a new job will not find you, you have to promote your skills to the hiring authorityCareer changers, industry switchers, re-entry candidates and job seekers who don’t satisfy an employer’s vision of a perfect profile are at a disadvantage. In today’s highly competitive job market, there’s a preference for direct experience proving the ability to deliver results. Employers demand specific credentials and expect prospective hires to offer qualifications matching strict requirements. This means that individuals who want to change functional roles, industry, geography, re-enter the workforce face strong opposition in a highly competitive environment and must eliminate employers’ risk aversion. Employers avoid hiring decisions they guess could become costly mistakes.

Answer these questions to develop the best focus and positioning necessary to navigate through today’s obstacle-filled environment.

  • “Who needs my know-how, skills, and unique experience to solve their current challenges?”
  • “Where are the challenges I know how to fix?”
  • “Who is the person responsible for fixing a problem I can solve?
  • “Who has the budgetary and hiring authority for resources to address the problems I know how to solve?”

DO NOT begin with “WHO DO I ALREADY KNOW?” and then proceed to reach out to your current network to get introductions to their connections, colleagues, management, etc. This is usually how candidates approach launching a job search campaign. Why not go to your contacts for referrals, leads, etc. This instantly narrows down your access to potential career opportunities. You must become aware of all potential roles, not just the obvious ones. Don’t restrict your search to your inner circle and your inner circle’s inner circles—far too limiting.

Focus on where a need is that you are confident you can meet. Then, identify the name and contact data of the hiring authority. DO NOT slip into looking for job postings that appear to be the role you want. This pushes your search in the wrong direction. You must think differently than your competition and take action to stand out. If you need assistance to get information, find your focus or create the right positioning, ask a job search consultant, research librarian, or career coach.

Once you have the right contact name, phone, email, text and/or social media account, identify one of your contacts who knows this person and request a personalized introduction or permission to mention a mutual contact’s name and relationship. Don’t share a connection? Cold-calling works. Write, phone or intentionally bump into the hiring authority. Be prepared to quote compelling reasons why they should agree to a brief exploratory conversation. Some ways to command attention from busy executives include guerilla marketing techniques, sharing a custom-created graphic or original article and outlining a relevant success story.

Need help with sample scripts, facilitating an introduction, conducting corporate due diligence, obtaining direct contact information, drafting marketing collaterals, etc.? Get in touch with me, DebraFeldman@JobWhiz.com or via the contact page at JobWhiz.com. I check LinkedIn daily but don’t routinely visit Twitter, Facebook or other platforms for DMs.

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