Career Development Social Media The Job Search Your Brand

Traditional vs. Reverse Job Search

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The Problem with being a Job-Seeker

The word job-seeker is often thrown around to describe a person who is “looking” for a job.  It’s fine if someone is simply looking for a job as there are many people who just want a paycheck but in reality, even those just looking for a paycheck tend to have goals beyond the paycheck.  The problem I have with this term is that it immediately puts people in the mentality that their primary goal when it comes to their career is to search for jobs.  What happens when a “job-seeker” finds a job?  Job-seekers find their job and then stop “seeking” until they find themselves in a position where they need a new job or they are ready to “climb the ladder.”  We’ve always been told that climbing the ladder is the way we should view our careers and that to “get to the top,” we must climb.  Careers are not like ladders.  The steps on a ladder require effort to climb but then job-seekers rest on the peg once they land on the next step.  Careers are more like mountains.  You’re always working toward your ultimate goal (Whatever that may be) at the top of the mountain and remaining stagnant when hiking isn’t an option.  There is no “seeking,” stopping, resting, and then seeking again – the work is perpetual.  Many people do not think this way.  This requires a person to think more like a company – be the CEO of You and build your brand.  I have spoken about what I call the reverse job search to many people but I want to provide a visual so others can fully understand this concept.

Traditional Job Search vs. the Reverse Job Search

The traditional job search is one in which job-seekers create minimal, old-fashioned career marketing collateral and they push it out to employers.  This minimal collateral tends to be a resume and a cover letter with references and perhaps even some letters of recommendation left with a business card.  You’ve heard this bad advice before – “it’s a numbers game” and “get your resume to as many people as possible.”  This is bad advice because it lacks focus and many people waste their time pushing out their resumes with no clear goals only to find no one is responding.  You don’t even get the chance to provide references, letters of recommendation, and your business card because you never make it to the interview process.  I’m not saying you should avoid this all-together, but you should also be working on building your brand and engaging in the Reverse Job Search.  The Reverse Job Search isn’t about searching and finding, it’s about the process of marketing one’s talents, skills, achievements, qualities, and reputation to a target audience to attract opportunity.  It comes down to being the magnifying glass (search and find strategy) or being the magnet that attracts opportunity.  Don’t just be a job-seeker – be a brand builder and attract opportunity.  Here’s a visual that explains the difference between Traditional vs. Reverse Job Search.

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