Searching for a job can often feel like a tiring and time consuming process. We often find ourselves going with the flow – applying to every possible avenue we come across and making our resume reach as many destinations as possible. This approach may be successful in landing a job based on finding the right job opening at the right time. However, if you have time on your side, you would want to land a job that fits with your personal and professional goals.

There are two kinds of job searches, reactive and proactive. Many people are reactive job searchers, which means that they are passively looking for an opening and applying only when one that interests them crosses their field of vision. Hence, these people are reacting to an opening they managed to find online, or through word-of-mouth. Doing so may eventually get them work, but it would not guarantee that the position they are now filling-in for would be beneficial in the long-run.

This is where proactive job searching strategies come into place – these can enable you to plan ahead in terms of not only where you want to end up working, but also what you intend to achieve once you get there. The idea is to scout for job openings before they even become available. Doing so can have a variety of benefits:

  • You are always ahead of your competition
  • You can save some valuable time (and energy!)
  • You avoid the frustration of having to aimlessly apply to every job opening you come across, hoping one would pay off

So what does it take to become a proactive job seeker?

Find Out About Companies

It is always recommended to develop an in-depth insight about the organization you intend to become a part of. While you can use online resources to your heart’s content, we would suggest that you take it up a notch and investigate further.

Getting to know a company based on personal observation might seem tricky, but that’s where networking comes into place. Do you happen to know someone who is, or was, working at the organization you are interested in? You’ll be surprised by the amount of information these people can provide, whether it relates to business practices, corporate culture or overall operations, any information is good information.

Internship programs are extremely resourceful opportunities. Not only do you walk away with a legitimate work experience, you can also witness how your dream organization functions. This may reinforce your perceptions about what you were expecting in a positive or negative way, which would allow you to determine whether or not you would be comfortable working within the same company, or industry, for a longer period of time. Some companies even offer internships that lead into job openings, so if you play your cards right, you might end up with a full-time job by the end of your program.

Job fairs also provide a unique opportunity to meet the people involved in a company’s operations first-hand. At such events, abundant information relating to upcoming openings is available to the public. Pay attention to the prospects being showcased, and don’t be shy to drop-in your resume where you feel content.

Apply Appropriately

While there is strength in numbers, the whole idea of being proactive during a job search is to understand the company you are applying to beforehand. That being said, there appears to be no formula behind the ideal number of organizations you should apply to. As long as you are doing your share of research and not aimlessly tossing your resume at every corner like a paper airplane, you should be fine.

Remember: the idea is not to just land a job. It is to make sure you find work that suits who you are.

Reach Out To Hiring Managers

On the subject of networking, you might find it useful to get in touch with the hiring managers of the firms you are looking forward to join one day. LinkedIn, and even Twitter, have shown great promise in linking employers with potential employees. You can inquire about job openings and showcase your offerings online, granting you an opportunity to interact with the key players within an industry from the convenience of your home. When used responsibly, online interactions such as these can not only provide useful information during the job searching process, but also provide a chance to score valuable contacts within the market.

Some Useful Tips:

While searching for a job, don’t be afraid to brush-up on your skills – Attend some workshops or online training courses relevant to your field. Add some depth to your skills!

Improve your self-promotion – Work on demonstrating how you are uniquely qualified to fulfill a specific role within an organization.

Try to find out about the specific hiring processes that companies use. Learn how you can best fit the requirements of these processes.

Always plan ahead! Never settle on thinking about being in one dream company – Instead, have many!