Passive search tactics: How long do ya feel like waiting for that job?

To Whom It May Concern: Or, How to Stop Sucking at Your Job Search officially launches on Monday, 4/4.

An excerpt from the book here, about why you shouldn't rely on passive search tactics...

What are "passive" search tactics?

Simply put, passive search tactics are those that can be accomplished without any true one-on-one interaction with a hiring manager, HR person, recruiter or other person of influence.  They’re the simplest, least scary and most common tactics people use when searching for a new job.

Passive search methods can be conducted with Lady Gaga blaring in the background, a chicken leg in your hand and with your brain on near-auto pilot.

Most common passive tactic? Endlessly seeking out job postings online, then filling out dozens of those little application forms required of all job seekers, and then hitting “send.”

Bye, bye. Off to the black hole it goes. 

Typical job seekers spend about 80% or more of their search time using these methods.

They scour and other job boards, then apply for every single job that appears remotely interesting. They fire off resumes to unknown heads of HR blindly (sometimes forgetting they even applied to that company.) They post a resume online and hope the world will come sprinting to it. They call a couple of recruiters and ask them to “get on the case … stat.”

And then?

More often than not, they sit back.

And wait. And wait. And wait.

Sooner or later, all that waiting will make even the calmest of job seekers feel impatient, frustrated or bummed enough to repeat a remarkably similar cycle all over again. Maybe they’ll shake things up with a few different job boards, or a different recruiter, or different company websites. But essentially?

Same process all over again.

Now, I’ll pause for a moment and say that, clearly, these methods SOMETIMES work. Even in this crapburger of a job market. So I’m not suggesting to avoid posting a resume online altogether, nor do I think it’s dumb to do some targeted applying for posted job openings that are highly relevant to your skills and interests.

BUT, relying on these methods alone … and doing them in a lazy or sloppy manner … is WAY more likely to result in a lengthy, frustrating search than a strategic job search that incorporates bold, active, creative, networking and research-based methods.

Active search tactics are absolutely vital if you want to land something great – in a lot less time – in today’s job market.


And by “active search tactics?” I mean, in large part: Search tactics that take full advantage of the enormous power of social media.

Leverage, leverage, leverage, people.

You want to read more? Be sure and mark your calendar! We'll be firing it up on Monday, April 4 at 10AM PT!

Photo: Creative Commons (jacsonquerubin)