You’ve been networking like I’ve been talking about, but eventually the job leads dry up. The ads in the paper disappear and you stop seeing new posts on the job boards. It’s time to start a targeted search.
Targeted searching is a lot like the way that job searching used to take place, only now it is electronic. In the past you used to print 50 copies of your resume on special parchment paper with matching envelopes and shell out the cash for a roll of stamps and start firing blindly via snail mail. Today, targeted marketing goes hi tech! Now you can get loads of company information online via the company’s website. Almost every company has a listing of open job in a Careers or Employment section of their website. If the company is public you can get further information from Yahoo! Finance (finance.yahoo.com) and the like.
Most companies will also usually list the contact information of their hiring team. That makes targeting companies a whole lot easier. Simply apply for an open job through their online system or submit your resume with custom cover letter to the email address of the HR Director and you are on your way to getting a foot in the door with the company you are interested in.
What if the company doesn’t have an open position listed? I say tell them that you are interested in their company in a carefully crafted cover letter. This takes more effort, because you probably don’t understand the company’s structure to know how your role will fit in. Don’t let that discourage you. Get it said loud and proud the value that you can be to the company if they were to hire you.
Whether it is your cover letter or the interview itself, shift the focus to them rather than yourself. To stand out from the competition you want to be remembered as someone that was thoughtful in asking questions about the problems they are facing and how you could help. Don’t dwell too much on what you did for your last company. Focus on the skills you have to help the company you are talking to. When you reference your experience do it with stories that explain the problems that you were facing and what you did to solve them.
The less boring you are and the more rules to which you are the exception, the more hirable you will become.
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