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Searching for a job? Stop wasting time

Written by Rob Hellmann

Even if your resume, pitch, and emails are all stellar, at the end of the day your job search is still a numbers game. To improve your odds of landing a position quickly, you’ve got to actively go for a large number of potential positions.Searching for a job

That is, don’t just passively wait for the search firm to call or the ad to show up, since you’ll get a low return on your time investment.

Instead, take the active approach. Start by creating a plan that casts a wide enough net to include enough suitable positions (open or currently filled). Your search must encompass enough “positions that exist” (even if filled now) so you know there’s enough potential to land a job quickly. Then you want to implement the plan via networking and contacting “strangers” directly in these organizations. Maybe you’ve heard of the “hidden job market.” Well, this active approach gives you access.

What’s  in your “job search marketing plan”

Your plan should include:

  • Your prioritized list of two to five job targets
  • Your “positioning,” i.e. a statement about how you can help your employers and what differentiates you
  • A prioritized list of organizations where you want to work, for each job target
  • An estimate of the number of potential positions (open or filled) at each organization
  • The people you know (if any) at each organization
  • How you are going to reach out, e.g. % directly contacting strangers, % networking, % mass email.

Here’s an example that shows the importance of a plan that targets enough potential positions. A client came to me for help after a year of job-search frustration.  His job target was “head of marketing” at a hedge fund specializing in alternative investments. His theories about why he wasn’t getting interviews included 1) “I’m too old” and 2) “there are no jobs.” Read more

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