Try These Four Moves for a Successful Search

John Krautzel
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A successful job search combines several key elements into one basic strategy: show you're a perfect fit for the employer. Some people examine statistics before using a certain tactic to try to land a job. Others seem to know how to do this without giving it a second thought. Discover these four moves you can make to improve your chances of getting that perfect position.

1. Toss Online Applications

Online job boards are great because you get to see how many companies are hiring and what the job market is like. You can find thousands of positions all over the country, and you can apply for as many as you want and as fast as you want without developing a personal connection with anyone who works there.

Instead of filling out dozens of online applications and hoping to hear a response, try targeting your search to some of the top companies for which you want to work. Fill out the application but also make connections with people who already work there. Tapping into your network is a vital part of a successful job search and it's how a lot of hiring happens.

2. Understand Your Competition

The competition for the job you want is probably fierce. A competing candidate might already have a connection with the firm, which puts you at a disadvantage. When you know someone who can put in a good word with the hiring manager, you could go to the top of the heap.

This is where an effective cover letter creates a good first impression. You may not have time to cultivate a relationship with someone in the know, but a personal story expounds on why your best asset helps the employer move forward to new levels. A successful job search begins with an initial impression of the candidate, whether that reputation comes from a LinkedIn connection or a cover letter.

3. Market Yourself

Much like a salesman trying to sell a product, your successful job search is a way to market yourself to an employer. You are the product and the service, and you know yourself best. How do you market your wares?

Create a dynamite first impression and go from there. There are several ways to stand out when a hiring manager first has contact with you. This can happen with the first words of a cover letter, a phone call, a handshake or a career summary on a resume.

4. Avoid WIIFM-Land

You want the job, but also want to know, "What's in it for me?" You just can't be obvious about making a WIIFM statement. Turn the tables in your successful job search and convince the recruiter, "What's in it for the company?"

Talk about how you're the perfect fit for the company and why. Start with your compelling cover letter story and the connection you made. Move to the concrete skills, experiences and accomplishments listed in your resume. Finally, practice winning responses to interview questions. It's all about how you fit in with the employer.

A successful job search plan means you have to fine-tune your presentation along every step of the process. Wow the hiring manager from the first word of the cover letter to the final dot on your thank you note following the interview.

Photo courtesy of Chase Elliott Clark at


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