Job Search Circa 2008
It starts like any other integrated campaign: only this time, you're the product. Which means you'll need to do research on your target audience, brand yourself effectively and prepare outstanding marketing materials, respond to openly declared demand, and seek out hidden opportunities to sell yourself into.
Here's how to do it.
Prospecting for Clients Ask any good salesperson how they begin their sales process. They're likely to answer that, after thoroughly understanding the product they are offering, and scoping out the competition, they turn to developing a prospect list. This amounts to defining and identifying their target audience. In your case this means researching the industries, employers and hiring managers who might hire someone like you within specific geographic locations, like within your city or even in another province or country.
So where do you start? Online, bien sur. With Industry Canada's website. Here you'll find ''...in-depth, industry-specific analysis, statistics, contacts, news, events, financing and regulatory information for Canadian business.'' Also you can use their Company Directories to find info on the kinds of firms that are in your targeted zone. More info on employers is available free (in a trial version) from Scott's Directories. You can take a look inside a company's operating environment by viewing their recruiting videos at standoutjobs.com or careertours.com. Keep in mind that you're likely to see sanitized material here that puts the employer in its best light.
You Are The Brand Before you run out and start mass e-mailing companies you've found in your research, creating your selling material is crucial. Think of it as personalized marketing communications. In the words of the old master himself, David Ogilvy (often referred to as ''the father of advertising,'' now deceased): ''Every advertisement should be thought of as a contribution to the complex symbol which is the brand image''.
Your resume should resemble your cover letter which should resemble your online presence, your unique work-related attributes, your goals and who you are. All polished to a spit shine, of course. For a briefing on how to get your virtual reputation in order before employers Google you, click here to one of my earlier articles. Looking for a primer on resume writing? You can find one here. 80 sample resumes? Here. And let's not forget cover letters and various other letters.
Applying For Advertised Jobs Everyone who's looking for work boots up and surfs for jobs first thing. You should too. In Canada the two most popular job banks are Workopolis and Monster.ca. You're wise to start out there. Post your resume to their respective databases too. Then hunt down some smaller job banks that cater to your occupation and industry (such as Marketing Magazine's Career Classifieds). Post your resume there as well. Never hurts to be where employers might be looking. (Click here for a site that lists gobs of Canadian job banks by category).
But don't waste all your time going jobsite to jobsite trying to find that perfect position. Instead, use some of the new ''spydering'' tools that visit hundreds of job banks and thousands of employer career pages all at once. Here are two for Canada: Indeed and Eluta. They'll save you mucho hours and expose you to five times as many jobs as are posted on the big ones combined. Throw in Craiglslist and you're covering your bases for the most part.
Though by ''bases'' I simply mean the advertised jobs that appear online. Which make up a very small fraction of all the work opportunities actually out there. A quick reality check: how many actual jobs for Canada are posted on the web in total, at any given time? a) 150,000 b) 350,000 c) 550,000 d) 750,000
If you answered ''somewhere between a and b'', you're right. And how many potential employees out there? A cool 17,000,000 or so. You do the math.
Exposing Those ''Hidden'' Jobs Which brings us to the place where work is found most frequently, the hidden job market. These are the employment opportunities that never make it on to the Net, or into newspaper classifieds or industry publications. To get them, you have network like there's no tomorrow. I cover the basics of what the term ''hidden'' means, how to warm and cold network, and how to creatively
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