Article, Job Search Strategies for Success :

Job Search Strategies for Success, Part 2
Ian Christie

Getting Called

If I could rank the pleasantness of job search strategies, this would rank right up there. Getting called means being sought out by a potential employer directly or via a recruiter. A very nice feeling and it gives you more control in the process. Here are three basic situations:

You're Famous

Okay, famous may be a strong word, but let's say that you have significant profile in your industry, market, or profession. You are a sought after property. Self-explanatory. And, something to shoot for.


A couple notches below famous is visible. You are visible when the people who might matter to you and your career, inside and outside your company, hear about you or can find / identify you easily should they need to.

Being visible also includes receiving recommendations from people who might know you or have heard of you. The person doing the recruiting does "sourcing" and receives names of people who might be qualified to do a job.


The least personal way of receiving the call is via a point of data relevant to the hiring manager / recruiter. You may receive a call because you hold a certain job that is relevant to them. (You are the sales manager for a specific territory and they are hiring a sales manager in the same territory). Your name might be in a directory, for example, or someone knows your name, but nothing about you other than that you hold a job similar to the one being recruited.

Now, the thing about this category is that in the short-term, you can't create fame or industry visibility for yourself. Over time, of course you can (as long as you are great at what you do and are adept at marketing yourself). But, if you haven't put the building blocks in place over the last years, this isn't something you can just rely on.

This job search strategy is an attraction strategy. Over time, you are creating pathways for people to find you.

The lesson: This kind of talent/job matching happens ALL OF THE TIME. You can play this game if you invest and play for the long term. In relationships. In your profile. In learning to play the game. Ultimately, this category of job search strategy should be your principle means of finding new opportunities down the road.

Market Yourself to Target Companies

The 4th strategy is to Sell Yourself / Talk Your Way In. The classic "get your foot in the door."

In some ways, this is the hardest strategy to do. However, talk about targeting your job search!

I am not recommending that you go from door-to-door in an office complex, park yourself in the lobby, and demand that someone talk to you (sounds like an idea for a reality show).

I AM recommending that once you have pinpointed your value proposition - that is...

*who you are
*what your sellable skills and talents are,
*what you know,
*who you know,
*where this package of talent is suited to, etc.

And then you have identified the specific organizations you think would be the most exciting and best fits with your offering and after you have researched your target a bit, then....yes, go for it.

Figure out who to talk to. Ideally, get referred in. If not, call or email. Let them know who you are, why they should care, and request a meeting. If you are lucky, you will get an appointment, or a phone conversation.

Be polite. Be convincing. Be enthusiastic. Be the kind of person an employer would love to have on their team. Ask questions and listen. Don't expect to close the sale in one go. Thank them for their time. Send a hand-written thank-you note within 24-48 hours.

The advantage of this strategy is that it often uncovers hidden opportunities. For example, a project that needs a manager, but the company hasn't gotten around to staffing it. The other advantage is that IF you are qualified, you are saving the company time and money. If they don't have their own candidates, they will have to start a search or post the job. That takes time. That takes money.

As with all my career advice, the secret is to put the square peg in the square hole. If you really are qualified, and you happen to be passionate about that area, and there is a need, then this strategy is win / win.

Happy hunting!


Ian Christie is president of, a Vancouver-based career services firm focused on assisting managers, executives and other professionals with career coaching, job search and career marketing, resume writing, interview prep and career change.


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