Are You Executing A Passive Or Active Job Search?

by Beverly Harvey

There are two basic types of job seekers: passive and active. Passive job seekers are those who choose the path of least resistance. They typically just send out résumés, then sit back and wait for a response. Active job seekers proactively seek out opportunities, target specific companies, and pursue them relentlessly. They reach out to others to request the information and help they need. They proactively think about how they can bring value to companies. Passive job seekers use two approaches, both of them marginally productive at best and totally ineffective at worst:

  • A serial approach where they update their résumé, submit it to job openings posted on Internet job boards, or to recruiters, and ask network contacts for leads. In all cases they wait passively for responses.
  • A trial-and-error approach where they begin with one method, such as submitting their résumé to posted positions on job boards … and when that approach fails they switch to another method … and when that doesn’t work they try another method. And so on. This trial-and-error approach makes for a very long and drawn out job search. It leads to frustration and disappointment. It also drains the nest egg.

Consider browsing online job boards as the least productive activity. Many of the jobs posted there come from recruiters testing the waters for potential available candidates. They’re also the most dangerous if you’re still employed because you never know whom you’re sending your résumé to, and how it may bounce back to the company where you’re employed. Job search is marketing! You need to actively market your qualifications. Create a job search strategy similar to that of a business. Think about the companies you’ve worked for in the past. Most likely they used multiple mediums and venues for marketing their products and services. You need to do the same. In today’s economy, you need to blend a targeted search with the traditional job search methods. You need to create a multi-channel, multi-media strategy that leverages your efforts and provides a return on investment of your time and resources while shortening the time it takes to land a high-paying and meaningful position.

This brief article is an excerpt from, Landing An Executive Position.

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