Job hunting? 5 ideas to help you locate and land 1

(reprinted from Scottsdale Republic, Thursday, April 21, 2011)

It’s not easy trying to land a new job in today’s Arizona economy, as thousands of residents have learned.  Here are five proven actions to help turn job hunting into JobGetting.

1.  Understand the job market and where the most openings are.  Most jobs are in big companies, but, most openings - which is what you want - are in smaller companies.  So your focus is more on smaller organizations than the giants. 

2.  Understand how people find jobs.  Research indicates that only 30-35% of jobs are secured via the Internet.  This suggests that only about 30-35% of your job search time and energy should be spent on the Internet visiting company and job posting sites, and doing social networking.   Most of your job search time should be spent in personal networking.   

3.  Personal networking involves compiling a list of people you know and then talking directly with each person.   Not email.  You say something like,  “I’m looking for a job as either A, B, or C… and wonder if you know of any such openings or if you know someone who might know…”   Listen to their suggestions and then follow up.

Why three job options?  Because it expands your opportunities.  The jobs will be closely related, and involve most of the same skills and strengths.  But looking for something under three different headings increases your chances of finding the one you want. 

4.  Another strategy is to identify organizations where you’d like to work.  Then research those organizations.  Find out what the organization does and everything about it.  Identify where you can fit within the organization and what unmet needs you can meet.   Then present yourself to the decision maker.  This is sometimes the company owner, or the president, or the manager of the department where you’d like to work.

For example, if I own a company with 50 employees, and someone researches me and my company and then knocks on my door and tells me how that person can impact my business, I will listen – very intently.  That person often gets hired.

5.  When you hear of an opening that calls for your strengths, contact the decision-maker directly.  Yes, it can be done.  This is usually the person who manages that position, or the executive in charge of that department.  Tell the decision-maker you understand there is a position open as X, and if so you’d like to talk about what that person needs doing.

If the decision-maker says, “Well, send in your resume,” then say, “I can do that, but I don’t’ want to clutter up your desk if what you need doing doesn’t involve what I do best.”  Then be ready to talk about what you do best.  Most decision-makers aren’t accustomed to talking with people who know what they do best.  You will pique their interest. 

A number of years ago a friend gave me a plague with the words, “Don’t wait for your ship to come in – swim out to it.”  Take the initiative in turning job-hunting into JobGetting.


Richard S. Deems, Scottsdale, is co-author with his daughter of Make Job Loss Work For You and CEO of WorkLife Design.  He will be conducting job search workshops in June at Paradise Valley Community College.  For more information call 602-787-6800. 

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