I recently started working with an executive who approaches his job search like a sale. We speak every week about our progress and he closes the call just as he would a sales call; by establishing follow up and reporting expectations for himself and for us.
It’s a smart approach, because finding a job requires the ability to sell – you.
Unfortunately, most job seekers fail to view their search as a selling opportunity. Instead of being strategic, they waste countless hours sending out their resume with no clear idea of how to tailor it for their audience (prospect), who should receive it (decision maker) and how best to follow up (close).
In this market, it is important to create differentiation and value. This requires taking a targeted, strategic approach.
Before sending out your resume, evaluate it against the opportunity at hand. Most job applicants have several resumes that are tailored specifically to the positions and industries they are most interested in. This does not go unnoticed by hiring managers. Though your qualifications will not change, emphasizing those skills most valued by a particular company or for a particular position will present you as a stronger candidate for certain jobs.
It’s also important to approach the application process in a way that allows you to bypass other candidates, most often by sending your resume directly to the hiring manager. This doesn’t mean you should ignore the specific application process. If the ad says to submit an application online, do so and mention that you did in your cover letter to the hiring manager.
Another way to maximize the time you spend on your job search is by establishing multiple channels and assigning varying levels of resources to them. If your dream job is a director of sales for an IT company, the majority of your resources should be devoted to identifying and soliciting those opportunities. This may be through background meetings with the company and/or potential referral sources, networking with associations, etc. Social networking sites such as LinkedIn are also useful in that they can be leveraged to establish a relationship with or introduction to potential employers.
You’ll still want to submit your resume on job boards and other high-volume, low-specialization approaches; just allocate fewer resources to doing so. High volume resume submission will undoubtedly result in more interviews, but odds are low that the jobs will be the right fit. A more targeted, specialized approach will result in fewer interviews, but more likely than not they will be better fits.
To assist job seekers in their hunt for the perfect job, Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search has added two new premium career services to their repertoire: Professional Resume Services and Job Search and Interview Coaching. With Naviga’s help, tailoring your resume and acing the interview will become second nature and help you land the job of your choice or even change industries or careers.