Civil War Fighting Strategies vs. Job Board Strategies

Last week in Virginia I was able to hang out with my sister and her family.  She has one son, the same age as my youngest son, and it was a blast being able to “play uncle,” since I hardly get to do that.

We took some walks in what I consider the sacred and hallowed Civil War battlefields.  As we walked through those thick woods (remember, I’m in Utah, which has a very small fraction of the trees they have out in Virginia!) I tried to imagine the soldiers running, hiding, and probably sweating profusely in that hot, muggy climate.

I thought of the outdated fighting strategy of lining up in two rows… one row would fire (shoot) while the other row would reload.  Then, the other side would do the same thing, and you would have this volley of bullets that went back and forth.  (see more on Wikipedia)

I thought about how ineffective that tactic/strategy was, even in the 19th century. I  contrasted that to a more 21st century guerrilla approach, and it made me think about job seekers using job boards.

Not that volleys aren’t effective at all.  They did what they knew, and it kind of worked.

Just like job seekers: they do what they know to do (thanks to some popular Super Bowl commercials from a few years ago), and it kind of works. At least, at the end of the day, week, month you can say “I’ve been in a very active job search… you know, applying to ___ jobs in the last month! See how busy I’ve been?”

I’m not saying to not use job boards.  That would be like saying “don’t use bullets in a battle.”  Ridiculous.

What I’m saying is, use job boards the right way.

Use them to gather intelligence about an industry, or a company.  Use them to try and find names and contact information (or, formatting on company email addresses).  Use them to find news, trends, patterns.

And then go to LinkedIn, and Google, and Spoke, and other resources, to do more research, and figure out how to network in.

In the job search you can use the old, outdated, less-effective volley approach, which relies heavily on applying to jobs you find on job boards.

OR, you can use the more effective, a little more scary, guerrilla approach.

What century are you in?