Proactive vs Reactive Job Search

Proactive vs Reactive Job Search

Posted: 10.05.2015
So, what's wrong with using only job boards to find work?
While checking job postings on a big site like Indeed.com or SimpllyHired.com can be excellent research (who's hiring, for what, where??), spending all your job search efforts scanning job postings is not as productive as it feels for these reasons:
 
It's too limited
We are depending on what others have done both in describing and in posting the job. And, an estimated 70% to 85% of jobs never get posted or advertised anywhere!
 
It's usually too competitive
Recruiters receive hundreds of resumes submitted in response to job ads and job postings. You must stand out, in a positive way, to be noticed, and that takes a combination of hard work, skill, and luck.
 
It's too random
The right opportunity for you may or may not be posted, and it may not be posted where you are looking. Finding the right opportunity for you at the right employer is a hit-or-miss proposition.
 
It's hard to find a good fit
How often have you found an opportunity that makes you think "I have exactly the skills and experience they have specified for this job"? If you are honestly assessing your qualifications and reading the job description carefully, the answer is probably not very often. They want 5 years of experience, but you have 3 (or 7); they want at B.S. in biology - you have an A.A. in Biology; etc.

Job seekers over-apply. Many recruiters shy away from advertising a job opportunity because they receive so many responses from unqualified applicants. Some put the estimate as high as 80% to 90% of all responses are from unqualified applicants. Job seekers view it as a "why-not" opportunity; recruiters see it as dumb (or lazy) applicants who didn't pay attention or don't understand what is required.

What is the alternative? Being proactive. Job seekers who focus their energies on identifying specific companies best suited for their talents and personality get hired in a job they want more quickly. The following are some of the steps successful proactive job seeker will take:

Learned as much as they could about the target employer by taking action
  • Checked out the employer website for information on the products, services, officers and senior staff, internal organization, benefits, and any other information they could pick up.
  • Leveraged their LinkedIn networks for current (and former!) employees to connect with, and used the Company follow function to stay up to date on what's going on with the employer.
  Regularly checked the employer's website for job postings
  • For example, one job seeker knew her target employer always posted new job openings on Mondays. So, she always visited the company's site before lunch on Monday. She got the job she wanted, for the employer she wanted.
Spoke with the people in the HR department to initiate (if possible and appropriate) the official job application process.
  • Established a contact on the "inside" to help with the application process
  • Tracked down contacts using LinkedIn and Twitter. They also checked with friends, family, neighbors, former colleagues who worked at one of the target employers or who knew someone who worked at one of the target employers.
Stayed in touch with their internal contact, if they had one, the HR department, and/or the hiring manager
  • Nicely, politely, relentlessly following up...by phone, in person, by e-mail, or even by Twitter. Whatever works best for you and is most effective in reaching a person at the employer's office.
For more on this process go here:
http://www.job-hunt.org/article_proactive_job_search.shtml
 

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