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How to Create and Execute an Employer-Centric Job Search Strategy

How to Create and Execute an Employer-Centric Job Search Strategy

Job seekers at all levels are going about their searches all wrong. Instead of sending out résumés willy-nilly, they need to focus their effort on the employers who will be most receptive to hiring them.

Technology, globalization and changing workforce demographics have altered the way employers recruit everyone from entry-level talent to executive staff. Yet in spite of those changes, most candidates for jobs still begin their search for a new position the old-fashioned way -- by updating their résumé.

The problem with starting a job search by updating your résumé is that it's a case of putting the cart before the horse. Before you even consider dusting off your résumé, you need to first know the job opportunity for which you're updating it. With your target audience in mind, you can tailor the information on your résumé to the specific job opportunity you're pursuing. You want your résumé (and all your communications with prospective employers) to convince the hiring manager that you are uniquely positioned for his organization.

If you want to land a job quickly in this hypercompetitive market, you need to adopt an employer-centric approach to your search. That means identifying prospective employers that will want your unique skills and expertise first, then packaging yourself as a solution to their specific challenges. The most efficient and effective job search campaigns recognize the employer's needs, reflect their priorities and zoom right in with solutions in the form of the candidate's expertise.

With New Year's resolutions to find a new job looming, here's a systematic framework for creating and conducting an employer-centric job search.

Describe your ideal employer. Give some thought to the kind of company for which you'd like to work. Consider the industry, size, location and ownership model (public or private). Also come up with a short list of companies that would value your expertise. Identify the synergies between the kinds of companies you want to work for and those that would benefit from your skills, and look for jobs in those areas. Having a clear picture of your ideal job will help you focus your efforts and assess prospective opportunities. Because job searching demands extraordinary effort, discipline, resources and time, you must focus on these target areas if you want to produce results efficiently.

It is most effective to appeal to a niche market. Spreading yourself too thin weakens your brand. Trying to be everything to everyone results in being nothing to everyone.

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