Targeting Your Search: A Step By Step Guide

Ok, you know you need to target your job search rather than mass-mail resumes to every e-mail address you can find. But what’s the best way to do that? JIST Publishing—which puts out career advancement titles—has put together a set of five tips, from author Richard Deems, who’s just co-authored a book on job-searching, that spells out in step-by-step detail the best ways to paint a bullseye on your desired job.

When you hear of an opening that interests you, contact the hiring manager right away, Deems suggests. Not necessarily to say “here’s my resume, call me” and be done with it, but rather to just get your name in the decision-maker’s mind. You may even just say that “you understand he or she may have a position open,” says Deems, “and if so, you’d like to talk about their needs in detail.”

Then, spend some time researching the company. Look at its annual report, read up on the ‘Net, and find someone else within the company who might be able to give you an honest picture of what it’s like. Deems suggests asking the hiring manager to send you this information. We think you may want to try finding it yourself first.

The next step is to decide whether you really want the job. “Does the job call for what you do best and most enjoy doing? Will the workplace environment enable you to be your best?”

Step four may intimidate some jobseekers—it would certainly intimidate us. “Job seekers should contact the key decision maker in the hiring process and let that individual know they want to be considered their top candidate. Then, job seekers should ask what they need to do to make that happen.” You can also call on friends to make calls on your behalf (though this could backfire easily) or find other ways to keep your name top-of-mind. Also, during this step, get detailed instructions from the hiring manager about what should be included in the application. If the “Reporter Wanted” ad asked for three clips, what kind of clips? If the “blogger wanted” asked for HTML knowledge, would the hiring manager like to see an example of a page you designed?

The fifth and final step is the one we know best: send out the dang thing. Deliver it in person if possible, says Deems, and not to HR or the ATS, if you can. Then make sure to follow-up to demonstrate your interest.

Best of luck, job searchers!