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Re-Vamp Your Job Search Strategy: Part 1

by Lorraine Rise M.S., CPRW

Having a strong resume is only one component of a successful job search. Possibly even more important than that is your strategy. I've heard from a number of clients that they've never needed a resume in the past because they've always gotten their positions from networking. Wow, that says it all. Having said that, resumes are still expected these days and you will have to present one at some point.

If you are not getting the results you need in your search, then stick with me as I unveil a three-step process for you to REVAMP your job search strategy and improve your results. The three steps are: Research, Connect and Apply (in that order!).

Step One: Research

The first step to an effective job search is to conduct research. Start developing a list of target companies that you might like to work for. There are a number of resources to help you to uncover potential new employers: your local Chamber of Commerce, LinkedIn, Google, the Fortune 500/1000 list and so on. Remember, it's not just about who's hiring, but where you want to work. You have choices in life. The more strategic and targeted your search is, the better off you'll be.

Research is a critical part of the job search process because it can help you to:

  • Identify companies that may be hiring in your field
  • Prepare you for a job interview by better understanding the company's values and needs
  • Learn about the growth potential of businesses and industries
  • Focus your job search on employers that share your values and would be a good cultural fit

LinkedIn has a few features that can help you to identify companies. Under the Jobs tab, scroll down to "Companies In Your Network." This lists all of the companies where your connections work. Make obtaining a referral a part of your strategy! Referrals are the number one most preferred hiring method. Also, if you have the Premium subscription, go to "Fast Growing Companies" (also under the Jobs tab) and enter your desired job title to find companies who have hired for that type of position in recent months. Isn’t LinkedIn awesome!?

Once you've done your research, compile a list of at least 25 companies you are interested in and start learning everything about them that you can. Some typical questions that you are looking to answer are:

What are their challenges? Who are their competitors? How many employees do they have? Are they growing and what is their strategic plan?

To find information, go to and read reviews. Go to their company website and read about their mission, values and strategic plan, as well as job openings. Once you get to the interview stage, this information will be valuable.

Stay tuned for more information about steps two and three!