How to Plan for a Practical and Proactive Job Search

What’s the difference between a proactive and a reactive job search?

Most people use a reactive search strategy, which means they look for openings and then apply to the ones that interest them. A more practical – and successful – approach is to search proactively. This means that you pick the companies and positions you’re seeking, versus simply hoping the right opportunity will come your way via a job board posting.

Steps to a Proactive Search

Land your dream job faster by following these steps:

Select target employers.

Identify which prospective employers interest you. Having them in mind will make your search more focused and ultimately, shorter and more productive.

  • LinkedIn has a strong company search feature. Hit the menu button on the search bar, select Companies, and then search. You also can use the Advanced Search option. If you like a company, remember to click on the Follow button so their updates are sent to you.
  • Turn to other sources, both on and off line. Brainstorm with trusted friends and colleagues who know and understand you. They can help you clearly define your passions and as a result, find companies that may be just what you’re looking for. For instance, you may have spent the past several years working for a large corporate firm, when you could find true fulfillment at a small, non-profit organization.

Learn as much as you can about your target companies.

Check company websites for information on their products, services, officers and senior staff, as well as their organizational structure, benefits, and other relevant details. Leverage their LinkedIn network. Follow their company page. Google them for the latest news and developments. Research the media to see what’s been reported on them.

  • On a company’s website, go to the About Us page. Also, check out their News or Press Releases section. And, look at their blog if they have one, for a good idea of their areas of expertise and corporate culture.

Leverage your network.

Establish connections with current or former company employees – or others who have some kind of professional link to your target company. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other social media. Tap into your alumni network, professional association, and friends, neighbors and people you know in your community.

  • Another LinkedIn tip: Take advantage of the site’s Company Search feature. Enter a company name and, when the listing comes up, it will tell you how many people in your network are employed there. Then you can reach out to them for assistance. Remember: people respond much better when they’re approached for advice versus being directly asked to help you get a job. Say something like, “I’m considering ABC Company as a potential employer and was wondering if you could tell me about the culture there.” You can send a similar message to your extended network.

With nearly four decades of experience and a nationwide client network, TRC Professional Solutions can provide invaluable support, guidance and resources as you plot your proactive job search strategy. Contact us today so we can talk more about your career success.