Do you have friends and family obsessed with Black Friday? I know some people who take shopping the day after Thanksgiving in America very seriously. I'd call them Black Friday "pros." And, when I look at their strategies closely, I have to admit some of their tactics can be applied to your career. For example, preparing for a job interview with these 4 Black Friday techniques can definitely help you stand out and land the job. But, there's a strategy in particular that could have a significant impact on your career...

Don't Be A Job Seeker, Be A Job Shopper

If you want the best deal on Black Friday, you do your homework. You look at all the deals and who's offering them so you can determine where to go and spend your time. Since you have limited time, you can't possible score every deal, so you have to choose wisely. Smart professionals know the same applies to job search. If you want the best job for you, you need to:

1) Research and create a bucket list of companies that you want to work for

2) Invest your limited time and energy in connecting and conversing with people who work there.

When you focus your efforts on a targeted list of employers, it's much easier to get referred into the company for a position. And, with studies showing 80 percent of all jobs today are gotten via referral, it's no wonder the smart professionals are job shoppers instead of job seekers.

FACT: 'Spraying & Praying' Doesn't Work

When job seekers choose to randomly apply to any and all jobs they think they are qualified for, they are wasting their time. It would be like waking up at 10 am on Black Friday and saying, "I think I'll mosey on over to the stores and see if there are any deals left." What you really want will likely be sold out. Research indicates only 3 percent of those who apply online ever get called for a job. That's because they use ATS (applicant tracking systems) which screen out most applicants who aren't a 90-100% match for the job. As a result, all that time getting bleary-eyed filling out online applications were a total waste. In my industry, we call it "spraying & praying" - and it's the worst thing someone looking for a job can do. It doesn't work AND it makes them feel like a failure. 

P.S. - Being A Job Shopper Increases Satisfaction

Having coached over 7,000 job seekers on the platform, I can tell you when someone looking for work learns how to choose and pursue who they want to work for, they always end up happier. When you do your homework and proactively connect with employers you admire and respect, you not only increase the chances of getting hired, you also increase the likelihood you'll feel satisfied on the job. Why? Because you felt a sense of control over your career. You got to decide who to work for - and that's one of the greatest gifts you can give your self-esteem.