where YOU want to work and live, right? Now, you have the regions of the country and the states and cities within those regions you want to target. Now lets move on to the next step.
2) Identify the companies in your targeted region. Now this is where your research will go into overdrive. Figure out what is the most important things to YOU when identifying the companies to target. Maybe you want a private company? Maybe you want a publicly traded company? Maybe you want a small family firm or large corporate firm? Fortune 500? Whatever your reasons are for targeting these particular companies, make a list of companies in the areas you’ve targeted. This may take a while, but it will be well worth it! Once you have your list together, let’s move on to the next step.
3) Identify the individuals you need to speak to within these companies. If these companies are in the same industry you’re in now, that’s going to be easy, because you will know the titles of the individuals you need to contact. So, get the names and titles of these people and contact them directly! You want to speak to these individuals directly and tell your story. Not human resources! Why not human resources? A lot of times the human resource departments really do not know ALL of the needs a company may have. Many (most) of the times when I am recruiting for a client the human resource departments have no clue we are recruiting for someone at their company. I know that sounds crazy, but it’s true! Not all human resource departments know what is going on within their own companies! Remember, you are targeting companies within certain states and cities in the region of the country that YOU picked to target. If this list of companies are in a different industry, or new industry for you, then you will have to find out the names of the individuals you need to contact for the position you are seeking, and most importantly, do not call human resource departments! This is key!
Now, let’s recap the three steps to a successful job search where YOU are in control and NOT waiting on advertisements!
1) Target an area of the country – where you want to live!
2) Identify the companies in this area – where you want to work!
3) Identify the individuals within these companies you will need to contact.
I can hear you saying, “The companies I want to go to work for are not advertising – they’re not looking!” and I can tell you as a professional recruiter, that’s a good thing! Right now you do not have any competition, right? Do you want to wait until these firms start posting advertisements (want ads) all over the Internet? If you do, then you will have 300 or 500 people to compete with, right? Is that what you want? NO! The key to this whole thing is, you are targeting companies that you want to go to work for and you are NOT waiting on advertisements! If you are, you’re too late! Don’t wait!
One of the things I’ve learned as an executive recruiter is, I know companies are looking for good people, in good or bad economies (especially bad!). That’s why our firm is in business! Our firm is in the people business and the number one problem facing companies are “people problems”. If you take out taxes and regulations that drive companies crazy, it’s “people problems”. See all of the companies in the world, and I don’t care what business you’re in, have access to the same things, right? The same computers, offices, equipment and on and on, right? The differences between any companies are their people. Period. Companies don’t sell cars, estimate construction projects, sell advertising, broadcast radio shows, design homes, etc., etc., PEOPLE DO! And the type of people they have on their staff will make all the difference in a company being successful and NOT being successful. So, if you are good (and if you don’t know if you are, then that’s a problem) and you’ve been successful in your career then YOU choose the company you want to go to work for – you choose!
You have to start viewing yourself as talent. We all understand when our favorite baseball star, or football star, moves from team-to-team with better opportunities, right? Well, why not you? Make yourself in-demand! If you’re good, or were good, in your chosen career field, do you think another company would like to speak to you? Or, have you on their team?
Let me give you a baseball analogy
Do you think the Atlanta Braves, Florida Marlins or St. Louis Cardinals would like another 20 game winning pitcher on their staff? Even if they have enough pitchers on their staff now, do you think they would get rid of a couple if they can get a 20 game winning pitcher? Of course they would. Just because a baseball team, or company, currently is not looking or they are not advertising an opening, does not mean they do not have any needs, right?
If you use this targeted approach the next time you do your job search, you will get a greater response. DO NOT WAIT ON ADVERTISEMENTS!!!