Ask a sample group of 100 candidates how they search for equity analyst vacancies and chances are 95 of them will give you the same answer. Now more than ever, online search portals and recruitment services top the table for the vast majority of jobseekers in this line of work, making it easier and faster than ever before to find and apply for all manner of roles. You sign up, you get your profile in order and you present yourself to employers – the only problem here being that thousands of others are doing exactly the same.
So while it may be wonderfully convenient, the not insignificant matter of standing out from the crowd has never been harder. Sure, you can shout and scream your merit until the cows come home, but it’s hardly a worthy effort if your CV doesn’t even get read in the first place.
All of which leads to the rather obvious question – how can anyone hope to stand out from the crowd with the way things are done these days?
Well, the simple answer is to avoid the temptation to invest all of your eggs in the same basket – as in to accept that there’s more to life than online job search portals alone. These sites and services can be hugely powerful and beneficial, but ideally should be used alongside target job searching in order to stand the very best chance of being picked up.
But what exactly is a targeted job search and why is it such a big deal?
Roughly summarise, a target job search is an approach where instead of looking for jobs online in the usual way, you choose the companies you’d like to work for and target them directly. Be it one, two, ten or a hundred, you narrow down your search to the companies you really want to be a part of and focus on these exclusively. This allows you to concentrate your efforts on specific businesses and to get to know them inside and out. There’s a big difference between nailing a post you can do and getting into a post you like with a company you genuinely want to work with – this is only possible if you flip things around and look for companies you like over and above the actual posts.
After finding the companies you’re interested in and doing as much homework as necessary, the next step in the process is of course to reach out to them. But rather than just mailing out letters or cold calling at random, the best approach here is to use LinkedIn and other similar services to find out who the decision-makers and influencers are. Network with employees to find out more about the company and perhaps to give you the heads-up when it comes to upcoming opportunities. Connect with anyone that may be of interest to you and make sure your profile is befitting of the professional you’re pitching yourself as.
In terms of the advantages of choosing this method of job hunting, it all comes down to the very first point raised in this piece. For every hundred jobseekers looking for this kind of work, it’s rare to find even one that really goes out of their way to directly target the jobs and businesses they’d ideally like to work for. Instead, they make the usual online applications and just sit around hoping that eventually something will come along that ticks the right boxes. And it might, but they’ll never get the same kind of satisfaction that comes with landing the exact job with the perfect company they’d choose to work for above and beyond all other. With a targeted job search, you can and will be one of the few.
Last up, again as already touched upon there’s the way in which a targeted job search often enables an applicant to access an enormous stockpile of vacancies and opportunities that would never appear online. Studies have shown that the majority of vacancies never in fact make it to the kinds of job search sites most applicants rely on, having been allocated to candidates already known to the company beforehand. As such, it just makes sense to make sure that you are one of these candidates that the company knows or at least is aware of, in order to beat the pack to the punch when and where the best jobs come up.