Be Aggressive in Your Job Search

Do the unexpected.

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Miriam Salpeter
Miriam Salpeter
Do you need a new job search strategy for the new year? Companies are hiring, but you need to stand out from the crowd if you want to win an interview, and ultimately, the job. Suggested methods of standing a head above the rest differ depending on whom you ask. As with anything related to job search strategies, there are many correct approaches; it is up to each job seeker to identify an authentic, strategic way to job searching. Sometimes, this may require stretching your comfort zone and taking a risk.

Darren Hardy, author of The Compound Effect: Jumpstart Your Income, Your Life, Your Success, believes getting aggressive can help job seekers.

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“When I was in real estate there was this mega successful mortgage broker named Mari Mahoney,” Hardy says. “She did more business than any ten ‘successful’ mortgage agents combined. I asked her how she did it; what was her key to success. She rapidly responded with, ‘I lose one out of five for being too aggressive. But I get the other four!’”

Once he heard this philosophy, Hardy decided to actively go after clients and not to worry about being too assertive or overbearing. He believes job seekers can benefit from an assertive, even aggressive campaign, too. These are Hardy’s suggestions for job seekers:

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Narrow your list to your highest-priority targets. Then unload every bit of arsenal you have. Call, fax, email, FedEx, telegram, show-up, court the gatekeeper, bring lunch, send gifts (books, magazine articles, swag, etc.), and network with the contacts around them (peers, underlings, superiors, vendors, attorney, CPA’s, etc.).

Worried it might be too much? “Don’t be afraid of being too aggressive,” Hardy says. “You might be for some, but who cares? You have a thousand times better shot at the others on your list. Get some people to call you, your boss, your association, your congressman, whatever, to complain that you are becoming a nuisance. You will then know you are on the road to victory.”

Get referred in. If you don’t know someone who knows your target contact directly, find someone who knows someone one to two degrees away. Make a new friend and climb the rings on the daisy chain to your target. “If I am interviewing someone who was referred and endorsed by someone I have respect for, the interview is very different than the one who came from an online posting and a resume,” Hardy says. “The latter person really never had a chance.”

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Do the unexpected. Research all the people in the organization. Take that list and run it by your entire network to see if they know anyone who might know someone in this organization. Search every name against your LinkedIn database. Find a few people to connect with. Talk with them and ask them to put in a good word for you. Hardy has even recommended an out-of-town candidate scheduled to be video interviewed fly across country to show up for the interview in person. He asks, “Could this be overly aggressive? Heck, yes!” However, he believes it is worth a risk for your dream job.

If you’re facing 2012 thinking you have done everything you can do to land a job and it has not been successful, you may want to try these techniques to give yourself an emotional jump-start.

Miriam Salpeter is a job search and social media consultant, career coach, author, speaker, resume writer and owner of Keppie Careers. She is author of Social Networking for Career Success. Miriam teaches job seekers and entrepreneurs how to incorporate social media tools along with traditional strategies to empower their success. Connect with her via Twitter @Keppie_Careers.