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To ultimately be successful in your job search, it is important to have a plan that relies on multiple steps executed concurrently. The key is to allocate your time accordingly so that you focus your efforts on the steps that will give you the best return.

One important piece of the process which is often overlooked is conducting a direct marketing campaign. Rather than relying solely on job boards or even the career sections of company websites, utilizing a direct marketing campaign lets you reach decision makers of your choice who have the power to offer you a job.

Similar to marketing a product, you must define your target market and then inform them of your unique value. In other words, how will you help them solve their existing and future problems. Remember, you are marketing a very unique product: YOU! That product consists of your skills, experience and proven ability to successfully perform.

A direct marketing campaign can motivate management to recognize that your unique value meets a need at the time you approach them. A well-written letter based on good research will show how you can help.

Several important steps to follow include:

–  Make a list of the organizations most likely to need your services based on your career interests, industry preference, company size, products or services, growth prospects, geographic location. Use directories like D&B, Hoovers, and Thomas, to identify your targets.

– Identify the decision maker in each company. Depending on company size, it will either be the President or the highest level manager in your functional area of expertise.

– Research the company and try to identify a need where your background can help solve the problem.

– Craft a compelling letter that says why you are writing and ties their need to how you have been successful solving similar problems throughout your career. Do not include your resume. You are writing to request a business meeting, not to ask for a job.

– Follow-up your letter with a phone call to schedule a face to face meeting.

While the primary goal of conducting your own direct marketing campaign is to get a meeting, other benefits include:

– You avoid competing with hundreds of other jobseekers

– You are being proactive

– You are in control pf the process

– It helps keep you in a positive frame of mind during your job search