Updated: Jun 11
Your Cv is only part of the equation
If you are looking to transition into a new career or simply find your next dream job, don't expect the internet to whip up all the ingredients and send you notifications every time a role matches your skills, qualifications and experience. Dream Jobs are created by knowing what you want and having the initiative to go out there and prospect the people who can help you obtain those positions.
You can spend hours, weeks online and not find a job that matches your skills, qualifications, and experience. Or you might find your dream role, only to have your CV competing with a plethora of other qualified career candidates.
That is why prospecting for your dream job should be part of your job search strategy. Why sit and wait when you can create opportunities.
What is Career Prospecting?
Career prospecting is a process whereby you the Job prospector/ Jobseeker identifies potential companies that may need your skills, experience, and qualifications. The goal of career exploration is to develop a database of likely companies and then communicate with the right decision-maker in the hopes of converting them into a company that will buy into your employment value and eventually hire you.
1. Create a targeted company List
Think about the companies who could use your skills, experience, and qualifications. A google search will yield a lot of useful information. It does not matter if the company is hiring; the goal is to find companies that could use your desired skill set.
If you are looking to gain more info about a particular company sign up to Google alerts, an email will appear every time there is a news related to your industry.
Take a look at Company evaluation sites such as Glassdoor and Vault or other subscriptions that allow employees and employers to discuss what's happening in the company. Reviews give you a good understanding of the company's culture.
LinkedIn is a great resource, you can review the company’s pages, and the best thing about LinkedIn is you can see if a connection can refer you to an organisation.
Narrow down the list of companies that you are interested in prospecting based on culture, location, skillset, future growth potential, whatever is important to you.
2. Contact the right decision-maker
Once you have mapped out potential companies to work for, your next step will be to find a relevant contact within the company. If you have a mutual connection within the company, reach out to them to see if they can provide you with beneficial info about the company, or ask them advice on whom you should contact.
Do not limit your job search to the HR department, which screens rather than hires candidates. Find the person who feels the pain by not having someone with your skill set and experience in a particular job role. If you are a Marketing Manager, you may want to map out the names of Head of Marketing or Marketing Directors. Again use LinkedIn as a resource to qualify your contacts in each company.
3. Write a Prospecting letter
A prospecting letter is a self-promoting tool used to heighten interest in you as a prospective employee. It should follow the basic cover letter etiquette, explicitly highlighting your marketable skills and qualifications that would be easily transferable within a position. It is important that you control the narrative.
Never send your CV with a prospecting letter, as your message is simply a letter of interest.
4. Capture the attention of the decision-makers
Because the employer might not actively be recruiting, you must give them a reason to read on and consider you as an addition to the company. If a mutual connection referred you then mention that person in the first sentence. A point of reference establishes your credibility and depicts you as someone in the employer's circle.
5. State your reason for writing
Get to the point quickly and tell the employer you're interested in a position with the company. Explain why you're interested in their company over others. For example, mention that you read the company plans to expand into a market or demographic you specialise in. Describe what kind of career position you're seeking, whether it's a full time, freelance, temporary or part-time.
6. Explain your value
Demonstrate to the recipient that you are a person of high value. It helps to have a well thought out Elevator pitch that instantly describes who you are, what you do, and who you do it for.
For example, I see that you are launching a new product in France, as a Marketing Manager for EMEA, I successfully implemented a campaign which saw an increase...
A good elevator pitch can be a powerful tool to help secure the objective of the telephone call, gain interviews and away into the decision-makers.
7. The Follow-up
Let the employer know that you will contact them on a specific day at a particular time. Also, let them know what you expect when you follow up. E.g. I will call on Wednesday at 2 pm to discuss how I can add value to your new marketing division and to provide you with further info on my candidacy and my Career to date.
Expect to get a lot of no's, and expect to not get through the first time. It's all about being consistent, patient with laser focus.
Career Prospecting means that you are taking the initiative and also taking ownership of your Career. Prospective employers will see this as brave, forward-thinking and admirable.
So if you are starting to feel demoralised by continually having to wait for someone to contact you, why not start setting your career precedents by creating your opportunities.
Get Digging! There are people out there who require what you have, and with their influence, you could be on your way to obtaining your dream job.
My name is Anya 0′ a qualified Career coach, job search strategist, recruiter and personal branding consultant. I help ambitious professionals like you become more visible in the market place, so you can pivot faster into a new job.
During my career, I have reviewed the CV's of thousands of professionals and prepared hundreds of tech, marketing and fashion professionals for interviews with leading UK based employers.
I am offering a 30-minute complimentary consultation call to all ambitious professionals who need help navigating their current career situation.
Connect with me here