Focus Your Job Search Efforts

  • Sep 08, 2005
  • Vicky Smith
  • Career advancement

Job searching is certainly not an activity people are enthusiastic about!  To end your job search quickly, get your resume out to as various resources in the first two weeks of your search.  Finding the next job is like looking for a needle in a haystack.  Sales people know that to get one good lead they have to make at least 50 contacts.  Your goal should be a target of getting 200 resumes out to various sources.  That means you should be spending 30 – 40 hours a week on your job search – just like you did in your full time job.

Another key activity for a successful job search is to use a variety of resources at the same time.  Many people make the mistake of using, for example, the newspapers only or the Internet only.  The more varied ways you use the sooner you will connect with a good opportunities.

 As much as possible deliver resumes in person to contacts or companies you are targeting.  People find excellent jobs through face-to-face dialogue.  The Internet, newspapers, faxes and mailing resumes are not job search activities but administrative tools. 

 During your job search, the Internet is going to be your best friend.  It is an amazing resource for information on different careers, companies and job opportunities.  If you are not confident in using the Internet, there are sites that you can access for free tutorials.  A couple of sites are: or

 The activities you should be tackling in your job search are:

 Target companies:  Rather than doing a random job search, conduct some research to target companies that match your goals.  Many companies now have job posting on their Internet sites.  You should target 100 companies that you are going to approach directly. The Chamber of Commerce or the Economic Development Corporation in most cities makes available an Industrial Directory that is an invaluable source when job searching.  The Internet site for information on the London Industrial Directory is


Employment Agencies:  Agencies are excellent resources for locating great jobs because over 70% of employers use agencies for their hiring needs.  The best way of locating agencies in your areas is through the Yellow Pages in the phone book.  Go on their websites and see if they have jobs that suit your background.  You can register on-line.  But make sure you follow up with a phone call to ask for an interview. There is no fee for the applicant for using this service.  You should register with 3 or 4 agencies because each agency has a certain group of clients who use only them.  You want to get as much exposure as you can.

 Job Advertisements:  Always look through the entire paper, not just the classified section, for possible opportunities.  The business or community section, for example, may feature stories about new companies or organizations that are expanding.  The best days for job ads are Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

 Trade Journals and Professional Publications:  Any type of business magazine will share important information about the marketplace needs and changes.  Many will also include job advertisements.   London libraries carry a large assortment of these magazines i.e. Business London Magazine, Canadian Business, Financial Post, etc.  These publications can also be accessed on-line.

 Community Involvement:  At work you gain self worth through making a contribution.  Volunteering time for a worthwhile cause and something you are interested in, gives you an opportunity to feel like you are contributing.  Also it connects you with new people who could possibly have job leads.

 Internet Sites:  More and more companies are posting their positions on the Internet.  The following are some of the main sites to bookmark and watch weekly.  The first two are excellent for individuals looking for opportunities in London.           

 Your Personal Network:  The term ‘hidden job market’ is used to define the hard to find jobs.  In reality, the best job opportunities are easily found – they are in your house, neighbourhood and social circle.  People connect with good jobs through conversation.  Therefore, step out of your comfort zone and talk to everyone you come into contact with about looking for work.

 The same old truth applies that has always applied in job searching – ‘You have to be at the right place at the right time.’  If you spend 80% of your time searching the net and responding to job ads by mailing resumes, you are going the wrong way on a one-way street.  Give your resume to neighbours, friends, relatives, people you attend courses with, people you meet at various group functions and everyone else you know who is working somewhere.  My five magic words to finding a job are ‘get out of the house.’   Next week we will cover interviewing.