So you’ve decided to make a move or perhaps the decision has been made for you in the form of a layoff – either way – you need a new job.

Candidates will often come to recruiters with a high sense of urgency, saying their work environment has changed, and they need out. This change can be the result of different factors –

  • Internal factors: management change, company merger, culture shift, bankruptcy, layoffs, income or work hours contraction
  • External factors: product/market place shift in supply and demand, economic forces, increased competition

Acting too quickly without qualifying a new job opportunity is dangerous.

When candidates feel their job hunt is very urgent, they run the risk of accepting a job offer without fully qualifying if it truly is the best next step.

Put the emotion aside for a moment. Sit down and really determine what it is you really want long-term and what your next step should look like.


Think about what you do well. Think about what you’d like to do less of. Think of your favorite brand, and why that is. Leading brands have done something to differentiate themselves in the market place to grab your attention. Take The Headhunters, for instance. Our marketing manager, Renee Luk, spends countless hours listening to our clients and candidates, and soon to be clients and candidates to then learn how we can uniquely service their needs.

To differentiate yourself, you must know your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. A SWOT? First year marketing sure, but all brands do this to know where they are competitive and noncompetitive, where they can grow and how they can protect themselves for the future.

Maybe it’s time to do your own personal SWOT analysis? This will take time but knowing your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, will help you build a career roadmap. Once you’ve reflected on what your personal strengths and goals are, it’s time to apply some strategy to qualify the best job for you.

Applying Sales Qualifying Basics to Your Job Search

The basics of selling and qualifying sales leads can be applied to your job opportunities and qualifying them as a role you feel suited for. Put simply, a sale is to gain commitment from a buyer – and gaining a job offer is no different.

Let’s take a look at how the modern sales process and you as a candidate can relate –

  • Decision Maker: Identify those who will be making the hiring decision and ensure there is a personality fit
    • Understand management style
    • Know how the manager will be measuring success
    • Understand what motivates the manager at work
    • Maybe even ask the manager’s long term goals
  • Competition: Know who you are up against, and weigh the likelihood for winning the role
    • Understand the marketplace for your desired industry or practice area
  • Needs: Asking the right questions will help you as a candidate know what is expected of you
    • What does success look like?
    • Who has found success in this role and what did that person do well?
    • Why are you making this hire?
  • Money: Dig into the full scope of the opportunity to ensure there is a compensation fit
    • What is the long term income expectation for this role?
    • Are there revenue targets attached to this role or the team?
  • Time: Know the urgency for the hire and what the hiring process involves
    • How urgent is this hire?
    • When did you hope to have someone in the position?
    • When will not having this person, begin to affect business?

When making a decision to take a job, each of the above should be considered. If your skill set and goals match the 5 points above, then feel free to slot yourself in as a solution. But know when to walk away.

Knowing When to Walk Away

Just like a consultative sales person, an astute job hunter will determine the above and slot themselves in as a solution, but only when suitable. If they’re not the fit, a good sales person will walk away, in fear of damaging their reputation. Similarly, taking a job with poor long-term fit will damage your own personal brand (and perhaps your resume).

If you hear yourself saying the following, be cautious –

  • The manager seems a little off but…
  • It’s a long shot but I applied anyway…
  • It’s not really what I’m looking for but the people are great…
  • The money isn’t really there but…
  • They need someone badly and I really need a job…
  • They say they may be hiring by the end of the year…

Job hunting can be stressful, emotionally and financially, but remember, it’s important to know your skillset and find a position that will leverage your core strengths, allowing you to grow, meeting your long-term income needs.


Sam specializes in the recruitment of sales professional in the Greater Vancouver Area. Sam is a natural communicator and relationship-builder. From his sporting background and in-depth sales experience, Sam has developed a keen sense for seeking out high performance professionals. Sam comes from a highly competitive upbringing and found success as a competitive swimmer and won multiple national medals; but later headed east to study at Ryerson University in Toronto. With over 7 years in a high intensity sales environment, Sam understands what it takes to excel in a sales role. Sam genuinely enjoys building and maintaining close working relationships with his clients as he helps them build stronger, successful sales teams.