Job Search: Think out of the box

When you are job hunting you need to be aware of three things:

  • What type of work you want
  • Where you want to work
  • Why you want to work there

This is called the Proactive Approach to job seeking, one of the many different ways of job searching. Taking the proper actions using targeted job search methods will help make the job you want yours.


You will use four simple tools:

  • A small, well researched, detailed list of companies and executives you want to work for
  • A targeted cover letter tailored to each companies specific needs
  • A problem solving resume which does not use a ‘pitch' to sell your skills
  • A belief in yourself and your skills

With these targeted job search tools you will do the following:

  • Mail, or email, a set number of contacts from the list above
  • Wait one week, then call each person on the list to discuss their concerns, needs and opportunities; then schedule a meeting with them
  • After the meeting, send a proposal-like follow up letter

Different job search methods have different steps to follow. Targeted job searching has four steps.

Step 1: Pick Your Target

Before you begin job searching, know which companies you want to target. This method of job searching will take more effort, but the difference with this job search method is that you are choosing the work you want and not settling for anything less.

Step 2: Do Your Homework

Targeting your job search will require you to be aware of all the companies within the field you want to work in. The best example of this is to consider your hobby.

  • What products do you use in your hobby? Are any made or sold locally?
  • Where do you go to do your hobby? What businesses do you know there?
  • What events do you go to? What businesses are there?
  • Where do you buy items for your hobby? Could you work there?

Another method of job searching with a different angle is to check publications and directories. Here's a sample of where to look:

  • Industry magazines - check if your chosen field has a magazine, if so read it; look for incoming management, acquisitions, expansion, any hint of new opportunities
  • Chamber of Commerce - most often the membership list is online at the website; look over this list, then pick out your targets
  • Yellow Pages - this is an alphabetical categorized list of industries located in the surrounding area; pick out all companies which look good as prospects
  • Online Yellow Pages - this allows you to search by keyword and location

Step 3: Check the Facts

Once you have located the companies information, verify the accuracy and update any information needed. Without this step you could be wasting time trying to locate contact information for a person no longer with the business.

Step 4: Investigate

Pretend you are a customer of the company. Look into the company, its products and management. Know what you are getting into before applying to a position you may not want later. You shop for the best clothes, cars, and food; why not shop around for the best job as well.

By using targeted job search methods you are not only helping yourself achieve the job you want, you are also guaranteeing you will not get a job you regret later.