Link_82795661If you want to increase your chances of finding your next job in less time, you need to be specific about what you want.  Create an Intention Statement.  This will help you narrow in on a job target you can hit, instead of shooting blind.

Here’s why specificity works:

  1. It breeds commitment. You can’t commit to achieving a generality. “I’ll do anything” is far less motivating than “I want to use my project management, planning and relationship building skills to help a technology company operate more efficiently.” Once you articulate a specific intention, you become committed to it. My friend Sarah wanted to use her space planning and design skills to help a pharmaceutical company operate more effectively and efficiently. Her husband and friends worried that she was TOO specific. We decided she would try first to get what she wanted and expand her search if necessary. The result? She got the exact job she wanted.
  2. It helps others help you. People need more information to be able to help you. Maybe your contact knows someone who works at a bank or who’s hiring a UX specialist. You’ll only find out if you tell them you improve user experience or want to work in banking. Specificity also breeds confidence among your network. When you know what you can and want to do, people are more comfortable referring you to their contacts.
  3. It generates opportunities. Once you’re specific, you notice things you may not have noticed before, such as job postings. Several times, clients articulated their “intention statement” and the same day found that exact position posted on a job site. People will send postings and notices when they know what you want. Tony gets notices all the time from his network, applies, and gets interviews – simply because they know what he wants to do.

Here’s how you can get specific in your job search:

  • Identify the 3 skills you most want to use. These are skills that come easily to you, that you find yourself using all the time, and produce good results.
  • Zero in on the kind of impact you want to have on a company. What are the problems you love to solve? What outcomes are you able to produce?
  • Specify the type of company you want to work for. What field is it in, how big is it, what do they do?
  • Give examples of the kind of place you want to work. Literally name companies where you’d like to work. People will think of companies like those or may even know someone at one of the companies on your list.
  • Suggest some job titles you could hold. Job titles place you in the company hierarchy, and give your network an idea of your experience level.

Once you’ve answered each question, combine all of the elements into an “intention statement.” Here’s an example: “I want to use my business development, relationship management and client service skills to help a growing biotech firm reach or exceed its revenue goals. I’d love to work for Genentech, Alexion or Gilead Sciences, as a Senior Account Manager, Director of Sales, or VP of Business Development.” Then start using it in emails, at social events, or even in person. I am sure you’ll make more progress in finding your next great job.


Disclosure: This post was written as part of the University of Phoenix Versus Program. I’m a compensated contributor, but the thoughts and ideas are my own.