As the New Year begins, many of us take inventory of our lives and look for ways of improvement. Besides joining a gym or signing up for a language class, one area where some decide a change is necessary is in their careers. In my book, The Job Search Process, I outline eight key points to land your dream job. Rather than cover the tried-and-true categories of resume writing or how to behave yourself in an interview, I focus on one overlooked area job seekers minimize: how to look for a job. So, for those looking for a new career, here is a guide to conducting a job search tailored for you.


It all starts with commitment. If you are currently employed, pledge a minimum of 10 hours per week to look for a new job. If you don’t have a job, commit to spending 40 hours per week. Nothing derails your job search faster than a lack of personal responsibility for completing your dream job search.

Use your inner-circle for networking

Share with friends and family you are in the job market. Consider making a declaration to yourself and then share it with others. For example, if you are unemployed, it goes like this: “I am going to spend 40 hours every week following my dream job search process until I have a job which will take care of my family and me”. There is tremendous power in using the phrases, “I am” and “I will.” By sharing your declaration with those closest to you, they will now feel included in your process and will be an even stronger support system for you.

A second benefit of telling people you are active in the new job market is they can refer you to companies they know are hiring. Expand beyond your circle of friends and family. Tell everyone you know or meet you are in a job search. Referrals are the number one way to get a job. Only 15% of jobs available are posted, listed, or advertised.

“I am going to spend 40 hours every week following my dream job search process until I have a job which will take care of my family and me”.

Use strategic planning to stand out in a crowded job market

It is shocking the general public believes every job is posted on Monster or Career Builder. The opposite is the truth.

Separate yourself from the jobs with the most significant amount of competition. Instead, look for a dream job strategically. Move away from the masses. There is no quicker, or more direct method to connect a person to their next position, than through someone who knows it exists.

One unique idea I saw from a dream job seeker is to make a “personal” business card and give it to people you meet. The business card acts a mini-resume. Your card should include your name, type of work you are interested in pursuing, and contact information. As a result, this allows your information to be passed along to employers who are looking for someone with your specific skill set.

I am often shocked the general population in the United States believes every job available is posted on Monster or Career Builder.


Use social media and get your message out to as many folks as possible. Popular outlets include LinkedIn, Facebook,  and Twitter.


Sign up for a Linkedin account immediately, if you do not have one. Because LinkedIn is a favorite tool of recruiter’s and human resources professionals worldwide. Recruiters use Linkedin to locate candidates for the job openings and scan for candidates. Make sure to join Linkedin professional groups who directly relate to industries or jobs in which you want to work. It is important to optimize your profile to include keywords, professional certifications, recommendations, and past achievements.


Facebook is also a top tool recruiters use as well. Edit your Facebook “about” section to reflect major work accomplishments. Certainly, take a moment to clean up posts you have made which might send up a “red flag” to potential employers.


Twitter is a powerful resource to make direct connections with specific people within an organization. Identify key players in a company you would like to work for and follow them on Twitter. Monitor the type of content they are posting. Comment on the posts by adding value to their already existing conversations. Adding value to their conversations ensures you become part of their community. As a result, the key players see you as a good cultural fit for their organization.

dream job search

Beyond making yourself known to recruiters, social media is a quick, and useful method to let people in your extended network know you are in the dream job market.


Place your resume on every principal and industry-specific job board. Because employers cannot find you if they do not know you exist. There are several major job boards such as Monster, Hot Jobs, and Career Builder you should have your resume posted. Hiring managers, recruiters, and HR professionals also look at niche job boards that are specific to an individual industry or skill set.

However, update your resume before you start posting. Take time to reorganize and edit your resume to highlight direct, or transferable skills, to the type of employment you want.


One of the most successful methods is to conduct a reverse search for employer’s you have worked at, or places you would like to work. Contact companies you want to work at. Regardless if they have jobs posted. Search the company name and keywords about the business. An Internet search engine will create a list of competitors to the original company. Use this information to send out 100 resumes per week, every week, until you have your dream job.

Manage the flow of information you are sending out and receiving from prospective employers. Send out the resumes on Mondays and call to follow up on Fridays. The follow-up shows a sense of urgency on your part and demonstrates solid follow-through skills.

Finding your dream job takes effort and discipline. However, if you follow your job search process, you should be able to have interviews lined-up within a few weeks.

Do you have a strategy for creating a dream job search? Share it with me on Twitter.

This article originally appeared in Dbusiness.

Recently, a major airline garnered world-wide attention because it had a passenger (paying customer) forcibly removed from an overbooked flight. Almost immediately, the video shot by fellow passengers showing the incident went viral across social media. Images of the passenger being dragged down the aisle by his arms and legs by three security officers, amongst the loud protests of fellow passengers, played non-stop for several days. The incident damaged the reputation of the airline, as well as its stock price.

The attitude exhibited at the time by the employees and the CEO was that the company had the right to treat the passenger this way, and the passenger should have willingly given up his seat. They claimed the company was within its rules and regulations to behave this way. This attitude, apparently ingrained throughout the company, is not focused on customers, but instead focused on policies.

Companies like this train their employees, who when faced with challenging customer situations, to say to that customer, “I’m sorry, I can’t do that. It’s against company policy.”

Instead, what companies should be doing—regardless of the industry—is hiring people who have strong customer service skills in their DNA to interact with the clients. This core belief system, already ingrained within the employee, will be a platform for a customer-focused decision-making process.

Then the company can infuse DNA with training, which empowers and encourages the employees to solve problems for customers in the moment, teaching them to think about the customer experience first, in conjunction—or possibly despite—the rules and policies.

Customer service isn’t a department—it’s a philosophy. Every decision is made with the customer in mind. With proper training, every employee understands the role he or she plays in the customer experience.

For this to work, the organization must move from being focused on rules to being focused on the customer. All decision-making is done with the customer in mind. That doesn’t mean that businesses can’t make decisions that the customer might not like such as raising prices or eliminating a service offering. It means customer responses and feelings are proactively anticipated, good or bad, and the employees are trained to deal with those responses.

Once trained, employees are empowered and encouraged to come up with solutions to help their customers. They can give customers what they want and need, within reasonable and established boundaries.

There is a recipe for creating an organization that is focused on the customer experience beyond all else. The process is simple to understand and requires unwavering discipline to execute.

It all starts at the top. The leadership team must be 100-percent committed to creating a customer-focused culture. They define what the culture will look like, and then lead by example.

Our house, our rules. What is your company’s customer-focused culture points? This requires training on all levels, catering to their roles and responsibilities in the company. Customer service basics, such as being nice, easy to work with, and providing a timely response never go out of style.

The right players for our team. It goes without saying that you must have the right employees. They must be on board and be in alignment with your customer-focused culture and philosophies.

Empower the masses. Management must take the leap of faith and empower their team. Demonstrate that empowered employees don’t have to go to their boss every time they need to make a customer-focused decision that is outside of the norm.

Stories from the front line. When employees make decisions, both good and bad, share them as teachable moments within the organization. Other employees will learn from their peers on what is and is not acceptable.


In the end, it’s about a customer-focused culture, not policy. While these steps may seem like common sense to many of us, they are not necessarily easy to implement.