How to Conduct a Successful Job Search

Posted on 17 July 2009

Job Search

In today’s depressed economic environment, finding a job, any job, is often a Herculean task.  Finding the right opportunity – the one that brings with it the right compensation, benefits, location, advancement potential, and balance between personal and professional lives – may be likened to finding the proverbial “needle in a haystack.”  If you want to find that “needle,” you need to have an organized, step-by-step approach to achieve your objective.

At one time, an effective job search entailed simply checking the employment classified section of the area’s Sunday newspapers (as in the image above) and responding to advertised openings.  Today, such an approach seems parochial at best and patently ineffective at worst.

Today’s job search, if one is seeking the right position, is akin to a marketing campaign.  If you were planning a product marketing campaign, you would establish a budget and determine the allocation and mix of media you would employ to transmit your marketing message.  The exact nature and content of your message aside, you would consider all the available media channels – print, broadcast, Web, outdoor, etc. – and determine how to structure your campaign to optimize its effectiveness within your budgetary constraints.

Planning a job search is similar.  You need to consider how much time and effort you have to devote to it.  If you are unemployed, seeking employment may well be your full-time occupation.  If, however, you are working, you need to determine the time that you will allot to your search on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

Having established a time-budget, you can now proceed to determine how you will tackle maximizing your exposure within the job market.  If this is beginning to sound like an involved process, consider that the quality of your plan and job search will, in most cases, define the quality of your results.

And so, you will need to establish a plan to uncover as many relevant job opportunities as possible.  This plan should take into account the fact that, in the typical calendar year, job openings are relatively evenly split between those that are posted or advertised and those that are not.

If you consider published openings, your resources include newspapers, trade publications, recruiters who advertise openings, and of course, Internet job boards – both general and niche.  Therefore, you will want to designate some of your time and efforts to uncovering openings via each of these sources.  You will need to plan to check newspaper employment classifieds as well as opportunities listed in applicable trade publications.  You can research and identify contingent fee recruiters who specialize in your employment category and contact them.  Ultimately, you will want to post your resume on major and specialty job boards and set up those email alerts that will notify you of new job listings that meet criteria that you will establish.

Now, consider those opportunities that are neither posted nor advertised.  These opportunities will be more difficult to uncover, but more potentially rewarding if identified since these opportunities will have far fewer applicants.  One way to find such opportunities is through networking.  You will need to contact people whom you know that may be of assistance in your job search, as well as establish contacts with others whom you may not know but with whom you may have some connection (alumni of the college from which you graduated, members of an organization to which you belong, etc.).  Participation in networking sites (like LinkedIn) and social networking media (including FaceBook and Twitter) may help you to expand your network of contacts beyond your immediate circle.

Another way to identify unadvertised opportunities is via keeping abreast with business news.  Any business event, positive or negative, usually results in changes in the human capital requirements of the organizations affected.  In such instances, you can research the company’s organization and select appropriate management personnel to whom you will draft and send a letter acknowledging the business event and suggesting your relevant qualifications and prospective benefits to their organization. 

A third approach to reaching the unadvertised job market is blasting or mass mailing your resume.  While this approach usually generates a very low return rate, it only takes one employer contact for you to secure rewarding employment.

Lastly, contingent fee recruiters – the true headhunters – may be researched and contacted in the hope that they may be currently seeking a candidate like yourself.  As in the case of resume blasting or mass mailing, expect a low rate of return for your efforts in this area.

As you can see, developing and conducting an effective job campaign in today’s market is both complicated and time-consuming.  If you develop and execute a comprehensive plan to optimize your employment opportunities, however, you will have significantly improved your chances of securing the right position.

This post was written by:

- who has written 408 posts on Write On New Jersey.

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4 Responses to “How to Conduct a Successful Job Search”

  1. Hirohitotwo says:

    An excellent article; thank you. Someone close to me has been unemployed for four months. I will forward your url to her and reference this article.

  2. Hamed says:

    yes, this can help to all the guys and ladies out there. the info on is helpful to you.To the men and women looking for jobs or interested in career advancement, this is the info.

  3. SC says:

    Terrific Post. Much better then the simillar post I checked 2 days ago on Blogspot.

  4. Viveiros says:

    This is a fantastic article thanks for sharing this informative details..
    I am going to stop by your blog routinely for some most recent post.

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