4 Secrets To Be Strategic About Your Job Search


So how do you put yourself in that beautiful position where those optimistic employers are eager to hire you? Some of it comes naturally if you’re a petroleum engineer or a COO with turnaround experience or in another high-demand job. And some of it comes from endorsements you have and track record you have established. But you also can improve your chances to be in demand by being strategic and paying attention to trends.

Here are four ways to be strategic about your job search:

Target growing companies.

About one-third of companies see growth and increased hiring, while 55 percent expect more sluggish staffing up, according to a Right Management study. You want to go after those that are ambitious and hopeful, not the slow-moving ones. Both may post jobs, but the ambitious company could hire quickly, or even add a second job.

Look up.

One-third of CFOs say they will consider hiring someone who’s “too junior” for the job opening and train them, according to a Duke University / CFO Magazine survey. This gives job seekers an opportunity to step up to a position where they have most, but not all of the experience required.

Take a temp job.

Be smart about it, and use the job or the employer to add luster to your resume or skillet. Or land a short-term assignment at a company where you really want to work, and then be the temp they cannot stand to let go. Almost one-fourth of employers in the CareerBuilder survey expect to move some temps into permanent jobs in the second quarter, and that’s up from 17 percent last year.

Show your growth.

Companies are concerned with finding people whose skills and knowledge are keeping up with the changes in the world, so spell out the ways you’re doing this. If you recently learned how to use WordPress to design websites, add it to your professional profiles and resumes. If you’re researching sales techniques that have higher degrees of success for a major presentation at an industry convention, put that down. Indicate how you’re adding to your skillet and growing your talents.

A warmer job market will mean more possibilities, yet it doesn’t mean you can cool off your diligence in development or active search. Use the blooms in the economy to bring back your higher expectations for a new job.

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Job searching

isn’t just about applying for jobs and hoping to get called for an interview anymore. Few people can simply put in an application, get an interview, and land a job in today’s competitive and network-driven job market.

The most successful job seekers utilize a variety of strategies, from establishing a social presence to targeting companies, to help them stand out from the crowd.

Try these job search strategies to expedite your search, find connections who can lend a hand, get your resume noticed, and ace your interviews, so you get job offers.

Search for the Right Jobs

Use the job search engines to find jobs by using keywords that match your interests and the location where you want to work. Narrowing your search criteria will save time, help you focus your job search, and give you highly relevant job listings to review (and fewer non-relevant listings to weed through).

Job Search Where Companies Are Hiring

If you’re aware of where companies are seeking applicants, you can position yourself to increase your chances of getting found by hiring managers. One of the important job search strategies you can use is to focus your efforts on the same job sites that companies are using to recruit.

Make Sure Companies Can Find You

When you’re conducting a job search, you need to make it easy for employers to find you online. Employers, who can be inundated with resumes when they post jobs, often seek passive candidates (qualified candidates who aren’t necessarily looking for work, but who may be interested if the right job comes along). Here’s how to ensure companies can find you.

Get Noticed by Your Dream Company

The job market is crowded, and one of the most valuable strategies you can use is to make sure that you stand out from the crowd and show the hiring manager that you are a candidate who should be selected for an interview.

One way to do this is to have a target list of companies you’d like to work for, and focus your efforts on making a terrific impression on the organization.

Rank Well on Google

Create profiles on LinkedIn and other professional networking sites. Use your name for the URL, if possible. When prospective employers search for you online, those profiles typically rank high, so you will provide recruiters, employers, and contacts with a strong, positive, and professional impression of you as a candidate they should be interested in.

Customize Your Resume and Cover Letter

It’s important to take the time to write targeted resumes and cover letters that specifically link your qualifications to the hiring criteria for the jobs you are applying for.

The hiring manager will be able to immediately see why and how you are qualified for the job. You’ll have a much better chance of getting an interview with a targeted resume, than if you send a generic letter and resume.

Use Your Network

Networking is still the way most people find jobs, and the job search strategies you use need to include networking—either online or in person. Connect with everyone you know, because you never know which contact may be able to help you with your job search or put you in touch with someone who can.

​​Join LinkedIn Groups so you’ll have access to job listings posted for Group members and more people to network with. Set up information interviews with professionals at your target companies to get more information about an industry, job, or company.​​​

Ace the Job Interview

A job interview, of course, is what is going to get you a job offer—or not. Take the time to prepare. Research the company before you go for the interview, dress appropriately, practice answering and asking interview questions, and make a concerted effort to impress the interviewer with your skills, experience, confidence, and expertise.

Follow Up After the Interview

It’s really important to follow up after an interview by thanking everyone you interviewed with. Candidates who send thank you notes get hired more often than those who don’t.

Use your thank-you note as an opportunity to reiterate why you’re the best candidate for the position. If you flubbed an answer during the interview, you could also use your thank you note to clarify.

Use Job Search Strategies for Older Workers When Applicable

There are strategies older job seekers can implement to help expedite a job search and to find gainful and meaningful employment. From age-proofing your resume and cover letter, to highlighting your years of experience in a positive way, review these tips targeted at helping mature job seekers land interviews and get hired.


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