Many newcomers find the job market very unfriendly because they lack the strategy required. Yes you have job search goals but do you have strategy that ensures buy-in? How do you stand out in the ever thickening crowd? What should you do to get noticed by your intended audience?

How should you work towards your getting the job you desire? Do we have the required job search skills and attitude? Do we really know how to search? Are we searching strategically or just searching? How do you apply for opportunities? Do you come across as a pretender or as the best candidate for the job? You have the education and the job information but doors are not opening. Do something something about your tactics and strategy.

Move from why you must sell yourself. The strategy question is about how. You are competing with others. For example you have a good educational background but do you differentiate yourself from others with similar qualifications? Strategy is crucial to both the job search and career development. Hard work has its limits. Throwing yourself out there won’t be enough. Keeping momentum is important. Want results? Blowing hot and cold won’t be in your interest. Most times our efforts are disconnected and we manage our careers with a “hoping for the best” approach. Sounds crazy, doesn’t it? How can that work for you? You can do better. Make your career happen don’t wait for the right things to occur.

You need to ensure effective follow-through as well as the sustainability of your efforts. Planning is important. Through strategy you own your job search and career development in a proactive and effective manner. It is important to employ a comprehensive, systematic approach that yields the best results for you. Change misconceptions about the job search. You have strengths and goals. However, inherent in job search strategy is “what makes me unique? How can I play to my strengths as I job hunt? How do I get prospective employers to appreciate what I offer?”

Identify these issues and be realistic in knowing what you can use to make your strategy work. Consider limitations of time, effort and money. You should however use what you have in line with your strategy. Timing, ability and available resources are all important.

What strategy do you adopt in choosing your company, organization or areas of interest? In today’s information age, the quality of information at your disposal affects your decisions and opportunities. Information is power. What is the sense in having top notch qualifications suited for software programming but yet you don’t know the source of IT opportunities? Job search is about information management – where is the source of information, do you have what it takes to get timely information. Where do you search?

Are you looking for fish in the desert? Where do you find opportunities that match your needs? You need to look beyond the comfortable, traditional sources. Bright lights or substance? Do you consider location and reputation? Where are your skills required? Identify these sectors and industries. Which organizations, markets are you targeting? Where are people with your background and skills employed? How creative are you in getting exposure to the employers you’re targeting?

Strategy requires creativity. Don’t follow the crowd by simply submitting your resume and hoping for the best. Do your homework. Dig, search for information and ask questions.

What are you learning about the needs, positions of interest, recruitment processes, aspirations and culture in your organizations of interest? Make sure you live in the same value city as your areas and industries of interest. Learn and build information by talking to people in these areas and related resources – offline and online. With such knowledge garnered from research and contacts you are better able to know how to differentiate yourself. This should help in strengthening your search tools and techniques as well as follow-up measures. It’s more than just who you are. Knowledge is power.

During the search process use of accurate inside knowledge positions you as being eager, capable and willing to meet the needs. Do you project an attitude that shows interest and in-depth understanding of what matters? Do your selling tools – resume, marketing documents, internet presence - convey this message? How’re branding yourself? Build strength into your value proposition.

In addition be strategic as you develop a means of keeping track of your information resources and connections. Maintain and strengthen them. It is not enough to understand what is expected now. Keep updating yourself because roles and requirements are constantly changing.

If online presence is part of your strategy keep your online profiles, blog up to date with appropriate content.

Set yourself apart. Don’t come across as just another accountant or just another IT professional. Most job seekers have a hard time because they have no strategy that differentiates them from the pack. Don’t be just another job seeker.

Author's Bio: 

Jide Awe is the Founder/CEO of Jidaw Systems Limited, a provider of IT education, consulting, and Internet content services. He has significant experience as well as a broad knowledge and vision in Technical and Management areas of Information and Communications Technology (ICT). He is widely published and speaks regularly on a range of Career development, IT policy, development, and human capital issues.

He develops and run a web based initiative globally acknowledged for providing creative content for computing careers, telecom developments and IT developmental issues.