Use this 3-step strategy to target the right companies for the right jobs.

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Photo by Courtney Cook

This is a guest post by George Verdolaga.

Having a tough time finding a job?

Well, you're not alone.

Despite recent reports of a surge in job growth and a massive lessening of unemployment as countries begin to recover, the pandemic isn't yet over. Continued offshoring by employers, increasing automation and the ever changing jobs landscape will keep making it hard for job seekers to find work.

How can you rise above the competition and position yourself as the top candidate when several people are likely looking for the very same jobs that you’re after?

Which of these bad job search habits has hurt you most?

1) Focus on what you want

Remember that not every company will be a good fit for you. When you know what you want, then you can narrow down the industry where you’d like to get a job.

Knowing the industry where you want to work is half the battle. Saying that “any job works for me” won’t help you get work. Once you narrow down the companies, write up a list of company presidents or CEOs that you can start calling to discuss your career options.

The bigger your list, the more people you can talk to that can tell you about their corporate culture and whether it will be a good place for you to work or not. The more options you have the more relaxed you’ll be talking to people with power and influence.

2) Avoid going through the front door

This is one of the biggest mistakes that both novices and people with tons of work experience commit – they go where everyone goes and flood HR departments with resumes. With software that automatically sorts resumes into “potential hires” and “rejects”, this makes it an even less attractive option for you to send unsolicited resumes.

Cut to the chase and pick up the phone or use your network to contact important decision-makers who have the power to hire you on the spot and give them a sneak preview of what you can do. Keep in mind that you’re also doing the picking and choosing. You have equal power to choose who to work for as much as these employers will pick and choose who can work for them.

3) Never ask for a job; ask for advice

Once you’re in a decision-maker’s office (executive-level, and not an HR manager) for such an information interview, inquire about how they got started and how they overcame their biggest challenges in getting to where they are now. Ask them what kind of advice they’d give to an up-and-comer like you.

Never ask for a job up front, which shows desperation. They’re already evaluating whether you’d be a good hire anyway so don’t steal their thunder.

The key is to (1) get to that CEO or VP’s office and (2) show them your brilliance by asking questions and not talking their ears off about what a great hire you’d make. Leave it to them to offer you a position at their firm, or connect you with one of their subordinates to see if there might be an opportunity somewhere in their firm for a smart and pro-active person like yourself.

READ NEXT: Why You Must Target Companies Early

Question of the article

How did you choose your latest career direction? Tell us in the comments.

Bonus: Top 5 Job Search Strategies To Find A Job In 2021 (JOB SEARCH TACTICS & TECHNIQUES)

About the Author

George VerdolagaGeorge Verdolaga is a TEDx speaker, trend forecaster, and best-selling author of 5 books, including The Job Farmer: The 21st Century Approach to Finding a Job or Getting Clients for your Business. He helps companies take advantage of disruptive opportunities and inspires people to success by providing excellent customer service, building powerful relationships, and thinking business owners rather than wage slaves. Like the work he does for his interior design clients, George shows companies how to solve problems creatively and lead the pack by doing things differently than everyone else. He can be reached through his website or at Twitter via @georgeverdolaga.

This article was part of the The $11K 8th Annual JobMob Guest Blogging Contest.

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Jacob Share

Job Search Expert, Professional Blogger, Creative Thinker, Community Builder with a sense of humor. I like to help people.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. NIgel

    I think only point 1 has any meaning, it is obvious and what every job hunt should be. The other two points are really secondary and I think are both alternatives to what most people do and no more than alternatives. Can’t wait to read the stats about this in the next Jobvite Survey.

  2. turab

    Awesome article during these crucial times! I feel it is difficult to get through to the CEO’s in places such as Middle East and the Indian sub-continent.

    1. Jacob Share

      It’s difficult to get through to CEO’s anywhere, Turab! But there are definitely ways. Google their names, you might learn where they’ll be speaking. If they’re on social media, you may be able to find out which events they’ll be at, and try to meet them there. Another tack is to see if you have a mutual acquaintance. You can also be extremely creative:

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