Hopefully you will not chase employment your entire career. Ideally you will eventually generate passive income sufficient to take breaks from working, or to work for yourself at times. But since most of us do end up working for employers so much of the time, competence in job searching tactics is important. The same techniques may also help when pitching your own services or ventures.
The tried-and-true saying is correct: The preferred way to find a job is through people you know, or through people they know. The best case is when you are tapped for an opportunity. This happens most commonly when you are already working and colleagues inside or outside your organization come to know your quality work and like your personality.
Always keep an eye on new opportunities, even if you are happy and have no plans to leave your job. View each friend and colleague as a potential lead. Do not change your behavior-just cultivate relationships with integrity, discretion, and competence. Show up when you say you will. Do not reveal information about others or employer business that should be kept confidential. Laugh and relax when appropriate. Give to others. Be the one people recommend when asked “Do you know anyone really good at [exactly what you do] whom I could hire?” This way you are always laying groundwork and a foundation for your reputation. Employers are smothered with electronic applicants. The “real” world of human interactions is as important as ever to differentiate yourself in a hiring space in which managers get hundreds or thousands of resumes electronically for a position. Ideally, the manager writes the job for you before it is even posted. If you apply to a posted position blindly, try to have someone forward along the résumé to the hiring manager.
Today many employers require completion of an online application regardless of contacts. These are frustrating; who wants to log in to yet another website, fill out extensive personal information, or reformat materials into forms? However, just do it and get it over with. Read the job description and tailor your résumé. Yes, this is work, but hiring managers expect it. Load it up with keywords from the job listing. The keywords can help get your application through the electronic screening systems. Do not focus as much on visuals and format for electronic submittals that will convert it to plain text anyway. More important is to demonstrate qualifications in all the major qualifications of the job using the employer’s terminology.