Job searching seems like a simple concept but does require some forethought about how you are going to approach the act of finding another job. There are two different philosophies when it comes to job searching. You can bring a pole or you can bring a net when fishing for jobs.
When we use a pole we typically go to the best places to find the fish. We will spend considerable amount of time researching where the best fish hang out, what type of lure to use and what methods we should use to catch them. Even though we don’t catch a lot of fish we are more likely to catch the big one.
A narrow search for a job is a lot like fishing with a pole. Some people prefer only to apply to those jobs which fit their criteria perfectly. They spend a lot of time reading the job descriptions and determining if the job actually fits their needs. Once they have determined it is a job that they would be interested in they go ahead and apply.
In a narrow search the cover letter and the resume is catered to the specific job. Therefore if the employer is looking for a specific set of knowledge the cover letter would be adjusted each and every time to cater to their needs. The chances of receiving a call after each submission are much higher than with the net approach.
The fishing pole approach is very good when you are attempting to maintain a certain lifestyle, have achieved a certain amount of skill in your background and have reached an executive level position. Most of these types of employers won’t respond to unaltered resumes and cover letters. They expect a little more attention to detail.
The net approach to finding a job is a lot like the net approach to fishing. You make an effort to find the right place to put your net but you go for a broad sweep of fish. If you are looking for bass and you find a lot of perch you can pick the bass out of the net and let the rest go. When using this approach you apply to everything that you are qualified for and pick the jobs that respond to you.
Most people use the net approach when they are trying to find jobs that are currently above their level. They apply to everything within their field. The wider the net the more job opportunities that get caught in their net. The job seeker will then pick the job that is the highest in pay or most closely aligned to their goals.