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March 2009
Target Practice for Effective Job Search
by Susan Reynolds

Just when you might be tempted to apply for anything anywhere and talk to anybody for an employment opportunity, you need to do the opposite!  Frustration must not lead to desperation.  Frustration must be channeled into strategy.  All that stress needs to become “stressing the positive”.

What do you do best?  What types of positions have led you to thrive?  When have you simply been an absolute star, an expert in your area?  Inventory every dimension of the skills you’ve perfected across your career.  Then develop a list of companies that fit your abilities.  Don’t wait to see a posting on the Internet.  Sure, look at web sites for particular companies for postings that may attract you.  But don’t stop there.  Go after them.  Penetrate to decision makers.  Make the case that you’re the best possible expert they could find.  Now’s the time for them to consider the skills and capabilities you can bring to their success.

What if your target industry is simply too narrow, or too archaic?  Then you must target parallel tracks, but still target none-the-less.  In other words, expand your research to envelop companies that are similar in nature to your old employer.  Then be extremely disciplined in a targeted attack on this new area.

This is all strategy and tactics.  Be the best at your field, but be very clever about defining just what your field is!  Yes, you’ll have to transitional in your thinking and transitional in your verbiage.  But don’t let up.  Keep refining your targets and keep firing at your targets.  You’ll begin to hit the bull’s-eye!

Susan Reynolds is a senior partner at Newmarket Careers in Santa Clarita, a job search and career strategy firm geared toward managerial, executive, and senior level professional careers.  She can be reached at or

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Now is Not the Time for Silence

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Details Matter in Effective Job Search

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