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how to find a job without applying online

it’s no secret that the job market feels increasingly confusing and challenging these days. job seekers are encouraged to apply for dozens of jobs each day with shortcuts like easy apply and automated services that blast their resumes around.


meanwhile recruiters and hiring managers are overwhelmed by the rapid receipt of more applicants than they can sensibly sort through. this means tons of resumes never make it through the tracking systems and if they do, it’s still a gamble which ones get noticed.


that’s why we’re seeing most of the career coaches online shifting to a more direct strategy: find the precise job you want, then find people who need that role filled the most, and deliver a convincing argument for why you’d be the answer to their prayers.


so based on a combination of what i’ve seen from my most successful clients in the last year, what all the other career coaches i follow are tracking and reporting, as well as my own knowledge of what it’s like to be a hiring manager and an active consultant who seeks out new work all the time, these are the top actions to take if you want to avoid job boards and get straight to the intros.


Here’s a nine-point list of how to select a company and find a job that’s right for you without applying online.


  1. narrow your search

  2. define what you value most

  3. decide what you want from a company

  4. list your dealbreakers

  5. find 12 companies to research deeply

  6. reach out to 10 people within each company

  7. build the relationship

  8. craft your pitch

  9. go for extra credit: slide deck or custom portfolio


this is a strong and thorough approach that most job seekers are unwilling to take while they busy themselves with job boards. the majority of applicants never think about directly connecting with the humans on the other side of those job posts unless they get an automatic email asking for next steps.


do what you can to break the cycle by showing some empathy, researching the needs of their company and their team, and getting excited about ways you can help them out. that can get you much further than tapping a few apply buttons and hoping for the best.


they’ll be glad to avoid the clutter of all those random resumes coming through and you’ll be able to jump the line for some real conversations. by showing you already put in all this work to get a conversation, you’re already proving your value to everyone you contact and building relationships that may open even more doors in the future.

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