One of the chief reasons that job seekers fail is that they fail to use a targeted job search. Instead, they throw out resumes or applications at any jobs that remotely fit the bill. When you are hoping to change jobs or get a job, you need to understand the concept of a targeted job search.
5 steps to the targeted job search
- Figure out what you want – I know how hard this is to do for some people. This afternoon I worked through the process with a client. I started by asking many questions and throwing out scenarios. Do you like selling? What is your level of risk comfort? Do you need to be moving? Can you work in a cubicle? Do you like to travel? Are you comfortable coaching others? Isolating what you like best is part of the process. There are assessments that can narrow it down for you and I have used them with clients before to find their direction.
- Find the job posting – this can be the hardest part. If a client sends me a job posting that I can’t see a match to with their background and experience, I ask them to explain how they think they fit the job. You can stretch but employers aren’t always willing to take a stretch.
- Targeted resume – what does that mean? You determine, in advance, what role you want to play and you create a resume that supports your target. The banner headline, keywords, your accomplishment section, and all the job detail resonate with this target.
- Targeted cover letter – how do you write one? You find a job you really want and use the job description to create the letter. This means that you highlight how you fit their needs in the cover letter and explain how you can be an asset using the language of the job description in the cover letter. Look closely at the job requirements because they may describe the real job in detail but somewhere in the position is the make-it-or-break-it list. You need the majority of job requirements on that list to be called for an interview.
- The inside track – don’t forget the need to network. When you are targeting the job search, you need to get beyond the gate keepers. LinkedIn is one of the solutions to finding out who you know that works there already or who you know is connected to someone. You need to build this network early and be ready to be the person someone else needs to reach their goals.
The Design Resumes Live Writing and Interviewing Process takes the guesswork out of targeting your job search. And as a former client said on Facebook last night, “It is awesome!” My clients have fun reaching their goals, is it your turn to enjoy your job search?