Why You Need a Targeted Job Search

Target Audience 3d words in an open door to illustrate searching for and finding niche prospects and clients through advertising and marketingThe idea of pinpointing and then refining your target market of employers is an overwhelming concept for most. A bigger universe intuitively seems more likely to result in employer interest. “If I send out my resume to as many employers as I can,” the mentality goes, “surely some of them will be interested in me.” But the opposite is true: The more you funnel the universe of employers into a laser-focused, precise, narrow segment of those who would love to hire you, the more successful you’ll be.

To understand the importance of target marketing in your job search, let’s first define a target market: “A specific group of consumers at which a company aims its products and services,” says Entrepreneur.com.

Adapted for a job-seeker, that would be: “A specific group of employers at which a job-seeker aims his or her talents and services.”

Here’s what a target market is not (even though some marketers of products and services mistakenly define their target markets this way): “Anyone interested in my products or services.”

Here’s how the marketing process works for those marketers who define their target market as “anyone interested in my products or services:”

The marketer creates advertising or promotional material and then disseminates it to those perceived as “anyone interested in my products or services.”

This process may have a familiar ring to job-seekers because it is essentially the way most of them conduct their job searches:

The job-seekers create advertising or promotional material – in the form of a resume and usually a cover letter – and disseminates it to those perceived as “anyone interested in ‘me as a product and the services I offer,’” typically employers who have posted vacancies on job boards or advertised openings in other media.

Smart marketers know that both of these approaches are backward. If you want to sell a product, you don’t create the product first and then go to stores hoping people buy it. You’d first do research. You would find out who would use the product, what customers are looking for in this kind of product, how this product would help them, how you’d get it to market, and what the packaging looks like. Once you understand that, you would perfect the product and go to market.

Just as no universal products appeal to all consumers, no universal job-seeker appeals to all employers. Neither jobs nor employers are one-size-fits-all. Savvy job-seekers survey the universe of employers to determine how to break the market down into a more manageable subset of employers that will be keenly attracted to what the job-seeker has to offer.

The proven strategy of target marketing enables the marketer or job-seeker to reach the customers/employers whose needs are most likely to be filled by the entity being marketed. That’s a big reason to use target marketing in the job search – but just a few of the other reasons include:

  • It’s more efficient. Yes, target marketing requires a big investment in front-end research. But that investment pays off when the job-seeker is productively going on interviews instead of sitting on his or her posterior by the computer uploading resumes to employers who might be interested and waiting for hiring managers to call.
  • It targets the portion of the job market most likely to hire. A huge number of jobs aren’t advertised. Employers hold back on publicizing vacancies for all kinds of reasons, but if you can get in on the pipeline of an unpublicized opening, you’ll have a huge advantage over the vast hordes responding to job postings.
  • Through target marketing, you’ll be a better fit and happier with the employer at which you land than if you took your chances with answering ads. Since you’ve carefully vetted each employer in your target market, you know you’re a good match and you fit the organizational culture. The outplacement firm Lee Hecht Harrison notes that 70 percent of its clients get new jobs through target-market methods, a figure consistent with other studies.

These steps of identifying and narrowing the market are part of a process that also includes approaching employers, developing and proposing solutions to them, handling their objections, closing the sale, and following up.

If you need help with your job search, consider coaching with us.

Give us a call at 386-749-3111
Send us an email at beverly@harveycareers.com
Schedule a call with Beverly at www.harveycareers.com/schedule

Developing a Targeted Mailing List

Focus bullseyeThere are two basic schools of thought on direct mail aimed at locating a new position, commonly referred to as mass mailings and targeted direct mailings. The former relies on the premise that if enough letters and résumés are mailed, something will inevitably get attention, and that will result in an interview, or hopefully, multiple interviews, at different companies. Targeted mailings, on the other hand, are smaller mailings focused on a select audience, the market most likely to be seeking a candidate with your qualifications. The numbers may be smaller, but the results have proven to be more effective.

Opting to use this strategy requires research and strategy. The last thing you want to do is spend a lot of time, money, and effort on a campaign that lacks focus – and results. This is why it is vital that your targeted search involves the following:

  • Defining your ideal company
  • Creating a list of potential target companies
  • Prioritizing your list of target companies
  • Researching the companies thoroughly using Hoover’s database or other business resources
  • Networking with the decision makers
  • Presenting yourself as a solution to a major problem the interviewing company is having

Finding the right database targeted to companies and industries of your choosing will help you create your target company list. On average, direct mail campaigns get better results if the database mailing list is carefully selected using NAICS, SIC, or Hoovers codes, company size (revenues, employees), and geographic location.

Should you choose to conduct your own direct mail campaign, there are many sources aimed at locating recruiters and companies.

Putting Together Your Mailing List

There are a number of resources available to help you build a personalized list based on your target job search such as Hoovers, ReferenceUSA.com, and InfoUSA. These fee-based services are quite popular among executive job seekers. However, if you are on a tight budget, you may want to consider free options. Visiting websites like www.forbes.com/lists and Inc. Magazine provide insight into Fortune 500 companies, top performing companies, and the most profitable companies in all industries. Job seekers willing to take the time to dig a little deeper and conduct thorough research will find that creating a mailing list isn’t as daunting a task as it may seem.

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

For further help:
Give Beverly Harvey a call at 386-749-3111
Send us an email at beverly@harveycareers.com
Schedule a call with Beverly at www.harveycareers.com/schedule

How to Leverage Blogs in Your Job Search

Image converted using ifftoany
Image converted using ifftoany

One of the more productive tools to make high-level executive contacts has turned out to be blogging. Many savvy job seekers are now including blogs as part of their research and networking strategy to find executive positions. Likewise, recruiters are using blogs to network with candidates and build a talent pipeline, while executive search firms are using blogs to identify and research candidates. Blogging has many useful applications that enable executive job seekers to:

  • Research a company and determine the corporate culture.
  • Network and make contact with a blogger in your target company.
  • Research a company’s services and products and technological developments to assess how solid your target company is in the marketplace and how well positioned it is for growth.
  • Increase your visibility on headhunters’ radar screens by keeping your credentials fresh in the minds of search professionals who are searching for talented executives.
  • Build a personal online brand and become a high-profile performer in your industry.
  • Position yourself as a valuable resource with a record of solid, provable accomplishments that attract career-building opportunities.

Blogging is particularly attractive to executive job seekers who have few top-level contacts with whom they can network, affording them an opportunity to open conversations with decision makers in target companies.

Establishing a blog is a relatively straightforward process that even non-technical professionals will find manageable. As a job seeker, you can approach blogging from one of the following two perspectives:

  1. Post comments on established blogs.
  2. Create your own blog that offers valuable information to your target audience, thereby establishing you as a thought leader.

Either approach will promote your brand and position you as a thought leader in your field.

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

*This article may be republished with written permission. If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com. I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.

Targeted Research Gives Executive Job Seekers an Advantage over their Competition

iStock_000005614684XSmallWhat is the most effective executive job hunting strategy in today’s demanding market? The answer may surprise you. With so many job seekers searching for the proverbial needle in the haystack when it comes to finding the perfect position, targeted research offers a direct path to landing that attractive executive position at a company that offers the opportunity for professional growth and development. Just as employers need to screen potential employees, executive job seekers need to screen prospective employers to make sure the goals of the company match the goals of the executive. This is best done through targeted research.

When you research target companies, consider the following characteristics of the company:

  • Is the company private or public? Is it for-profit or a not-for-profit?
  • What is the company’s industry classification?
  • What is the company’s vision, strategy, and mission?
  • What is the company’s culture? Is it a fast-paced environment or does it operate at a leisurely pace?
  • What is the stage of growth? Is the company a start-up, a sustaining business, or is it in decline?
  • Does the company grow through expansion of the current service or product lines, through acquisition, or by developing partnerships with other companies?
  • Is it in hyper growth or steady year-after-year growth?
  • Is it business-to-business, business-to-consumer, or business-to-government?
  • Is the company an industry leader, an emerging company, a pioneering company, or a traditional company?
  • It a green company, a socially conscious company, or does it ignore such considerations?
  • Does the pay scale and available benefits meet your needs?
  • What is the commuting distance?

As you can see there is much to consider about targeted companies. Directed research is the hallmark of an effective targeted marketing campaign. Above all, it’s an opportunity to learn about target companies and discover major problems that you can solve. Although this is the nitty-gritty of the executive job search, it is important to take your time with the research process as it will give you an advantage over your competitors. A candidate who knows the interviewing company’s problems and how to resolve them is the job candidate who lands the job. It’s that simple.

So, how do you find these answers? Check out Landing an Executive Position – Proven Job Search Strategies that Win Offers for a list of websites that offer valuable company information as well as a list of strategies that include purchasing company mailing lists, using Google news alerts, and corresponding with industry recruiters to gather as much targeted research as possible about companies you are interested in pursuing.

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

*This article may be republished with written permission.  If you are interested in posting this article on your blog, please email me at Beverly@HarveyCareers.com.  I will respond within 2 business days with my required signature and credits.



3 Tools for Executing & Managing Your Job Search

There are several Web-based tools to help you prepare for your job search and manage the various activities associated with your career transition. The goal of these applications is to organize all of your job search activities into one centralized location. Some provide you with excellent resources and tools. Each site offers either a complimentary tour or trial period. Some of the tools these sites offer include:

Career Planning

  • Career assessments, career profiles and occupational research


  • Industry research (industry overview, trends & forecasts, business challenges)
  • Company/Organization research (revenues, financial information, size, number of employees, locations)
  • Contact research including executives and employees in targeted companies (employee names, titles, contact information, etc.)
  • Researched articles written by executives and employees of target companies
  • Website and media links (corporate press releases, etc.)

Tools and Resources

  • Job board postings and feeds (customizable selection)
  • Contact management (new entries and imports)
  • Embedded links (LinkedIn, Indeed)
  • Resume and cover letter advice
  • Libraries and resources
  • Journals
  • Account Sharing with your Career Coach (optional)

3 Top Career Management Tools

1) Career Beam – www.careerbeam.com

According to Colleen Sabatino, President of Career Beam, “98% of companies are private companies, and 97% of these aren’t using job postings services to source their best talent.” She also states that, “posting your resume and responding to online job postings will get you access to roughly 20% of available positions in the market and only about 4% of positions are actually filled in this manner.”

Colleen further states that “you need a process for navigating your career in a market that almost exclusively operates outside of traditional job posting sites.” “The other 80% of opportunities can be identified and captured, but only by those individuals who know what they want, are able to communicate it effectively, and know how to implement a strategic search process.”

Highlights of CareerBeam’s Unique Features:

Organization database includes U.S.- and Canadian-based companies. The search categories include: company selection, location selection, industry & size selection, contact selection, recruiter selection. Information is sourced through Hoovers and other subscription sites.

International database includes any company with a foreign presence. This includes US-owned companies with a foreign presence as well as foreign-owned companies.

Contact Research – LinkedIn is embedded in the system so you can log in and do research without leaving CareerBeam.

Job Search – ZoomInfo is embedded in the system. You can pull up company information including summary, revenues, employee size, key people, description, products and services, competitors, news information, and job postings listed on ZoomInfo.

Job Postings – Search for job postings using CareerBeam’s search tool. The General Postings pull from CareerBuilder and the Company Postings pull from Indeed.

Target companies – Search for target companies by location or SIC / NAICS codes.

Functionality – Offers ability to research and track company, schedule activities, insert follow up reminders, and add notes.

Research On Demand – “research on demand” allows you to request research on companies not currently in the database.

Industry Overview – Provides comprehensive industry information including: Competitive landscape, Products, Operations & Technology, Recent Developments, Business Challenges / Critical Issues, Business Trends & Industry Opportunities, Executive Insight (Challenges & Issues by function (CEO, CFO, HR, Sales), Financial Information, Industry Forecast, Website and Media Links, Glossary of Acronyms

Company / Industry Research Preparation – Includes call preparation questions and conversation starters such as: How cyclical is the firm’s business? How does the firm ensure regulatory compliance? How much of an overseas’ presence does the firm have?
Account Management – When Logging out, you have the ability to send your coach a note on activities completed (Coach-Supported membership only).

Member Support – Quick Start Guide and Videos (online help system), Q&A (for website questions)

2) JibberJobberwww.jibberjobber.com

JibberJobber is a powerful tool that lets you manage your career, from job search to relationship management to target company management (and much more).

Jason Alba designed JibberJobber to be complementary to any career or networking resource you can find, including job boards, recruiters and headhunters, career coaches, networking books, social networks, and more.

Highlights of JibberJobber’s Unique Features:

Manage Prospective Employers: Enter and track prospective employer information and log communications and activities (including which resume and cover letter you sent foe each opportunity.)

Manage Recruiter Relationships: Enter and track recruiting company information and log communications and activities.

Manage Job Boards: Enter job board information and log activity.

Manage Your Personal Network: Enter, categorize, assign tags and rank contact information, log activities, and set relationship goals. You can import your Twitter, Gmail, and Outlook contacts.

Manage Action Items: Create action items on multiple job postings, companies, recruiters, boards, network contacts and receive action items in your email.

Track Jobs That You Apply For: Create “job posting” to track status and events, update status of each posting, and track which resume, cover letter, etc. you sent.

Manage Documents: Store career marketing documents.

Prepare for Interviews: Enter 30-second elevator pitch, T.O.P.(trends, opportunities, problems) responses, C.A.R. (challenge, action, results) stories, and questions to ask the interviewer.

Track Expenses: Log expenses and mileage.

Job Journal: Enter and track accomplishments for job search and promotions.

Coaching Sessions: Manage coach relationships.

3) CareerShift www.careershift.com

CareerShift’s set of tools and applications provide a complete career management system specifically for job seekers. Owners, Valerie and Mark Matta launched the site in May 2007.

CareerShift lets you tap into the power of the Internet with a set of patent-pending research tools, techniques and online applications. CareerShift uses dynamic linking to “publicly posted” information on the Internet and presents the information in a user-friendly format. CareerShift centralizes your information on the site and enables you to store, organize and manage information relevant to your job search. With dynamic linking, the information the system finds and presents is real time and most likely current.

CareerShift enables you to transition seamlessly between open positions, job opportunities, company information, and networking opportunities at a particular company.

Highlights of CareerShift’s Unique Features:

Job Search – Meta job search engine/aggregator that will bring in job postings from their original destination (newspaper, corporate website, association, job board).

You can then search for employees within the company and CareerShift will provide contact information, articles, press mentions, etc. affiliated with that individual so you can network with an internal employee.

Company Research – Search for companies that do business in a particular field in a specific city or state. Results provide a link to the company’s website where you can find additional open positions, company details, and contacts in the company.

People Search – Search for people in a particular geographic region that hold positions similar to the position being sought. Then cross-reference search by industry, alumni or school attended to find commonality consequently making you feel more comfortable with initial contact.

Mailing Campaigns – Create, print and execute campaigns (email and physical) from saved contacts or newly added contacts. System includes automated, customizable document/list merge system that merges the cover letter and appropriate resume for the mailing.

Calendaring – After completing a campaign, use MY CALENDAR to alert you to follow-up with prospective employers.

Functionality – Upload and store resumes and cover letters or use CareerShift’s wizard to create documents.

Support – Includes Live Help Desk with 800 number or email support and a blog.