In the current environment, finding any job is a challenge. Landing your ideal job is even more difficult because jobs are just not all that plentiful right now. In any jobs environment, a fundamental key to your search is whether you're marketed to, or you market to. Let me explain.
If you're doing things like leafing through help wanted ads in newspapers, scrolling through online job boards, or searching craigslist type job listings online, you're being marketed to. The challenge you face with this approach is you're in competition with dozens or even hundreds of other people who want the same job.
This kind of activity is analogous to consumers who want to buy the hottest toy of the current Christmas season for their child. There always seems to be a limited quantity of those toys available, and a seemingly unlimited number of people who want one. It would be easier if you could just reserve one of those toys for yourself before they're made available to the general public, right? Well, I'm sure there are ways you could do that, but I won't go into that here. After all, we're talking about landing a job, not buying a toy.
Just like with the toy analogy, wouldn't it be easier if you could somehow apply for your ideal job before any other potential candidates even know the opening exists? Of course it would, and that's where the idea of "marketing to" comes into play. When you're marketing to, you are in control of the job search situation.
The process of marketing to simply involves marketing yourself as a candidate for employment. This is where you have to apply some creativity. Carefully ponder this question: "How can I find job openings that haven't been publicized yet?" Pondering this question should spur all kinds of unique ideas if you allow yourself to think outside the box a little. Clearly, this will be easier for some than others, but with some time and effort, anyone can come up with a few viable ideas. The next step is simply to identify the best idea or ideas, then implement them.
Here's an example, just to help get your creative juices flowing:
I once read about an individual who was a marketing manager at a newspaper. When she heard that her position was being eliminated, she offered a cash reward on LinkedIn for help in securing a new position. Of course, lots of people use LinkedIn to search for employment, but she generated a lot of buzz around herself by using it just a little bit more creatively than everyone else.
Maybe you could try a variation of this idea, or maybe you'll think of some other unique way to market yourself. Whatever you end up doing, you're bound to enhance your chances of landing that job, and that's the whole point.
Does all this mean you should discontinue your current job search efforts? Of course not. After all, you never really know where you'll find that golden job opportunity. But by incorporating some more proactive job search ideas, you'll increase your odds tremendously.
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