Looking for employment

My current contract was just ended, so it’s time to re-examine how to approach searching for a job. The process has changed significantly in some ways and remained the same in others. There are a number of opportunities on the horizon, but it would be foolish not to explore all options. Exploring options helps you to understand what you are worth and what the industry is willing to pay for your skills. Note that these numbers move in both directions based on supply and demand.

I have noticed (and BLOG’ed about) how on-line employment services are great for creating lists, but they don’t typically result in interviews or job offers. That could be because of my experience, age or a number of other factors, but the end result is the same. What these service do however, is advertise which companies are growing, how often they hire and what type of people they are looking for.

So if we take the last 6 – 8 months of weekly postings, we get a list of companies that regularly post positions. The next step is to investigate each of these companies. Look at the senior management, products, sales, locations of offices and development teams. Talk to friends and LinkedIn connections to get a feel for the work environment and piece together a profile for each company.

Put yourself in the hiring managers shoes and build a case for how adding you to their team will improve their environment, sales, efficiency, or product development. Customize your cover letter to explain why you want to be part of their organization, what role you want to play and propose how they can measure your contribution. Your cover letter should start to read like a business plan.

You may need a couple of resumes targeted at different positions but once you have a position in mind, attach your letter and send it to (in my case) the CEO, VP of R&D and Human Resources. I’m going to use regular mail and a nice paper to make it stand out from the junk mail. Getting an actual written letter is rare enough now that it will most likely be read. With a bit of luck, it might even be read by the person you addressed it to.

Don’t be afraid to take part of your compensation in the form of a link to your performance. Indicating this in your letter shows that you are confident in your ability to meet your stated goals.

Enough talk, I’m off to make a list.

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