What separates job finders from job hunters often comes down to the techniques that they employ in their searches. While most people are relatively passive about their job search – posting resumes on major job boards and responding to advertised and posted opportunities, some people go the extra mile. They seek not merely to respond to published opportunities in the job market, but also to uncover opportunities that may or may not be advertised.
For those candidates who desire to be more proactive in their job searches but do not know where to begin, consider utilizing the following approach:
- Research 10 or more companies for whom you would like to work. For job seekers today, the Internet is a treasure trove of information. With a little effort, one can find business news and review the Websites of desirable potential employers. Often, the Website includes investor information indicating the firm’s current financial position and plans for growth. Other independent Web sources, like Hoovers.com, can provide additional information.
- Find out the name and contact information of hiring managers within the company. You are not looking for the name of a Human Resources representative or manager, but rather the people with the authority to hire. Here, you may have to be a bit of a sleuth. Of course, a good deal of information is available online. If your online efforts, however, fail to bear fruit, then you may have to pick up the phone, call the company, and get that information from an employee. You will need to use tact, courtesy, and relationship building skills.
- Focus on the company’s needs and wants. If you have done your research correctly, you will have identified the company’s mission, perspective, position, and outlook. This information will be invaluable to you in the next step.
- Write a letter directed to the person in charge of hiring. Make him aware that you know the company, like the company, and have something specific and valuable to offer. The goal is to get this person to contact you one way or another.
- Listen. Once you have initiated a dialogue – via telephone or correspondence – with the hiring manager, listen. Ask questions. Delve deeper into his organization’s problems, needs, and wants, and offer solutions as to how you can contribute to the achievement of those goals.
- Follow up. Regardless of the outcome, always send a follow-up letter or a thank you note. This will serve as a reminder of your initial contact, set you apart from potential competitors, and position you as a professional and prospective valuable addition to the company.
And, in all of your efforts to contact prospective employers, always consider the company’s point of view. If you do not know or cannot articulate why it is they should hire you, then it is extremely unlikely that they will know either.
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