Our system will help you understand the job market and what an employer wants. Over the next pages we will address the steps you can take to increase the amount of interviews you get from your applications.


One of the best parts about our system is that understanding the job search system and what an employer is looking for can make it much easier to develop the right interviews.

Here is what's covered in the materials that follow:

  • Responding to openings in newspaper or magazine ads, professional job banks, recruiting newsgroups and employer websites.
  • Using recruiters. What you need to know about recruiters, and using them for personal gain.
  • Finding unpublished jobs through events. Here you'll find the easiest way to tap into this large market.
  • Finding unpublished jobs through networking. A step-by-step process for making networking easier than ever before.
  • Finding unpublished jobs through references.
  • Finding unpublished jobs through direct mail. A wealth of information to help you achieve the highest response rates when using this method.
  • Finding unpublished jobs through power phone strategies. Simple, but effective approaches for telemarketing yourself.
  • Getting employers to create a job. This is one of the most unique ways to generate offers that are tailored to your personal strengths.
  • How to develop your personal action plan. This recaps everything covered above. It shows how you can be marketed just like any other product or service. It takes you through each of the steps in creating your own marketing plan.

Most estimates in the past placed the advertised jobs at only 3% of all openings which get filled. That number has soared much higher in the modern time, but data now suggest that maybe as much as 70% of all jobs are still within the hidden job market. Surveys have indicated that less than one in ten employers fills a single professional or managerial job through an ad over a 12-month period.

What's more, many of the more attractive advertised openings bring several hundred or even thousands of responses. This clearly makes answering ads the most competitive area you can tackle.

Five Rules to that Greatly Improve Your Performance when Answering Ads

(1) Respond to Openings -- Even from the Last 13 Weeks

When you start your search, you can consider responding to all good openings from the last 13 weeks. This can be a rich resource and a quick way to get into action. A certain percentage of those openings will already be filled, but just as surely, a number will still be open. In some fields, the openings you uncover this way can be quite large.

For example, you will often find employers placing newspaper or trade journal ads that are industry-specific to their recruiting needs. However, don't let your lack of experience in a certain industry keep you from responding. Many employers who place ads here will be in growth industries and will not be able to find both the right talent and the right industry experience.

As a rule, trade magazines carry higher income professional and managerial situations.

(2) Follow Up on Situations That Seem Ideal for You

Did you ever see an opening and feel "That describes me exactly?" Well, as a general rule, if you have not heard anything after two weeks have passed, you should follow up. If you were a good fit for the job, answering published situations multiple times can work.

Consider using email followed up with a hard copy resume. Very few of your competitors will do this, and employers give a big edge to people who really want to be with them.

Through McKenzie Scott's private access website, you can conveniently access the classified newspaper ads of 1,100 major newspapers and 1,000 trade magazines. You can also review openings in the top 500 job banks, the top 200 recruiting newsgroups, and hundreds of thousands of situations listed on employer websites.

(3) Use Upgrading and Downgrading Strategies

A company who has an openings for a VP Finance might be willing to hire a Sr. Accountant who could move up to VP within a year. After all, it isn't so much the title they are after, as the skills and talent. That's an example of downgrading.

By the same token, a company seeking a Plant Manager might be persuaded to hire a VP of Manufacturing, provided someone could persuade them such a move would be cost efficient and give added capabilities. That's an upgrade.

Openings you uncover can also be used as signals of private openings in other areas of the company. If, for instance, you see a company hiring salespeople, that's a fairly reliable indicator that they are also hiring people in other areas.

(4) Use Letters Rather Than Resumes

For most people the number one key to success when responding to openings is to use letters alone, rather than a cover letter with a resume.

As previously mentioned, because employers receive so many resumes, they tend to start by screening out non-qualifiers. This is a critical point. Since resumes provide more facts, they can work against you in some situations.

Make use of strong letters, ones that are targeted at the requirements for success in the position. (Of course, there are situations where you can use a resume with a cover letter. However, your resume had better be on target for the opening that's being advertised.)

Whatever your basis for selecting a situation to respond to, in your letter be sure to let the employer know just why you selected it. Give a specific reason. Here's a short sample of what we mean. "I recently read a great article about your firm" or, "Your industry has always fascinated me" or, "In a similar job I not only got results, but I also came in ahead of schedule."

(5) Try Innovative Approaches if You Need Them

This is important when hundreds of others can also be expected to respond to the same advertisement. Try getting added information beyond what was in the ad, and then use it in your response.

This can be developed by reviewing web home pages, product literature, annual reports or newspaper articles. Demonstrating industry knowledge works better than anything else. You might also consider making contact with employees in the company before responding, particularly those who are easiest to befriend: sales and marketing managers, public relations staffers, etc.

Another strategy that can sometimes help involves identifying a reference who is likely to be known to executives of the company and mentioning his/her name in your correspondence.

Responding to Openings from Job Banks, Recruiting Newsgroups and Employer Websites

The emergence of the Internet has brought with it the growth of a new way to find openings. Organizations such as Career Mosaic.com and Monster.com are among the largest job banks.

Thousands of job banks now exist and they cover almost every income level and industry or career specialty. The strategies for responding to these openings are the same as you want to employ when answering ads. Keep in mind that openings listed this way will attract a lot of traffic... in other words, a lot of competition.

The same holds true for responding to openings that appear in recruiting newsgroups and openings which employers have posted on their websites. Many openings on the Internet will request that you email your resume. When you do, if you follow up with a hard copy in the mail you will improve your response.

Electronic Bulletin Boards and Resume Posting Services

With the explosion of resumes in traditional mail circulation, many computer-literate job seekers have chosen the electronic means of posting their credentials, feeling that it will differentiate them from the "masses."

Although probably more effective for those in high tech industries, this category should in general be considered a last resort option for most people.

The job seeker should also be cautioned that electronic resume posting services often charge either the job seeker, or the employer/recruiters for accessing the site.

Handling Blind Ads and Money Questions

Companies run blind ads to attract employees of competitors, to prevent phone responses, to replace someone on staff, and sometimes to hide a less than attractive reputation. Certain recruiters use blind ads to keep their assignments confidential.

Needless to say, you can't really be sure whether or not a blind ad represents a real opportunity, and you can't rule out the possibility that it may be an excellent opportunity. So, if you are not worried about the source of the ad, go ahead and respond. The one exception is where you suspect it may be your own employer.

Many ads ask you to submit your earnings history. If you are seeking less than ,000 this is acceptable. However, at a higher level, indicate a range or objective, rather than stating your specific current earnings level. As you move past the ,000 level, avoid disclosure of salary history or objectives. That kind of information is better dealt with during your interviews.

Summarizing Our Approach to Responding to Openings

Many people who depend on answering ads do all the wrong things. With these tips you can go after much better results.

  • Job Advertisements represent only 30% of the market.
  • Answer openings from as long ago as 13 weeks.
  • As you identify new openings respond electronically, but also follow up with hard copy.
  • To expand the number of ads you can answer in the location you desire, make use of the downgrade, upgrade and side-grade strategies.
  • Whenever possible use letters rather than resumes to improve your odds.
  • In general, avoid disclosure of salary history or objectives.
  • If you're not getting results, try innovative approaches.