Take Ownership of Your Job Search

by | March 10, 2009

  • My Vault

Take an active role in your job search. You can't just sit by the phone. You need to work harder to find the right job for yourself. You might even want to console yourself with the fact that searching for a job is the hardest job you'll ever have. The reason why is simple - when it's done right it's full of rejection.

Wrong Approach:
Too many job seekers, in the interest of AVOIDING REJECTION, will simply search all the job sites, post a resume to a few opportunities listed, and then sit back and wait. This is the passive no-win approach to job searching that will never get you the results you are looking for. Don't let yourself fall into this role.

Better Approach:

Quite the contrary, you need to invite rejection. Each "No" you receive will bring you closer to a "Yes." It's in your best interest to get past the "No's" as quickly as possible. Don't dawdle, and don't avoid the not-so-fun task of hearing them. Remember, you're looking for the Job that YOU Really Want. That means you're going to have to dig to find it. It's not on a silver platter, it's most likely not on some job site or even on the Web. You are going to have to expend some energy during a several week (or month) period of time.

You'll take ownership of your job search in two ways:

1. Locating new information

Taking ownership means using a proactive approach to your job search. That means researching companies you want to work for without regard to whether a specific job may have been posted. For minimal or even no cost, you can use Internet tools such as Vault.com, ZoomInfo.com, Lead411.com and Alexa.com. These are services or tools that can be used to widen your job search and locate companies where you might fit as an employee. Once you have developed a target list of possible companies, you should locate appropriate people within those companies you can contact initially.

Two great Internet networking tools to accomplish this are Spoke.com and LinkedIn.com. Focus on employees with whom you might easily make an initial contact within your area of expertise. For example, if you are a software developer, you might want to focus on individuals with management function in the areas of software development, project management, director of operations, even VP of engineering, if the company is small. You can also utilize the library and your local newspapers to ferret out information that you need so you can make the all-important next step.

2. Contacting and following up with people.

You're also going to have to stick your neck out a bit. That means picking up the phone and actually calling the people that you have identified. Once you have sent a letter of inquiry or a resume to an individual, don't expect your phone to ring. Wait a couple of days, then pick up the phone and call them to see if they can speak with you for a few minutes at most.


The advantage of a proactive job search approach is that over 90 percent of other job seekers, your competitors, will not be doing this. Other job seekers are passive. They write a resume, look up the day's available jobs on the Internet, post their resume, and sit back and wait. When the phone doesn't ring, they move on and start all over again, posting their resume to the same jobs as all the other job seekers. Not much of a future if you're looking for a job that's right for you.

The lesson is to never leave your success in the hands of strangers. Take charge of your job search right now and blaze new trails that others don't trod.

As a recruiter, Joe Turner has spent the past 15 years finding and placing top candidates in some of the best jobs of their careers. Known on the Internet as "The Job Search Guy," Joe has also authored how-to books on interviewing and job search. He's been interviewed on several radio talk shows. Discover more insider job search secrets by visiting www.jobchangesecrets.com.

Filed Under: Job Search

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