The “Fly Fishing” Method

23 03 2011

First off, I would like to thank everyone that took the time to sit down and read my post about the “Deep Sea Fishing” method of job searching. It is my goal to reach out and shed fresh light on job hunting, and hopefully, by sharing my experiences of what has worked well for me, I am able to help you achieve your goals of employment as well!

Now, on to my second, and most successful, method of job searching: the artistic method that I like to call the “Fly Fishing” approach.

Much like actual fly fishing, this approach takes practice, patience and a clear objective when deciding how to tackle your job search.  Unlike the “Deep Sea Fishing” method, the “Fly Fishing”
method has to be very calculated.

The first step in this approach is to pin-point exactly what you are trying to achieve. Do not focus all of your time on sending out as many resumes as possible, because you only need a couple of businesses to offer you jobs, not 50. With that being said, I am not saying to only apply to a couple  of jobs, that is taking this method to the extreme, and even I can’t condone putting all of your eggs in one basket.

The best way to find out exactly what you want in terms of a first job is to pay specific attention to the skills and experience that each position if offering. If your goal is to be the CEO of a hospital one day, don’t focus on getting administrative jobs at your local clinic (you will most likely be very under qualified), but, instead, focus on obtaining a realistic position working in the health field, possibly as a medical sales rep or working at a retirement home or a local health and fitness center.

Second, focus on what kind of salary you NEED, not the one that you necessarily WANT. Every college graduate feels like they deserve a $50,000-$100,000 a-year salary, but unless you really land a big one, your chances, sorry to say, are very slim. Instead, focus on the necessities, and go from there. Don’t undersell yourself either, you are worth more than you are probably going to receive from a first time job. However, always remember, vertical movement is the goal is any post-college employment.

Third, focus on your skills, not just the classes that you took in college. If you were anything like me, you took a couple of classes outside of your major and enjoyed them, but didn’t exactly finish at the top of the class. The skills that you learned in those classes are critical to your overall sales-package, but I wouldn’t apply for jobs in an accounting firm if you barely got a “C” in the one business class that you took. Just because you are “familiar” with something doesn’t make it your most marketable “skill.” Spend your time focusing on the things that you were great at and really enjoyed, the person in charge of hiring you will be able to pick up on your passion when you are talking about something that you genuinely enjoy.

Fourth, take the time to find those jobs that are perfect for you.  This does NOT mean spending all of your time applying for the job you want when you are in your 30s or 40s, but also, don’t waste your time applying for jobs that you have to convince yourself are a good fit for you. When you are looking for these jobs, pay attention to the small details of the business. What is their mission statement? Does it seem like they are actually following what they say their goal in business is? How many employees to they have? Are they publicly traded? (This is my favorite question to find out, because it only takes a second to check the stock market and see how they are doing. If their company is doing well and is increasing their worth, than you have a better chance of landing employment with them.)

Fifth, don’t be afraid to do research on the company through friends, teachers and other business professionals that you know. Chances are, someone has done business with them, or has a friend that works for (or has worked for) their company. These are the final points that will enable you to impress the person interviewing you, or reading your resume and cover letter, and they will most likely remember the fact that you took the time to find out the little things about their company’s inner workings.

The sixth step is obvious: apply. You can’t get a job just by hoping someone will see your resume and call you. YOU have to be proactive. Send an email and say that you are going to follow-up with a phone call later that day. This will let them know that you mean business, and, in the end, work to your advantage.

I hope this helped you figure out the best way for you to go about with your job search, and stay tuned for my post on the the most common mistakes that people make during an interview.  Yes, they will be both my mistakes, as well as ones made by people who I was interviewing.

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2 responses

23 03 2011
Lindsey

I love it! Very focused and well-written!
P.S., the ‘ads by Google are all about fishing captains and expeditions. Haha

23 03 2011
Adam Pfaff

Thanks Lindsey! Hopefully some people will get some business off my “funky” wording, ha

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