Proactive Job Search: How a Sales Funnel Approach Simplifies the Work

Looking for your next job or internship? Here’s how can a sales funnel approach help you work smarter in a more proactive job search…

There is such a thing as “burnout” in a job search! Just as you can overwork yourself in your job, so can you overwork yourself in a job search.

I’m not suggesting you work harder while looking for work. Instead, I’m proposing a solution to help you work smarter; specifically, a more proactive job search where you apply your time and energy appropriately and focus on the activities with a higher rate of return.

So what does this mean you should do more of during your job search?

Allow me to introduce the sales funnel which, for those of you who aren’t familiar with sales, is a game-changer concept.

The Sales Funnel in a Proactive Job Search

sales funnel proactive job search

Do you see how the top of the funnel is bigger than the bottom?  That’s because it takes many more “hot leads” to generate “new customers”. I realize you aren’t looking for new customers. You’re looking for a new job. Here’s how the sales funnel applies to your proactive job search.

The idea behind the sales funnel is that you start with a lot of potential customers (target companies) who may have heard of you or be interested in your service (job). A smaller part of that group may want to learn more, and a smaller part of that group may actually contact you.

As the process goes on, you’re talking to fewer people who are more interested, until you end up with the people who hire you.

Hot Leads

Hot leads, in my opinion, are NOT job postings from job boards.  They come from referrals from your networking efforts or prospecting target companies.  That’s why I have always recommended job seekers have at least 40-50 target companies. These are companies that have been known to hire the role you desire.


As you pursue these hot leads, you are assessing whether or not they are viable opportunities for you.  Sometimes they are, sometimes they aren’t.  The only way you can find this out is to have a conversation with a hiring manager or someone in that target company.

When you uncover companies that sound interesting, you’ll need to nurture that relationship to stay top of mind and build a sense of trust. Remember, people buy from people they know, like and trust!


Based on your assessment of the hot lead and its viability for you, you will create a proposal (resume). All of your fact-finding, research and conversations should allow you to write a compelling proposal which addresses the specific needs of the organization with the hot lead.

Without information, it is going to be very difficult to write a compelling resume. How will you gather data? Networking.

Another reason may not be doing well is that you are using a generic resume. This doesn’t address the unique needs of your future employer. A one-size-fits-all resume can’t connect the dots of your past experience so that the company can easily see how you offer the right fit or solution.

New Customer

If your resume and presentation (job interview) meet the needs of the company, then they become your new customer.  In other words, if they think they can’t live without your services, they will be tempted to buy.

How Long Does a Proactive Job Search Take?

A proactive job search takes much longer than you want. Let’s put it that way.

The good news is that using the sales funnel, you are in control of your job search. There are as many opportunities as there are target companies on your list.

This proactive, targeted approach also allows you to tap into the hidden job market. Because as you know, not all jobs are posted on job boards!

So how long will it take you to uncover the hot leads? In other words, how long will it take you to identify at least 40-50 target companies? How well are you using your network?

In sales, the more expensive items take longer to sell.  The same is true when you’re selling you to a new employer. After all, a salary is a high-ticket item for the company.

So consider simplifying your job search, and be more proactive… with a proven sales funnel approach!


For this post, YouTern would like to thank our friends at:


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Hannah Morgan hiring prosAbout the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa. And follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!



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