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Finding the best and the brightest – the right person for the right job at the right time – a huge challenge in today’s market as the sea of applicants continues to flow.  As more companies turn to the Internet to locate talent, the path to the best becomes even more complex.

We read about more and more companies establishing Internet recruiting arms, and job-posting boards are ever-present.  “Name” search firms tout their online services for middle managers.  Recruiters seem to be turning to “automation” to assist them with the task of sorting qualified applicants. It is a well-known fact that recruiters continue to rely heavily on the Internet as a source for candidates.  Job seekers should recognize this fact and market their personal brand through a work-in-process presence on the Internet.  At the same time, Internet marketing – or utilizing social media to market your skills – is only one piece of the branding puzzle.

There are no shortcuts…nor is the successful job search always completed the same way.  The major challenge for a job seeker is determining the amount of time to dedicate to the various channels for employment.  “Do it all” is a consistent mantra, but is that realistic?  I think not.

CareerXroads survey suggests that 70% of known openings are filled through networking, while only 15% are filled through Job Boards. Job Seekers should assume that research time should be distributed based upon the success rate…not to overlook recruiters and job fairs. There are no short cuts – all avenues for possible employment must be aggressively addressed in a systematic way. Today”s job market demands heavy emphasis on developing a network of contacts to help market your brand. Internet research is key, but moving from research to executing could be a major stumbling block for the “non-marketing” type.

I can relate to that. As a novice trying to build my business 20 or so years ago, my “operations-background” tendencies resulted in no potential business. I woke up to the fact that marketing is critical to sustaining business (duh!). Telemarketing – cold-calling – was not in my vocabulary! It was a discipline totally foreign to me. I was accustomed to attack each day with a renewed strength – taking advantage of my “best” hours of the day to face what I viewed as the most difficult challenge(s). Cold-calling was indeed my biggest challenge, so with mornings being my most productive hours, I set 9 to 11 a.m. as my “marketing” time. Every day at 9:00 a.m., I would put on my telephone headset and make calls. It became a daily habit, and I was totally focused on marketing my business – 50 calls per day! I was forcing my operations mind to think marketing. And, obviously, it worked. To this day, 9 to 11 a.m. are my marketing times – whether it be cold-calling, ad-writing, or prospecting, the marketing sign is on – as are the headphones!

It is imperative that each job seeker develop a strategy that fits the need of your individual brand as well as your behavioral instincts.  Your brand is unique…and your marketing plan needs to address each factor, establishing what channel produces the best results and when to execute.  On-line searching is a major source of opportunity – but only one piece of the puzzle. Every avenue to the next networking opportunity has to be taken. If you don’t go, you don’t get!

Make your day a terrific day!