Job Searching: Title, Title, Title and Location, Location, Location
While we’ve been testing our beta job seeker platform, I notice a common behavior by many job seekers – we are all very specific with titles and very specific with locations. Makes sense – that’s how things usually work: “I want THIS job, and I want it HERE.” Many times, there’s an “I want it NOW,” but we’ll table that for a later discussion, Of course, let’s challenge conventional wisdom and try not to constrain ourselves. Here’s a big reason: All these job search engines, job boards, etc., are but only one stop in your job search journey. There may be a starting point, a mid-point and perhaps an end point. If you’re early, then having a tight focus may point you in directions that may not bear fruit.
One purpose of searching is to understand which companies are actually hiring. Remember, if most jobs are “hidden,” which means not posted, then we need to see who at least has public openings. Armed with this knowledge, we can at least come up with a nice hit list of a few companies that are hiring in the general field we’re looking, anywhere in the country.
With this great “hit list,” what’s next? Let’s engage and follow these companies. You can check Twitter to get a pulse of the company; look up Yahoo! Finance, Vault.com, and Glassdoor.com and really understand what these companies are up to. Do you need a title or a location to figure that out? Not likely.
Next, let’s hit our social networks to see whom we know. Remember, nowadays, we live in a flat world. If you’re looking at a great role in Chicago, one of your college buddies in Boston may be able to help you. If you had constrained yourself and looked only in Chicago, you may not think of your buddy in Boston. The big takeaway is that connections from all over may be able to help you, even if they don’t live in the same location as the opening. Some of your college friends may have even relocated overseas, but may still have relevant connections for your job search.
Next up, titles. I was watching one jobseeker search for a “senior copy editor” in “Medford, MA.” Real specific. If you’re picky and can afford to be, more power to you! We already reviewed the location issue, now for the title. Do you need to be “senior?” Does it need to be “copy?” How about searching for “editor,” then applying another filter looking for “copy?” Sometimes these roles don’t really show as “senior,” but after looking at the description, some may be senior. In any event, the company may have posted specific positions, but others are out there with your name on them. The same issue happens in sales, with “Vice President of Sales” in “Denver, CO.” There may be some openings, but not as many as “sales.” Remember, once a company has the intent to fill a role, you may be able to convince them to open up this role (or a new role) to fit your level and capabilities.
The above are real specific examples of being specific. The takeaway is to really understand how these searches can help you directionally and then, over time, get to that pot of gold – your job!