Struggling and Discouraged. . . Help! How can I conduct a better job search?

By Dave Demelo Senior Consultant at Treeline, Inc.

Dear Dave,

Good day! I am a sales representative who has several years of proven sales success. I was recently laid off and I've been unemployed for the past 5 months. I've applied to countless sales jobs online and I am struggling. I can't seem to get feedback for opportunities that I know I am qualified for. I've networked with colleagues and reached out to my personal contacts, but even they are not much help. I am struggling and feel helpless. How can I conduct a better job search? Do you have any advice?

Dear Job Seeker,

Thank you for reaching out to me. Unfortunately, your question reflects the difficulties many job seekers are currently facing. While you may have the credentials, experience, and background for a specific position you still need to have a well orchestrated plan when searching for a job.

The traditional job search methods and the way hiring managers and companies post jobs and search for candidates have changed. However, the steps you take when conducting a job search still trace back to pre-LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc.

The first step is to have a plan!

What do you want in your next sales career?

  • What type of position are you looking for?
  • How far are you willing to travel?
  • How can you leverage your past experience and accomplishments?
  • What kind of culture are you looking for?
  • Do you want a large company or a small company?
  • What kind of sales are you interested in (business to business, technology, finance, retail, etc.)?

These are just some of the questions that you should ask yourself.

Looking for job opportunities is a full time job that should be taken seriously! You are making an important life change. Think about it . . . When was the last time you did something life changing on a whim? I am sure you have but realistically not often, right?

Planning is crucial when conducting your job search. In many ways, starting your job search is similar to planning a family trip. What are some questions you ask yourself before you start planning your trip?


  • Where to go?
  • When to go?
  • Where to stay?
  • How long should I stay?
  • Who is going?
  • How much can I spend?


Your next step is to do research to find what fits best with your criteria. This should also be the same mentality when finding a job. It all starts with research and preparation.

Answer the questions you posed initially when you decided to embark on a new sales career (What are you looking for in your new sales job?) Find out what you want to do and where you can leverage your strengths. Find organizations that are looking for top talented sales professionals, whether it is online, going to job fairs, networking with friends, family etc. Utilize the new technology (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and online job boards) that hiring managers and companies are using when searching for top talent.

Then I want you to do this:

Find 10 new opportunities per day that you are interested in. Find out who the decision makers are. Utilize these tips and techniques to find out names, addresses, direct phone numbers and email addresses. Then PICK UP THE PHONE! This is where an old technique can be so effective! Out of those 50 people you reached out to, say 20 of them respond and out of those 20, 5 want to meet you. That is 5 new opportunities that you have in your pipeline in 5 days! Do this for an entire month and you have 20 opportunities. Due to sheer numbers, you will get offers.

Good luck!


Published On: September 12th, 2011Categories: Blog News, Job of the Week

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