It is better to be a big fish in a small pond than a small fish in a big ocean.
Contrary to popular belief that it will be easier and faster to find a new job if a job seeker casts a broad net to attract as many opportunities as possible, smart , successful candidates conduct a very focused search. Campaigns with more narrowly defined goals tend to generate more and better offers.
Understanding the employer perspective can help job seekers adjust their job searching activities to make better progress finding a new opportunity.
- Don’t try to be something for everyone. It is better to exclude certain possibilities and eliminate some potential opportunities in order to be perceived as an expert. Don’t dilute your value by attempting to satisfy the diverse needs of everyone which results in not being someone that is remarkable to anyone.
- Focus your campaign on a limited number of roles/job titles and present your qualifications for that particular position. If you insist spending time pursuing multiple goals simultaneously, create separate marketing documents to support each initiative featuring the most important credentials that clearly demonstrate the expertise an employer expects.
- By concentrating networking in a niche market, more traction develops and momentum increases faster. The concept, “six degrees of separation “ applies in every industry sector. Guard a positive reputation and leverage the probability that new contacts may generate additional referrals and more connections. A good word from a trusted networking contact weighs heavily in a candidate’s favor and can eliminate the stigma associated with being a risk-bearing stranger.
- An emphasis on making the right connections is the best job search method. Today, about 80% of new hires report that they found their job through a personal contact. In fact, many new hires are made for roles that were not an advertised as vacancies. When the right talent met a hiring authority, a new job was created.
- Target job opportunities can be a job title, a position description or interest in applying a set of skills, talents and experience. The objective can be further narrowed down by industry, location, compensation, growth prospects, etc.
Targeting a job search produces better results than pursuing multiple, diverse opportunities. By working towards a narrowly defined objective, candidates gain helpful insights from networking contacts and systematically grow the number and quality of their relationships who know, like and trust them. In turn the more connections sharing more leads in a shorter time period to opportunities that are a closer match to the candidate’s ideal.
Put another way, throwing a lot of sticky balls randomly hoping that one will eventually is not a structured method to achieve a goal. Alternatively, carefully aiming at the right target has a far superior chance of hitting the target and with less wasted effort. The same concept applies to job searching: plan, prepare, pursue, present, persist, repeat and the goal will be attained.
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