While trolling the Internet awhile back, I came across an article about two different marketing strategies: the “spray-and-pray” approach and the “investment” approach.
To me, the expression “spray-and-pray” — using tactics like mass mailouts, ads on the side of buses, and bombarding email in-boxes, then sitting back and praying someone will notice and respond — wonderfully captures a concept I’ve observed for years among many job seekers. They create a single, catch-all resumé and use it to apply for nearly every job ad they find, in hopes that one “droplet” out of thousands will settle on a favourable spot.
The foundation for this approach is the belief that successful marketing depends on getting as much information into as many hands as possible. Yet spray-and-pray has a fatal flaw, in that the marketers (in this case, job seekers) don’t take the time to really understand what their target audience (the employer) really needs or wants. In so doing, they fail to connect meaningfully with their target market.
The preferable alternative to this strategy is the “investment” approach. This involves hand-picking a more limited group of recipients to communicate with, targeting specific individuals, and tailoring each piece of communication to be precisely relevant to its recipient. In short, rather than spraying gently far and wide, you’re concentrating the flow into a narrow, more powerful jet.
In the job search, as in any other marketing campaign, the spray-and-pray method is seldom effective. The investment approach, narrowing your focus to a select group of employers and targeting their specific needs, is far more likely to succeed — both initially, in the form of networking contacts, and ultimately in the payoff of a job offer.
Chosen excerpts by Job Market Monitor
There are two groups of skills that make a difference if you’re looking for work : Your search skills Your own skills, your competencies.