Picking the Right Size Target for Your Job Search

Picking the Right Size Target for Your Job Search

We talked about the problem of having a job search target that is too narrow.  But equally problematic is having a target that is too broad, or a scattershot attempt to land any jobs. Instinct tells you that having a big target gives you a better chance of hitting something. Yet with job search, a huge target is not the best way to assure success. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Selling yourself as “I can do anything” makes you look like a dabbler who has done lots of things but is not deeply competent in any one
  • Selling yourself as “I’m willing to do anything”  makes you look desperate rather than appealing
  • Lack of clarity around your strengths makes you less memorable
  • People in your network find it hard to help if you are not clear what you’re looking for
  • Lack of focus makes you less credible
  • Pursuing jobs outside your area of expertise or well below your level is likely to leave you frustrated
  • Applying for anything and everything, even jobs that are not a good fit, wastes your time and energy, taking away focus on finding jobs for which you are truly a match

How do you assure you’ve got the right size target?  It’s OK to have several areas of expertise or job titles and industries you are pursuing. But there should be a common thread between them, and your brand should clearly come out in each job type.   Here are signs your target is the right size:

  • You can easily convey to contacts your expertise and what you’re looking for
  • The jobs you’re targeting match your passion, experience, skills and personality
  • You have a clear branding statement which allows people to see how your brand create value in those positions
  • Your 20-second pitch is easy to customize but doesn’t have to be completely overhauled for various contacts
  • People in your network can easily describe you and your value in just a sentence or two

It’s easy to fall into the trap of mistakenly thinking a bigger target will lead to faster success.  Instead, work on focus, clear goals and a well-matched target.

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