Job Search Strategies (part III) – Research, Personal Pitch & Networking

The current trend is for companies to try and hire new employees as inexpensively as possible. Although job boards/postings are not the best way to get a job interview, it is one of the most frequently used methods in today’s market.  Job boards are best used as a way to find out about openings. Just remember, they are a poor way to get in the door and that you and 1,000 other applicants will be fighting for that opportunity. Don’t make this your only attempt!

–  Job Boards (Monster, Yahoo! HotJobs, TheLadders, CareerBuilder,, Craigslist, SixFigureJobs, etc.)

–  Job search engines (Indeed, SimplyHired, and others)

–  Company job postings

Tip: Use Job Boars and postings as an opportunity to do targeting networking to people within the organization that can refer you to the hiring manager.


Hey, you do competitive analysis when you build your company, think about potential partners or identify companies who might put out a competing product. So put the same effort into identifying potential employers.

–  Talk with your confidants about which ones are doing well (or not), which ones are getting funded, acquiring other companies, or any companies with similar business models you might not know about.

–  Take the time to learn if there companies making a push into the sector(s) of your expertise, who builds similar products, cuts similar deals, or sells to the same customers? Perhaps you can help them.

–  Leverage the tools available to you to learn about your networks and contacts. What deals have they invested in? Who do they partner with? Who are their clients? Do you share mutual interests?

– Check out websites, press releases, blogs, LinkedIn, and others to figure out how you can get connected to the person or company you have identified.  Warm introductions are the only way to go in today’s market.  Cold calls don’t send the right message and won’t get you the response rate you desire.

–  Research the industry conferences, special workshops and alumni events that are going on. Pick the ones that you think will be most impactful, skip the rest. Be focused… don’t tire yourself out going to pointless events.


If you are unemployed or feel like you are not being fully challenged in your current job, this is a great time to think broadly.  Don’t expect that perfect job to come find you.  You need to actively pursue it and you need be able to articulate what you really want to other people … but you need to be able to articulate concisely not only what you want but what you offer.

–  Have you ever asked someone what they do only to have them start talking about their job but end up discussing the finer points of underwater basket-weaving or blabbering on about how their lap dog ended up at the vet?  DON’T BE THAT PERSON.

Your career is a story and your resume gives some of the highlights. When talking about yourself, your goal should be to talk about yourself in an authentic way that conveys the best parts about you.

Too often people blow the opportunity to intelligently talk about themselves. Don’t try to say everything you have ever done. Don’t lose track of what you said or the point you were trying to make. No-one is going to tell your story as well as you can.  But if you don’t practice your story, you won’t nail the delivery.

The way you tell your story and can give you a tremendous edge over your competition.


Your next job is going to come from your network. The people you know are the most likely source from where you are going to find your next job.  You can’t be afraid to put yourself out there and talk to people.  Once you have honed your resume, built your game plan and refined your personal pitch, you next step should be to talk with as many friends, colleagues, recruiters, alumni networks and outplacement agencies as possible.

Sift through that great rolodex of yours and identify your targets. But do not just blindly email or call them without purpose! If you want to stand out, you better be over-prepared. Pro athletes spend countless hours practicing/training for their games.  The same applies to your career. Get up to speed on what’s happening in your field. Know the trends and issues being faced in your field.  Know who the promising players/companies are and get to know what they are doing that is creating successful outcomes.  Remember, your competition does.

Some of the most successful job seekers I have interacted with in the past 6 months have all had something to bring beyond just a good resume… and savvy CEOs and investors are demanding more too.


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