3 Steps to Conduct a Strategic Job Search

John Krautzel
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As a job candidate, it is common to experience challenges during your job search. The process can be frustrating, especially when you send out an overwhelming number of applications, resumes and cover letters and don't receive a response. With a clear strategy and a focus on quality versus quantity, you can increase the number of interview offers you receive.

1. Focus on Your Brand

Avoid sending out generic resumes and cover letters during your job search. Determine who you are as a professional before looking for work. Make a list of your skills that relate to your industry, and identify the most prominent qualifications you possess and wish to sell to potential employers. In other words, define your brand. Your application materials should illustrate why you are the ideal candidate and clearly detail your niche to hiring managers.

Establish an online presence that represents your brand as well to show why you are the best candidate. Share professional articles on social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook. Create an online portfolio with samples of your work, or establish a blog offering industry advice to optimize your experience and professional reputation. Present a consistent message across all platforms to avoid any confusion when employers search for you prior to the interview.

2. Take a Selective Approach

Even if you are desperate to find employment, avoid approaching your job search in this manner. Instead of applying for each and every position you find, spend time during your job search researching the reputation of companies to evaluate whether or not these organizations can offer you what you need and desire in a career. When searching for employers online, fully vet each company to determine if the firm shares your vision and mission. Outline a schedule for your search, too. For instance, plot out specific times of the day to spend on searching for positions online to avoid burnout.

3. Tailor Your Application Materials

Customize your resume and cover letter for each position during your job search, and avoid ruling out an opportunity if you don't meet every single requirement. Apply the 80 percent rule when evaluating job advertisements. If you meet most of the qualifications, submit your application materials, and explain how you can impact the company positively when writing your cover letter. Use keywords from the job description to highlight how your skill set is an ideal match to capture the attention of hiring managers.

It's important to make the job search process self-serving. Your future growth and happiness should be a top priority when seeking employment within your field. Employers recognize genuine passion for the job and industry as they read cover letters and resumes, and these qualities make you more attractive job candidate.

Photo Courtesy of adamr at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


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