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Published: Tuesday, 2/6/2007

Looking for Work in All the Right Places

If you want to know where and how to go for your dream job, make these elements part of your job-search plan

Would you ever walk into a busy airport, amble up to the counter and say, I want to go on vacation. Could I have a ticket, please?

Of course not. You d get nothing but a baffled look from the ticket agent (not to mention a body search from Homeland Security).

Finding your ideal job is like taking a dream vacation. You can get there from here and have the time of your life. But first you need to know where you re going, then plan how to get there.

To find the shortest route to your next job, you need to create a plan that s detailed in every way. Your plan must be: solution- oriented, results-driven, marketing-based, inexpensive to execute, realistic and specific.

Solution-oriented.

Rarely is it the most qualified candidate who gets hired. (If you ve ever had a nincompoop for a manager, you know exactly what I mean.)

In the real world, jobs often go to those who best position themselves as the solution to a problem. Now, here s the catch: Employers often don t realize they have a problem until someone points it out to them. So, if you can identify employers problems and offer yourself as the best solution you ll increase your chances of getting hired. Immediately. Every time.

Results-driven.

Like a runner training for a marathon, you must measure your progress. Doing so tells you how close you are to your goal. It also keeps you motivated and committed to your plan. Measuring results requires you to track certain key metrics. Here are a few of the dozens of proven tactics from Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters that you can track:

How many out-of-the-box activities have you deployed?

How many targeted r sum s have you sent out?

How many guerrilla-networking activities are you engaged in?

Marketing-based.

In business, the companies with the best marketing usually win. Winning the war for talent is similar. It requires you to become proficient at marketing yourself better than other candidates. Looking for a job is a sales and marketing activity and you are the product.

Inexpensive.

In 1997, Tom Peters introduced the concept of The Brand Called You. At the time, personal branding was a sort of luxury, reserved for high-flying techies and senior executives who wanted to maximize the financial returns of their biggest asset their career. Today, personal branding is no luxury it s a requirement for career survival.

Realistic.

Knowing what you want to do is good. Combining it with what you re qualified to do is even better. You may be pleasantly surprised at how your current skill set can transfer to other industries.

For a clear picture of what s possible with your skills, visit America s Career InfoNet at www.acinet.org. If you re not qualified for what you want to do, get moving and determine how to get qualified.

In my 20+ years of executive recruiting, the biggest problem I ve run into is that people aren t realistic especially unemployed people. You re setting yourself up for disappointment if you apply for jobs you re not qualified to do. Sometimes you may have to take a temporary step backwards to move forward in a new career. But, the sooner you take that step, the sooner you ll arrive at your goal.

Specific.

Knowing the exact title and function of the job you seek gives you a clear goal, with no possibility for error. If you have a clear target and don t hit it, you ll know for sure.

So, get clear and get specific the more, the better.

For example, I ll wager that Vicki Vlachakis knew exactly what she wanted to do and who she wanted to work for before she started her job search. When the opportunity came along to design the new two-seater convertibles for Saturn and Chrysler, she recognized her chance to hit not one, but two home runs in her career.

Nothing is more important to your success than a clear picture of your goal. (Please read that sentence again. I ll wait.)

If you can envision your dream job and you re qualified to do it, then you can find it. With a specific goal in mind, you can organize your job-search and networking efforts with a laser-like focus.

Yes, some people are lucky and fall into great jobs, but luck is terribly unpredictable. The dramatic changes in today s world of work mean the tried-and-true methods of job hunting will soon be outmoded.

The one constant in all successful job searches however, is clarity of purpose. It will give you the goal you seek and the fuel to reach it. So, get specific, get clear, get busy and get hired!

David E. Perry is author of Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters and the Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters Blog.

Copyright CTW Features



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