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by Steve Dalton

Overview/What You Will Learn

Finally – here is an efficient and effective job search methodology to develop a target list of employers, fast.. Steve Dalton, author of The 2-Hour Job Search and Senior Associate Director of the Career Management Center and Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, details how to get that first job interview by creating a specifically prioritized list of target employers in 70 minutes.

Key Points

  • Dalton centers his approach around his L.A.M.P. method, which teaches job seekers to stay focused. You will learn how to broaden your search to as many potential employers as possible, but only to collect certain critical and preliminary data – not to delve any deeper at this point.

  • The first step in L.A.M.P. is to generate your LIST of potential targets. Include in your list:
    • Dream employers – those you had in mind when entering business school;

    • Alumni employers – found by typing keywords into your primary alumni database (e.g., MBA and marketing, or MBA and whatever your field of interest);

    • Indeed.com employers– found using keywords to search this job-posting website.  Don’t click on the postings themselves.  Just note the employers who are hiring;

    • Trending employers– access Google and type in “marketing trends” (if pursuing a marketing career, or an equivalent keyword for another field). Explore any articles that interest you and note any companies cited for doing interesting things.

  • Spend only 10 minutes on each of the above four categories and list 10 prospective employers from each. After 40 minutes, you will have your list of 40 employers.

  • The second step in L.A.M.P. focuses on ALUMNI contacts.  In a column next to your employer list you will mark a Y (for Yes, you may have a sympathetic alumni contact working at that company) or an N (for No, you do not have an alumni currently employed there) based on your search through your alumni database.  Take 10 minutes to complete this.

  • The M in L.A.M.P. represents Motivation. In this third step, you will record how driven you are to obtain an informational interview with each employer.  Go with your gut feeling and use a numerical scale of 5 down to 1.  A rating of 5 denotes your dream employer, 4 is a 2nd tier employer, 3 is a 3rd tier, 2 is for an employer you don’t care for and 1 is for a company you don’t know enough about.  Spend just 5 minutes on this step.

  • The P in L.A.M.P. is for Postings, the fourth step.  To generate a proxy measure prediction of whether a company is hiring or not, go back into Indeed.com and mark a Y if your target company has postings and N if it doesn’t.  Again, don’t open the postings. Just note whether your target employer is advertising jobs, an indication of whether or not getting in touch now may be a good time.  This should be completed in 15 minutes.

  • Last, sort your list using the Sort function in Excel.  Sort first by Motivation (high to low), second by Postings (Yeses, then Nos), and third by Alumni (Yes to No).

Your Next Steps / Tips for Success

  • Stay focused on creating your list, collecting critical and preliminary data only. You can always expand your search later.

  • Focus on your target employers who are currently hiring.  Within that segment, focus on those where you have alumni/contacts available.  These are your highest priority targets.

Expert BIO
by Steve Dalton

Steve Dalton is Senior Associate Director of the Career Management Center at Duke

University’s Fuqua School of Business, and author of The 2-Hour Job Search: Using

Technology to Get the Right Job FASTER. He earned his own MBA at Fuqua, as well as a chemical engineering undergraduate degree from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Prior to entering the career services industry, Steve was an associate marketing manager at General Mills

And a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney.