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

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.



What’s Driving Your Career?

Is it your personal vision, passions, and innate talents … or is it uncertainty, confusion or even desperation? Are you clear about the type of position that would be intrinsically fulfilling … or are you willing to accept whatever you can get?

When you hear the words personal vision, passion, drive, and innate talents what emotions do you feel? Energy, excitement, enthusiasm, curiosity, hope? Do you feel like you want to get to know more about this person?

Alternatively, when you hear the words uncertainty, confusion, and desperation, what emotions come to mind? Lethargy, pessimism, despair, or lifelessness?

Before you launch your next job search, identify what you are passionate about, what energizes you, and what drives you. Passion is unique, it’s what sets you apart, it’s a precious treasure, and it’s impossible to authentically reproduce.

Focus your job search on your areas of passion, drive, and innate talents. These qualities are contagious and attract the right opportunities. You’ll interview better and capture the interest of the recruiter. While they may not have the perfect position for you at the moment, you will be remembered because of the emotional charge you brought to the meeting.

Communicating verbally and in writing from a place of vision, passion, drive, enthusiasm, and expertise is one of the hallmarks of your brand. It will set you apart from peers who have seemingly similar qualifications. Consider this: If you were interviewing two candidates for a position and both met all of the position requirements, had the same skill sets, appeared to be a good fit in your organization, but one was passionate, appeared to have a lot of drive, and was enthusiastic, who would you choose?

The most successful job search is the one that is focused around your uniqueness. Nearly all recruiters will tell you that they’re looking for the candidate that is focused on a particular function. Trying to market a broad and diverse range of skills and expertise will only confuse the recruiter and muddy your message. While employers do want executives with diverse and broad skill sets, your job search needs to focus on one or two of your major ones. And those should be the skill sets that align most with your passions and innate talents.

The return for landing a position focused on your personal vision, passion and innate talents are many, but most importantly include intrinsic fulfillment and extrinsic reward.

*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.

Tips for a Focused Job Search

A focused job search includes extreme clarity, a concentrated effort, persistence, and out-of-the-box thinking. It also includes a system and methodology including upfront analysis and planning, research and investigation, a due diligence process, organization of multiple concurrent activities, and precise execution.

In Bryan Golden’s, nationally syndicated weekly newspaper column, Dare to Live Without Limits, his March 4, 2009 column in The Resident is entitled “Concentrated Effort Brings Success.” He writes,

“It’s true, success does take effort. But it also takes as much, if not more, effort to continuously struggle without being on a path to success.

Living takes effort. However, you have the power to formulate any strategy you want for expending your effort. You can scatter your efforts so nothing is accomplished. Or you can concentrate your effort into a powerful force.”

Here is an analogy Golden gives, “What happens when spilled jet fuel on a runway is ignited? It burns, creates a lot of heat, but doesn’t get you anywhere. But burn it in a jet engine and you then have the means to get to a specific destination.

Why are there different results? When the fuel is burned on the ground, its effort is dispersed and nothing is accomplished. In a jet engine, the effort is concentrated and directed in one direction. Only in the engine will the fuel’s effort get you anywhere.”

Golden’s statement, “It’s true, success does take effort. But it also takes as much, if not more, effort to continuously struggle without being on a path to success.” can be straightforwardly applied to job search.

Focusing Your Job Search Efforts

Decide on the type of job you want. Create a job description for your ideal job or dream job. Be precise and include the challenges, responsibilities, team environment, and culture.

Decide on the type of company that interests you. For instance, would you prefer to work for a company funded by private equity or venture capital; would you prefer to work for a large public company or small privately held company; a forward thinking, fast paced company or a time-honored, deliberate company; a regulated or non-regulated company?

Research your ideal job. Talk to executives who have held the position in which you are interested. Do a target-gap analysis of the skills, knowledge, and abilities you need for your ideal position. Decide how you’ll overcome the gaps.

Perform an analysis of your existing network. Develop a strategy for identifying and connecting with the people who can help you. Develop a strategy for expanding your network so you can connect with the people who can help you.

Study your target companies. Talk to people who currently work for your target companies as well as those who previously worked for the companies.

Study your target industry. Conduct research to find out where the industry is headed; how the industry is faring in this economic downturn, what challenges and barriers the industry is facing.

Create a customized version of your marketing materials (resume, cover letter, addendum, etc.) that you can use for your target job. Use this customized version as your “leave behind” piece. In other words, materials you can “leave” with people you have spoken with at networking events or information gathering meetings. For example, when a sales professional concludes his presentation, he will “leave” brochures and marketing materials for further review and consideration.

In today’s market, you can’t expect your resume to be a “door opener.” The competition is too intense. You should only be using it as a “leave behind” piece.

The bottom line … job search is all about networking and getting an internal contact to recommend you.

If you would like help in creating a focused job search strategy, contact beverly@harveycareers.com or call 386-749-3111.

Targeted Job Search & Lateral Moves

In today’s tumultuous economy, it’s pretty unlikely that you’ll find your next position on a job board or through a recruiter mailing campaign. As you can imagine with 760,000 jobs lost so far in 2008, there are thousands of applicants for every single senior-level position.

Your best strategy today is to use the targeted approach. This involves:

  • Choosing a specific company that you would like to work for,
  • Pinpointing a problem that you can solve for that company,
  • Identifying and connecting with executives in the company,
  • And then either asking one of your new contacts to hand deliver your resume to the decision maker…or…calling the executive to schedule a time to network with him/her.

Just this week a client told me that this is how she landed her last two positions. The specificity and extra work pays off handsomely. And actually, it’s not that much more work … it’s simply a more focused process.

With the collapse of the mortgage industry and severe downturn in several others, I’ve been repeatedly asked, “What are some lateral industries that I could switch to so I don’t have to start all over again?” and “How do I find a company that can utilize my expertise”? This is a tough question because often times your innate talents and interests are what drive you into a particular industry. While your talents and interests cross over into other industries, you may have no interest in the other industry. However, here’s one method that can help you with your decision.

Step 1 – Industry Code

Start with your current industry’s North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code. If you don’t know the code for your industry, you can find it at either of the two websites listed below.

NAICS Association (http://www.naics.com/search.htm)
Under the NAICS Drill-Down Menu, look through the list until you find your industry. Click on the two-digit “Code” and you will see a list of related fields which the site calls, “Titles.” By clicking on the Title’s six-digit code, you will be taken to a screen with an explanation of the industry and cross references to other industries. Make a list of the industries that sound interesting.

U.S. Census Bureau (http://www.census.gov/naics/2007/NAICOD07.HTM)
You will see a list of the NAICS Codes and all of the nested sub-level codes. By clicking on any one of the codes, you will see an explanation of the industry and cross references. Drilling down on the cross references, you can find lateral industries.

For instance the Finance and Insurance NAICS code is “52.” It includes 121 industry sub-sets that could provide you with some ideas for a lateral move. Read through the list and determine what industry sub-set you might like to explore.

Step 2 – Publications

Using some of the publications listed below (Fortune, Inc., Forbes), conduct further research into specific companies in those industries.

Fortune (money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/)
Using Fortune’s “Industries” list, find the industry you’ve selected as a possible lateral move and click on that industry. The site will display a list of the companies in that particular industry. If you click on the company name, the site will display a profile of the company.

Fortune also provides lists of Top Companies, Top Industries, CEOs, and companies listed by geographic location at money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune500/2008/. You can select a state and view an interactive map of Fortune 1000 companies in your state. You can then click on the company and get a corporate snapshot, including the name of the CEO.

Fortune also publishes a list of the fastest growing industries as well as many other lists including:

  • High revenue growth
  • High EPS (earnings per share) growth
  • High profit growth
  • High return to investors
  • Big / Small Employer
  • Top 5 in its industry
  • Best company to work for
  • Top 500 Headquarters

Inc. Magazine (http://www.inc.com/inc5000/index.html)

Inc. publishes many lists including:

  • Inc. 5000 fastest growing private companies in America http://www.inc.com/inc5000/
  • Top 100 Inc. 5000 Companies By Gross Dollars of Growth
  • Top 100 Inc. 5000 Companies By Revenue
  • Top 100 Inc. 5000 Companies By Metro Region
  • Top 100 Inc. 5000 Companies By Industry

Inc.’s website features interactive maps highlighting the density of:

  • Top 100 Companies by Revenue (with icons showing location on US map)
  • Top 100 Companies by Growth

You can search the Inc. 5000 and Inc. 500 lists by state to find the companies in your geographical preference and browse the 2008 Inc. 5000 by Industry and get a list of companies and locations. You can click on the company name to view a company profile (year founded, growth, revenue, number of employees, rankings, and a link to the company website).

In September 2008, Inc. published this list of Top 10 Industries by Median Growth Rate:
1. Energy 298%
2. Government Services 220%
3. Security 200%
4. IT Services 187%
5. Software 187%
6. Consulting 182%
7. Telecommunications 171%
8. Advertising & Marketing 167%
9. Real Estate 167%
10. Financial Services 165%

Forbes Magazine (www.Forbes.com)

Forbes publishes many lists including:

  • Fastest Growing Industries
  • America’s Largest Private Companies (sortable by industry) — Includes interactive map by state, a list of Newcombers, and list of Private Tech Companies
  • Asia’s Fab 50 Companies
  • Global High Performers
  • Forbes 2000
  • Next Step – LinkedIn

Step 3 – LinkedIn

Now that you’ve gathered a list of target companies, go to LinkedIn.com (http://www.linkedin.com/) and do an advanced search on the company names to find a list of people that work in those companies so you can establish a connection and dialogue.

You can read more about using LinkedIn in your job search in my January 2008 newsletter. If you’re a new subscriber, send an email to beverly@harveycareers with “January 2008 CNT” in the subject line and I’ll send you a copy.