top of page

How "Job Shopping" is Changing the Way People Land Job Offers

Nestor was an intellectual powerhouse. He had a master’s degree, was a published author, and had more than ten years of professional experience. 

Yet, when Nestor hit the job market he applied to 500+ roles and landed zero offers.

This sounds like a statistical improbability. If the job search was a “numbers game,” Nestor would have won by now.

For someone so capable, this didn’t make sense.

Nestor’s experience is unfortunately common in today’s job market.

In short: today’s job market is a putrid dumpster fire for job seekers. To give you some stats:

  • There are nearly nine million job openings available in the U.S., but as much as 50% of them may be “ghost jobs” or “phantom job postings” that aren’t actually hiring. Whether the company simply decided not to fill the role, or did fill it, they simply never took it down so they gather applicants for future needs (which may be years from now).

  • According to ResumeBuilder.com46% of job seekers are using AI to create their job applications. This has led to a flooding of applications unlike companies have ever seen, where standing out becomes increasingly challenging, if not downright impossible in some cases. 

According to Alec Fullmer, the Head of Product at Angel Studios, “A year ago I'd open a Product Manager role and in about 24 hours I’d get 80 to 90 applicants. Now when I open a role, within 24 hours it gets about 400 applicants.”

The bottom line is: this isn’t your great-aunt’s job market. The approaches that were used before simply don’t work well anymore and applying online has become one of the slowest ways to land a job.

Nestor’s job search was built on the foundation of outdated advice:

  • “The job search is a numbers game, you’ve got to send out more applications.”

  • “Get more degrees and certifications to bolster your resume.”

  • “Focus on getting your best accomplishments on your resume instead of tasks.”

  • And the most toxic: “Keep going, you’ve just got to be resilient and patient!”

Despite the old approaches not working, there is a promising shift in job search strategies. A more effective approach is emerging, one that focuses on attracting potential employers to you rather than the traditional method of candidates chasing after companies to get an interview.

The better way: Job Shopping. And that is exactly what Nestor did.

The result? Interviews at one out of every three places he was interested in. And once he landed those interviews, was irresistible to the hiring panel. Ultimately, he secured his dream role in a different career as an Organizational Development Specialist with a $35,000 salary increase!

This article will explore this innovative approach, and provide insights how it can lead to more successful job search outcomes for you.

Revolutionizing the Job Search: The Rise of “Job Shopping”

Candidates are wasting months and years on old practices, and instead turning to Job Shopping as the fastest and highest paying way to land their next job. 

Job Shopping is about conveying your value effectively in the job market, causing companies to sell you on job opportunities, instead of the other way around. 

While companies have a massive quantity of candidates, there is a perceived lack of quality talent. Job Shoppers capitalize on this gap. They position themselves as the solution to the company’s needs, making themselves highly attractive to potential employers. By doing so, they effectively flip the traditional job search narrative. Rather than blending in with the masses, they stand out as the highly sought-after candidates.

There’s 10 major rules to becoming a Job Shopper and here we will review the top 4.

Rule #1: Know Exactly What You Want

A job seeker often has unclear goals, while a Job Shopper knows exactly what he or she wants. If you ask a job seeker, "What role are you targeting for your next job search?" it’s very common for them to reply, “Well, I am open to roles where I can be strategic and collaborative at a company doing something good for the world.” We have no idea what job that is–it’s too broad. 

And then if you ask them to get more specific, the number of job titles they list is long and varied, and they may name six different industries they’re open to. 

In the end, they think that by staying open to lots of different opportunities they will get more interviews and offers. When really, this is ruining their ability for a company to choose them.

Many professionals spend decades in their career, never quite knowing exactly what they want. They're sitting in an inner tube going along the lazy river of their career. Since they are smart and capable, they continue to get promotions and job opportunities, but none of it is in a direction that they actually chose and desire.

Whereas Job Shoppers are clear on exactly what their next career move is going to be. They have done the hard work to soul search before they job search, which is one of the reasons they are able to move so quickly in their job search and attract so many opportunities. 

I put my clients through a process called the One Page Career Vision, which is an eight-step process that condenses months or even years of soul searching into days or weeks. Following a systemized process like this allows the Job Shopper to be incredibly confident when positioning themselves online, in their resume, in the job interview, and in networking conversations.

Believe it or not, companies care about what you want, and desperately want the feeling to be mutual when they put out a job offer. What can I say, they’re hopeless romantics thinking, "Oh, you like strategic thinking and long walks on the office carpet? We've got just the job for you!" It's the corporate version of finding your soulmate, except instead of flowers and love letters, you get a hefty signing bonus.

Rule #2: Attract Opportunities Using Faster Methods (Not Applying Online)

A job seeker thinks applying more will land a job faster, whereas a Job Shopper skips online applications for faster ways to attract opportunities. I have surveyed thousands of job seekers at this point, and most commonly, people have a 1 to 5% success rate for landing interviews from applying online. That means for every 100 applications they send out, they land just a handful of interviews.

The troubling part is your success rate should not be this low if you're qualified for these roles, and yet so many highly talented people aren't landing interviews. 

Online applications have been oversaturated for years, but in recent years with the rise of AI, job seekers have been flooding job boards more than ever by using AI to write and send applications at staggering rates.

What's sad is these applications will go out to jobs that these job seekers don't even want. Meanwhile, you, who this is your dream company and you deeply studied the job description and use the product, are going to get buried under hundreds of applications that are unqualified with people who don't even want the job at hand. This is all to say that online applications have become a colossal mess.

Meanwhile, Job Shoppers spend considerably less time job searching.

One of the secrets to spending less time on the job hunt is to avoid online applications altogether.

That means, sure, a Job Shopper will review job boards and company websites to see which jobs are open, but they will not apply there, since that is a one-way ticket to no-response town. They find alternate routes to be considered for the role.

I call this strategy Job Search Parkour. If you are familiar with parkour, it is a street sport where a person finds a creative way to traverse an urban area, such as instead of walking on a path, up the stairs, and through a door to get into a building, a parkour athlete will climb up the railing, hop onto a ledge, leap to a roof, and pull themselves up on a side balcony. This is how Job Shoppers think about the job search. While everyone is waiting in the impossibly long line, AKA online applications, to walk in through that front door, a Job Shopper has already hopped onto the balcony and is shaking hands with the hiring manager on the second floor.

Of course, I am not actually telling you to enter buildings through the windows. All of these actions happen digitally. Job Shoppers have also unlocked what is even better than climbing through a window, which is being invited to interview in the first place. Job Shoppers are frequently asked to interview for jobs they didn't apply for, at companies they don't actually have any contacts at, and that's because their online presence attracts these opportunities. This is one of the top ways that my clients land their interviews. 

Rule #3: The Interview is a Time to Collaborate & Speak to the Needs of the Employer

A job seeker views the interview as a time to convince the company of their skills and impress with their past, while a Job Shopper views the interview as a time to collaborate and speak to the needs of the employer. This Job Shopper strategy is so far beyond what most people do in the job interview, that this section may require several re-reads to digest.

What we have all been taught is that in the interview the company is in charge, and even if they ask you crummy questions that don't show why you're actually the right candidate, you just have to go with it and hope it all works out. 

We also go into the interview talking a lot about ourselves, trying to prove that our skills are worthy, and explaining the most interesting things about our backgrounds and our biggest accomplishments. If we're being honest with ourselves, we desperately want to impress the person, and it's nerve-racking to think that we might not be.

However, a Job Shopper sees the interview like they're meeting their new co-worker. They have done lots of research coming into the interview, so they are ready to discuss aspects about the business and the role. 

A Job Shopper is not hyper-concerned about impressing the interviewer as much as searching for a mutual fit.

Even if the interviewer doesn't ask very good questions, a Job Shopper steers the interview to focus on the most important topics at hand. Not in a way that strong-arms the interview, but in a way that is natural and the interviewer doesn't even perceive it's happening. By the end of the interview, the interviewer is already picturing the Job Shopper in the role, often to the point where they have trouble envisioning anyone else in it.

This shift is so radically different from what most job seekers do, and it takes a lot of practice and nuance to master. But what is really cool is when I teach my clients things like the 15 Competence Triggers, the Consultative Approach, the Job Interview Arsenal, and other methods, to stand out. This works even if they have something in their background that makes them an unusual candidate such as gaps in their resume, being a career changer, or coming from a different country -- they still are able to become irresistible in this process. And that is because it comes down to the way you communicate and show how you think, and if you are good at those two things then with a bit of coaching and practice, anyone can overcome some unusual things in their background and be a Job Shopper.

Rule #4: Each Interaction Counts Towards Securing a Top Offer, Not Only the Negotiation

The job seeker eventually lands a job offer while the Job Shopper lands several offers, and has companies competing for them. Here's the thing, you don't need to be a Job Shopper to land job offers. The majority of people who are landing job offers are not Job Shoppers. But it comes down to several factors.

First, the caliber of those opportunities. Is this actually a career-defining role for you, or are you settling? 

Second, the level of compensation you’re offered. I repeatedly see my Job Shopper candidates either getting the top of the salary range the company's offering or also oftentimes above that range as well. It's not just about being great at negotiation, but the status you set for yourself every step of the way that determines that salary.

Third is optionality. Job Shoppers tend to line up multiple offers at a time and have companies competing for them to take the job, which puts the Job Shopper in a position to truly choose what is the best move for their situation.

I think about my client John who after 4 years of getting laid off four times in a row, was able to land six job offers. Or my client James who got to four final rounds and landed zero interviews, but after he became a Job Shopper he landed 4 offers. Or Alanna who went through interview processes while pregnant, was terrified no one would want her, but instead got nine offers. 

These folks didn't get all these offers because their background was perfect. Instead, they landed these offers because they gave off that Job Shopper energy at every touchpoint from seeing their profile online, to the resume, to the interview, and negotiation.

Job Shopping: The Strategy for Everyone

I will acknowledge though, that there’s a common misconception that some of the strategies Job Shoppers use are reserved for a select few professionals in certain industries or specific job markets. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Job Shopping is a universal approach that can be adapted and applied by anyone, regardless of their job field or the current market conditions.

One might argue, “I can’t do that in this market, it’s too competitive!” But it’s precisely in these competitive markets that Job Shopping becomes even more critical to your success. In an environment where everyone is vying for attention, standing out is key. And Job Shopping allows you to stand out like a disco ball in a room full of lampshades

Remember, it’s not about competing on the same level as everyone else… it’s about changing the game completely and setting your own rules. That’s how Job Shoppers win.

So, take this as your call to action. Don’t wait for the right opportunity to come knocking, for it may never come. You need to make the opportunities come to you. Embrace the Job Shopping mindset and equip yourself with the strategies that will set you apart from the competition. Whether you’re just starting out, looking to make a career change, or aiming for the next big promotion, Job Shopping is the key to unlocking your full potential. Take the first step today and start shaping the career you truly desire.

For more details and a more in-depth discussion of Job Shopping methods, here is a Job Shopping Masterclass for you to enjoy.

120 views0 comments


bottom of page