Competition Too Close?  Why You Need A Proactive (Not Reactive) Job Search Strategy!

Are you tired of competing with everyone for that new open role?  Try taking an “active” approach and avoid the competition altogether!

Everyone is looking for the next great opportunity to be “served up” to them.  You know, the recruiter calls you with the hot opportunity; a network connection hears of your dream job through the “grapevine;” LinkedIn, Dice, or Indeed delivers your weekly feed of perfectly matched positions; or you discover on a hot start-up’s job page that wonderful “now hiring” stamp of enticement.

While it’s certainly temping to spend all of your time engaged in such “passive activities” when job searching, that one little roadblock still exits – yup, just about everyone else is doing the exact same thing!  So it often becomes a battle of who checks off more boxes to make that first hurdle. 

I always recommend that job seekers (whether CEO or paid intern) spend no more than 40% of their time in that world.  The remaining 60% should be focused on a direct search, where the candidate is identifying a target list of potential employers (their future boss), conducting research to see where personal experiences match with an individual company’s needs, and directly reaching out to the prospective employer initially on the basis of things in common, such as history, activities, social connections, and share values. 

As this posting from Work It Daily demonstrates, an active approach can not only help discover opportunities not yet on the market, but is a process that is simply more fun and rewarding.  You cannot look for a job 24/7 without going berserk; it’s mentally crushing.  However, taking a personal bizdev approach can be exciting while avoiding job search burn out.  Sales and business development folks make careers out of it.  Maybe it’s time to move from passive to active and control more of your own destiny.  What do you think?

LINK to source article (Work It Daily) –


The Biggest Mistakes C-Level Candidates Make When Seeking A New Job

After interviewing a string of unprepared senior level executives for various jobs, I started wondering what was going on.”  


Building a relationship with a top notch recruiter should be looked upon as a long-term “investment.”  For sure, the time to build these relationships is when you DON’T need a job.  As a good friend of mine once said, “It’s hard to get insurance when your house is burning down!” The benefits are endless, not to mention those off-grid introductions to hiring execs and boards that may have a need, even though no formal position has been publicly launched.  Hence, with the right timing and connections (aka your recruiter buddy), such opportunities often equate to no competition, less negotiations, and better chemistry with the boss.  Although the author of this article accurate assesses the risk of c-level folks reaching out to recruiters unprepared (outdated resume, inconsistent social media profile, lack of research, etc.), I would add that such deficiencies could be mitigated by building that relationship early on.  A good recruiter can also become a friend and act as that intimate sounding board for helping you design your personal pitch, branding/messaging, and accompanying online support strategy.  Look at it as a down payment on future therapy sessions for figuring out your next move and the most optimal path for success.  Remember, there really isn’t much security in any role with any company – you’re in one day and out the next.  This is a hard reality we’ve seen countless times over and over.  So next time that irritating recruiter floods your email inbox, perhaps a quick, cordial, honey coated response would be a valuable 5-minute use of your time?  Who knows; tomorrow your home may be on fire!

Potential Dangers of Applying Direct (and Bypassing Recruiters)

A lot of thought goes into searching for a new job. And if it doesn’t, it should. Apart from deciphering what career direction you want to take, updating y


Hey, if a recruiter rejects me for an opportunity, maybe I should just go direct, right?  This blog posting by Phoebe Spinks hints at a frequently asked question: “Is the recruiter my friend or foe?”  I’ll start off by unequivocally stating:  “Yes, we are ALWAYS a friend, always looking to help, and always willing to keep an open door (well, almost always . . . more on that to come).  Remember, retained search firms, like mine, are conducting exclusive searches for a reason – the client is PAYING US to take on the burden of the search (time, prep, research, resume spam, and so forth) out of his/her hands.  We are provided a level of information about the need, company, culture, chemistry, and other critical attributes that no interested candidate could ever obtain independently.  So if WE cannot present a particular candidate, it’s because that person is either significantly off-target with the requirements or our existing bench is far more qualified.  Hence, if a candidate doesn’t make muster with us, then he/she almost certainly will not with the client.  On the other hand, working with a recruiter can provide you valuable non-public insights about the opportunity, help you change your resume and other positioning docs to be in better alignment, and even sell you to the client.  All of that stacks the deck far far better than the rogue approach of trying to go direct.  However, diverting the recruiter’s process – when discovered (and it’s usually discovered) – pretty much guarantees a lost valuable relationship.  Such folks may find themselves black listed not only to future public opportunities but non-publically available ones as well . . . while permanently cutting ties with a “future coach” who spends 24/7/365 in the field.  It’s the candidate’s call, but perhaps the best approach for future success is to simply ask the recruiter for an honest assessment of where he or she fell short, and then just move on to the next opportunity.  Consider this:  A bridge not burned is one you can still cross!