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Many job seekers do not realize that their approach to finding a job is passive in comparison to what they should be doing.

Do you think is it enough to post, email or fax your resume in response to an online job opening? If you answered yes, your job search effort may be slacking. 

It doesn't seem quite fair. After all, the company or staffing agency advertised that there is a current job opening; they suggested how to apply for the position; and you followed their instructions to the letter. But, you never heard from anyone.  

That is expected for a few opportunities, but is a real concern when you do not get responses from any one of the dozens of great leads that you sent your resume to in the last two months.  

It is not necessarily because you are not qualified or are doing anything wrong. There are many reasons why this is happening. First, you may have a lot of competition in a very tight job market. Maybe the company hired internally.  

If the job opening was posted on the company's own website, maybe the vacancy announcement is old and their Webmaster hasn't removed it from the website yet.  

Maybe the job opening was posted by a a headhunter that is collecting candidates for future openings that are similar. This way they do not waste time finding the right talent when the hiring company asks them to find qualified candidates. 

Sometimes it is not enough to limit your job search to an online search. You really need to be strategic in today's downturned job market. You must think outside of the box and be creative and aggressive.  

For example, you do not need to wait for a job opening to be announced. If you are interested in a particular company, you should make the first move.  

As long as you understand the types of positions that are available that match your experience, skills and credentials, you should contact the HR Department to request that they keep you on file in the likelihood something becomes available in the future.  

There are a few advantages to this approach. First, they will see that you are ambitious and are the type of person who likes to take the initiative. Secondly, you might be contacting them at a time when they need to fill a position. In this case, you are saving them time, advertising costs and resources.  

Regardless of the job search strategy, you should always include a cover letter to establish a rapport with the reader. It is important that you explain why you feel you would be a good fit for their company. Too often job seekers do not make the extra effort to research a company to learn more about them. They send the same letter to every company. Sadly, they end up with the same disappointing response. 

Do not limit your job search effort to one method. Mix it up. Contact companies directly, speak with your friends, family members and neighbors to let them know you are looking for a job.  

Use the Internet to research companies and to post your resume online. If you can join a group for your industry that meets monthly to network, take advantage of that opportunity to expand your contacts. 

Once you do succeed in getting an interview, make sure you have researched the company as if it were your own and diligently prepare for the interview.  

Start by understanding what you have to offer so it can be expressed in the interview. Last but not least, send thank you notes to whomever interviewed you to express your strong interest in the company and position. In your note, remind them of what was discussed in the interview to jog their memory. 

Remember, a little extra job search effort is not only critical in today's tight job market, it will eventually pay off.


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