Have you ever been in the midst of an active job search, but couldn’t find a good match for what you were looking for? Perhaps you’re seeking mid-level to executive positions, demanding a higher salary, or the market in your area seems to be dried up. Sometimes it can be as simple as you just aren’t interested in the positions listed. I know all too well the type of frustration these situations can develop.  You want to find the right opportunity with the right salary, culture, and fit. You want an opportunity where you will enjoy going to work each day. Here are some tips that will help you do just that.


Don’t Focus On Job Titles – If you are working in a market that has limited opportunities in your field, you will need to adjust to the job market. Instead of focusing on specific job titles, concentrate on the types of activities you enjoy and find organizations that have these types of opportunities available. For instance, here in Michigan there aren’t many jobs in the gaming industry. However, if you like programming, there are tons of opportunities in the field–the catch is that it’ may be a different industry. Consider positions that will allow you to do the same types of activities, but with a different job title. You can utilize the ONet Soc-Autocoder to find other opportunities that may be a good fit for you. This tool scans your resume for key words. Based on the content, ONet Soc-Autocoder will recommend industries and specific titles that may be of interest.


Get Off Job Boards & Start Networking – Chances are if you are looking for very specific opportunities, you won’t find them on job boards. I’m not dissuading people from using job boards, they have their use, but you will definitely find more opportunities by talking to people in your industry. Job boards tend to focus more on entry and mid-level positions. Leadership and executive roles are rarely posted. The truth of the matter is that employers are not finding qualified candidates for executive level careers on job boards. Some companies go as far as hiring search firms, and many network themselves to find the right candidate. These companies tend to be more patient in their searches and conduct a thorough search to find the right person. So start networking with people now!


Consider Consulting – Unfortunately, in some cases, your ideal position is just not out there. The solution to your problem may by consulting. Figure out what problems you solve for businesses. Target companies that offer the types of services you provide, and offer your services with a proven benefit to them. The flexibility that consulting creates can be very attractive to you as well as businesses. Just think, you can do what you love, negotiate your salary, manage your own time, and you don’t have to be bound to the companies’ handbook. There are also many benefits to the companies using consultants. Companies that use consultants save money by not having to pay high health insurance premiums, unemployment, or security benefits. They also don’t have to worry about consultants using company resources, or the time and money it takes to manage a full-time employee. As an added bonus, hiring consultants gives companies staffing flexibility—when the workload is down they can adjust accordingly. In many cases, consulting proves to be beneficial for both parties.


Target Companies – When you are looking for specific opportunities, it’s best to target companies you’re interested in and reach out to people within. Start by pulling up your local Chamber of Commerce website and look through the company directory. You can search by category. The good thing about most Chamber websites is that they often  have a contact person for each company and their contact info is also public. After you have researched their company, use the contact information provided to reach out about opportunities, even if there are no open job listed on their site.


Be Realistic – There is no “perfect” position. You will always find some aspect of every job that you don’t care for. This was very true for me when I worked as a Case Manager for a youth development program. I absolutely loved building relationships with the kids and developing and teaching workshops. Nonetheless, I hated all the paperwork involved and the lack of funds associated with working for a non-profit. Looking for a job is kind of like dating. Put together a list of things you must have, a list of things you won’t deal with, and know what things you can compromise on. There are still people out there looking for that elusive perfect match, but most married people will tell you that it doesn’t exist–it’s the same with business. The key is to be sure that the company’s culture is a good match for your values and career goals.

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Thanks for reading my post! I am the owner of Career SkyRocket LLC a professional resume writing, career coaching, and training service. I have also been published on CAREEREALISM as well. Follow my blog Career Thoughts. Let’s Connect! Follow me on Twitter, visit my Facebook page, or connect with me here on LinkedIn.