Most experts agree that answering ads is a low probability way to get a job and it becomes increasingly less likely that you will get a job this way as the level of jobs increase. Answering ads, in other words, is fine for jobs that pay under $30,000 per year but it’s highly unlikely that as you move up in management you are going to get your job by simply answering classified ads. Nevertheless god sources of classified ads for professionals and managers include the New York Times the Wall Street Journal, and specialized journals in your field that list job openings. All these sources also post the positions online, of course.
In responding to ads be sure to create the right impression with the materials you submit; check the typing , style , grammar, neatness and so forth and check your resume to make sure it is geared to the job for which you are applying. In your cover letter be sure to have a paragraph or so in which you specifically address why your background and accomplishments are appropriate to the job being advertised; you must respond clearly to the company’s identified needs.
Be very careful in replying to bind ads, however (those with a post office box) Some executive search firms and companies will run ads even when no position exists just to gauge the market and there is always the chance that you be trapped into responding to your own firm.
Agencies are especially good at placing people in jobs paying up to about $40,000 but they can be useful for higher paying job as well. Their fees for professional and management jobs are usually paid by the employer. Assuming you know the job you want, review a few back issues of your paper’s Sunday classified ads to identify the agencies that consistently handle the positions you want. Approach three or four initially preferably in response to specific ads, and avoid signing any contract that gives an agency the exclusive right to pace you.
Executive recruiters are retained by employers to seek out top talent for their clients, and their fees are always paid by the employer. They do not do career counseling but if you know the job you want it pays to contact a few. Send your resume and a cover letter summarizing your objective in precise terms, including job title and the size of company you want, work related accomplishments, current salary and salary requirements. Firms are usually listed in the Yellow Pages under Executive Search Consultants. However, beware because some firms today call themselves executive search or career consultants but do no searches; they just charge a (often hefty) fee to help you manage your search. Remember that with a search firm you never pay a fee.
What sorts of things will the headhunter look for? Ten important items include: You have demonstrated the ability to get results; you come well recommended by yours peers and competitors; you understand who the search consultant works for and what he is trying to do; you are likeable and presentable, and your ego is in check you can think strategically and understand how to institute change in an organized direction; you have achieved the results you have because of the way you treat others, not in spite of it; you can sell yourself concisely you have at least some of the key specific experiences that the job entails; you are honest, fair, and a good source and even take the time when somebody calls you as a source to give them other sources that you believe are high potential and you know who you are and what you want.
Career counselors will not help you find a job per se: rather they specialize in aptitude testing and career counseling. They are listed under Career counseling or Vocational Guidance. Their services usually cost $300 or so and include psychological testing and interviews with an experienced career counselor. Check the firm’s services prices, and history as well as the credentials of the person you will be dealing with.
Executive marketing consultants
Executive marketing consultants manage your job hunting campaign. They generally are not recruiters and do not recruiters and do not have jobs to fill. Depending on the services you choose your cost will range from $400 to $5,000 or more. The process may involve months of weekly meetings. Services include resume and letter writing interview skill building and developing a full job hunting campaign.
The check out three or four of these firms (they are lusted in the Yellow pages under Executive Search Consultants by visiting each and asking: What exactly is your program? How much does each service cost? Are there any extra costs, such as charges for printing and mailing resumes? What does the contract say? After what point will you get no rebate if you’re unhappy with the services? Then review your notes, check the Better Business Bureau and decide which of these firms (if any) is for you.
Employers’ Web sites: with more companies listing job openings on their Web sites any serious job hunter should be using this valuable source. Doing so requires some special resume preparations as we’ll see next.