Prospecting on the Job Hunt


Prospecting is the active “search” function of your job hunt. It’s all about putting yourself out there and making the connections that will help you find the right job.

As you’re on the job hunt, just about every single job-seeking activity can be divided into one of three categories: prospecting, presenting or following up. If this sounds like the language of a salesperson, it should—you are a salesperson, and the product you are selling is yourself.

In this post, we will focus on the first category: prospecting. Prospecting is the active “search” function of your job search. It’s all about putting yourself out there and making the connections that will help you find the right job. Reach out to your existing network first, because this is where you are most likely to find success. Even if people in your existing network can’t find you a job, they may be able to connect you with someone else who can.

How to engage in prospecting

Prospecting is all about getting meetings so you can share your story and get opinions and referrals. Here are some tips associated with each of these activities:

1. Get a meeting

You can accomplish this through email, in person or over the phone. However, phone calls generally work the best because they provide a more immediate response. Emails are much easier to ignore. Reach out to people in your network and set up a time to talk on the phone or meet in person. Let them know that you are interested in discussing your personal marketing plan and job search strategy.

2. Share your story

Actively reconnect with the people in your network. As you connect, focus on them first and listen attentively to what’s new in their lives and careers. When the tables turn to you, be ready to share your own story and fill them in on the details of your own situation. Be honest and pleasant, and share your marketing plan.

3. Ask for opinions or referrals

This is where you discuss business. Ask for job referrals, opinions about your marketing plan or anything else that may assist you in your job search. This is also a great time to get leads to other contacts that may help you in your job search.

The prospecting circle

The prospecting circle represents the cyclical activities that you execute repeatedly as you prospect. You make contact with people, share your value, identify new target companies that fit your criteria, get leads, and schedule interviews, which ultimately lead to employment offers.  

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