The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster

The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster

Posted by jack_miller | Published a year ago

With 174 ratings

By: Steve Dalton

Purchased At: $26.59

A job-search manual that gives career seekers a systematic, tech-savvy formula to efficiently and effectively target potential employers and secure the essential first interview.

The 2-Hour Job Search shows job-seekers how to work smarter (and faster) to secure first interviews. Through a prescriptive approach, Dalton explains how to wade through the Internet’s sea of information and create a job-search system that relies on mainstream technology such as Excel, Google, LinkedIn, and alumni databases to create a list of target employers, contact them, and then secure an interview—with only two hours of effort. Avoiding vague tips like “leverage your contacts,” Dalton tells job-hunters exactly what to do and how to do it. This empowering book focuses on the critical middle phase of the job search and helps readers bring organization to what is all too often an ineffectual and frustrating process.
I purchased and read the entirety of this book after being unemployed for about 3 months and beginning to feel overwhelmed and discouraged by how much time and effort my job search was taking. I would attend networking events, write emails, apply to jobs and build my online brand simultaneously and I began to feel burned out. I was getting interviews, but each day I would wake up unclear of how I could spend my time most efficiently. This book was easy to read and provided much needed structure to my disparate job search. Based on the principles in the book I now wake up each day knowing who I need to contact and when I should start to engage a new company.

The Good: Steve does a great job addressing the types of questions I would ask such as "What if my contact warns me in advance the company is not hiring" and "What if my contact has less experience than I do or is much younger". There is solid and practical advice for when things go awry and most importantly a game plan for letting go of a contact or company that isn't producing.

The Bad: The process absolutely takes more than 2 hours. I would say it takes more like two days to initially get your list of companies assembled, sorted and the first round of contacts made. Finding contact details alone for 6 companies can take over an hour. I appreciate the assembly line approach to identifying companies and individuals, but often times I would later have to go back and adjust rankings because the alum was not really going to be a useful alum or a job posting in Marketing for example wasn't really Marketing once I read the posting after identifying them as a top company.

I also find the scripts helpful only as a starting point. The TIARA approach to structuring an informational interview is a lot to fit into 30 minutes and comes off as very robotic instead of having a question or two and really letting the conversation flow. My favorite book is "The 20 Minute Networking Meeting" by Ballinger & Perez which lays out a better framework for conducting an informational meeting or call and is less calculating with the follow ups. As someone who is informationally interviewed I would respond much better to the approaches and follow-ups that were more genuine.

Lastly, this book relies solely on the kindness of your contact to get you in the door. I have missed a number of opportunities because the position gets filled in the 7+ day timespan it takes to potentially get just one informational interview, though the author advocates not applying until you get your contact to internally push for you.

In conclusion, like many readers I found this book helpful with some tweaking. I am happy with my purchase of this book and agree it offers a great structure and confidence boost to any job search if you are willing to sit down and modify the approach to fit real world circumstances. I would advocate, like others have, to continue applying for roles and networking via conventional means in conjunction with this approach.

- crystal_baker

As a career coach I constantly recommend this book to my clients as the best book I've ever read on job search networking. It takes a subject that is confusing and downright scary to a lot of folks and de-mystifies it, walking you step-by-step through an efficient, effective way to identify your target market (companies you're interested in working for), prioritize the list, find helpful contacts within those organizations and get referred into a great job. He even tells you how to write the emails, conduct one-on-one meetings and follow up effectively afterwards.

All the career coaches I know would agree that this type of approach gets people employed faster than applying to jobs online. And I've never seen anybody explain it more clearly and painlessly. Engaging, readable and utterly practical.

Thea Kelley, CEIC, CPRW, OPNS
[...]

- jaelynn_cook

Fantastic guide. Useful for all job-seekers, but a must read for incoming MBA students!!! Very practical and clear.

Remember it's a whole system and follow it once exactly. Trust the system! Make sure you understand how all the parts work together before making changes. Also, do the whole process again if you have significant changes (or even if you want to pursue two industries at once!). It goes much faster the second time. For incoming MBA students that don't know where they want to go, I recommend doing it for every industry you think you might be interested in. Do the LAMP process early and you will have a good grasp of unfamiliar industries & companies.

NEGATIVES: Two small down-sides.

First, the book is already getting out-dated as technology changes. I was easily able to adapt it, but maybe in 5 years they need a new, updated release.

Second, I found the process mostly led me to the big names in my industry. I'm not sure if that's true for everyone, it may be a result of me switching industries and just beginning to learn about a new industry. My recommendation below may help with that a little bit. Otherwise, if you don't just want a list of the biggest names, think about how you can keep a narrow focus.

RECOMMENDATION: The rest of this review is a long description of how to tweak the system. This will make more sense AFTER you complete the whole LAMP process, including the sorting.

In the first few chapters, he talks about the LAMP list. It works, but might need some tweaks. The "M" stand for motivation and is a 5-min process where you simply identify how motivated you feel about working for that company. I totally understand the theory behind it, but have found that some people need more of a break down for the "M", especially if you don't know much about the companies. It can help to make a few columns that break down your motivation into different categories. These should be VERY EASY to find (like glassdoor / wikipedia first page - you don't want to take more than 10 -15 minutes per extra category). Pick 2-3 categories that are important to you, then sort as you prefer (maybe name recognition (N) first, then location(L)) and then assign a single motivation score to each company. I recommend using the 2 categories to come up with ONE motivation score that you then put into the original LAMP list. If you add these two columns into the LAMP, for example making it LA(NL)P... you might get your sorting dominated by the two new motivation components.

Here are some ideas:

♦ Location of headquarters: 3=favorite cities, 2=could live there a few years, 1=don't want to live there
♦ Size (decide what size you want): 3=best size (1,000+ employees or 10-50 person start up), 2= next nearest size, etc
♦ Name recognition: 3=Top name in your industry, 2=big name, 1= hey, at least they're in the right industry
♦ Glassdoor score (a proxy for corporate culture - don't read the reviews, keep focused! Don't include companies with less than a certain number of reviews (ie 3 reviews that give a 3 star average isn't helpful): 4=4-5 star reviews, 3=3-4 star review, 2=2-3 star review, 1= NOT ENOUGH REVIEWS (re-evaluate those separately)
♦ Work-life balance: This one is hard to research quickly, but glassdoor reviews often focus on it. Maybe a simple Y/N based ont he first page of glassdoor reviews would be sufficient. If a company has terrible balance, that should show up. Good balance might also show up. But many companies might be unclear (some ppl say yes, some say no) - in that case, maybe try for a 3=good, 2=unclear, 1=bad system.
♦ Culture: Similar to work-life balance, this is a simple check. See if company makes Best Place to Work lists. Just google "best *industry* companies to work for (best tech companies to work for, best consulting firms to work for, etc). Pick three lists from reputable sources (Forbes, Business Insider, etc) that will cover at least 100 companies. For example, don't pick three lists of 10 best, which is only 30 total, but try a 100 best, 30 best, and 25 best for 155 total. Obviously many companies will overlap. Then make a column and simply write Y/N if the company appears on any of your lists.
♦ Bad example: Benefits package - Don't choose something like this that would take too much research per company.

The point of all of this is to see which companies you are more motivated to pursue. Think about what you really want in a company and a very quick way to check if companies have it. For me, location was a big factor in motivation, and taking 15-mins to look up location really changed my priorities. For example, a company with a pretty solid reputation that I thought I was interested in was in Milwaukee. They suddenly dropped from a 5 to a 3 in motivation, essentially falling off my list because I have NO interest in moving to Milwuakee (nothing against it, just not for me!).

Hopefully all of this helps. If it's not clear, do the full LAMP first and then use this to make nuanced adjustments. I'm happy to clarify / explain if needed. Good luck to all the job searchers!

- esperanza_gutierrez

I was impressed with this book from the beginning, but waited until now to write a review because I wanted to definitively post that I had been hired at a great job using the tactics presented here! You hear often that "networking" is key to getting a job, but rarely does someone present a "how to" manual t as effectively as Steve does in this book. Not only did Steve's plan work for me, but it significantly reduced the anxiety of my job search because I didn't feel as lost. The experience has improved my business communication and networking skills in ways that will continue to help me now that my job search is over.

Seriously, just buy this book. I can't recommend it enough. It was ridiculously impressive some of the high-level folks I was able to have phone calls with just because I knew the right way to reach out to contacts.

- jake_mitchell

I can't think of a stronger endorsement than to say this book worked for me. In less than three months, I landed a job that met my goals and suits my talents.

After taking more than a year off, from an industry that has shrunk dramatically in the last several years, my search wasn't going to be easy. Plus, like many people, I don't really enjoy job hunting - I'd find just about any excuse to avoid it. As he admits, the "2-Hour" hook is the set-up time to lay the groundwork - following the process through to finding a job will take significantly more time than that. Still, Dalton's framework cut a lot of the fat, hesitation, and excuses out of the process. He guides us to focus on the avenues that are most likely to yield results with minimum frustration. Yes, some people get jobs sending online applications to Fortune 500 companies. Some people win the lottery every week as well. But practically speaking, it's a demoralizing waste of time.

The framework takes a lot of the thinking out of the job-searching process as well, by trying to automate as much as possible. But not all of the thinking: I still needed to adapt certain things to my specific situation and industry. For example - requesting a generic "informational interview" is well and good for a recent graduate, but not for someone with experience who is supposed to be an expert in their field.

Finally, I discovered two important things once I really got with the "2-Hour" approach: first, like most things, interviewing is a skill that improves with practice. Second, there are lots of friendly, helpful people out there who are happy to share valuable advice in an informal conversation.

- ruby_ward

Good practical compelling outline for the jobseeker. Aimed more at graduated but can be applied. However, I think a second version that focuses more on a progressed career candidate would be a helpful addition.

- willow_watson

Well written and easily accessible this book is a modern primer for directing your job-search. Highly recommended.

- titan_martin

Exactly what it promises - an ultra simplified yet effective method of job searching. The step by step process is easy to follow and the logic behind it very clearly explained. What's best is it has actually helped me enjoy the process of job searching by taking the stress out of it.

I will say that between the process of reading the book, re-reading my highlights before actually applying the advice, I've spent about 2 days following the process, however, I still feel this is much quicker and effective than much of the advice I was gaining from reading one off articles haphazardly from career advice websites and LinkedIn.

Highly recommend!!!

- braden_campbell

Gone are the days of sending electronic copies of resumes on online job postings. If you really want to get noticed, instead send emails to contacts at companies, and work on getting an internal referral. This is more work, but unfortunately this is also the reality of today's world. This book breaks down the method perfectly.

- elliot_rodriguez

The best hook is the title of the book itself but the processes that the author says takes much longer and are a rehash of other better written books. The books seems a bit dated as technology has moved on from the time it was written. Most importantly, this book is suitable for business school students. A person looking for an unskilled or semi skilled job with average pay will find most of the advice to be rather tedious and ill founded.

- bethany_smith

Anyone job hunting in this digital age should consider reading this book. Purchased the book and received it with zero hassle. Would recommend.

- blake_roberts

Ce livre est le premier du genre que je lis, suite aux conseils d'un professionnel en ressources humaines. Si vous êtes perdu lors de votre recherche d'emploi, ou ne savez pas trop par quel angle commencer, ce livre est pour vous ! S.Dalton ne prétend pas donner les clés de la réussite pour décrocher un emploi, mais grâce à son programme "The 2 hour Job Search" vous serez vers la bonne voie. Le livre est construit en chapitres, qui décrivent les étapes de son programme, pas à pas, avec de nombreux conseils et/ou astuces. Ensuite à vous d'adapter ses conseils, et d'essayer de se créer sa propre recherche d'emploi en 2 heures (après, le temps de prendre en compte tous ses conseils vous prendra plus de 2 heures, mais le travail de base essentiel au bon déroulement de cette recherche, dure 2 h, si on est efficace !). Idéal pour toute personne en recherche d'emploi (junior, senior, étudiant en recherche de stage par exemple). Le livre est facile à lire (le niveau d'anglais n'est pas très compliqué), et n'est pas trop long.

- natasha_morgan

Un buen libro, tan sólo una recomendación: seguir los pasos a la vez que se avanza con el libro, sino te verás obligado a releer el contenido, ya que está escrito en forma de "manual"

- alexis_myers

C'est un must-have pour tout chercheur d'emploi! Les techniques sont très bien expliquées et l'approche didactique et presque pédagogique est juste extraordinaire. Les idées peuvent même être déclinées à d'autres domaines de la vie courante.

- evalyn_phillips

Brilliantly researched and simple to follow method for growing your network of advocates and "boosters"? I'll forever be classifying people this way! Highly recommend to any job seeker.

- peyton_ruiz

Easy to read, real experiences and summary at the end. I just need to try it and see if it works.

- payton_sanders

Very helpful on my job search.

- holly_sanders

Clear and concrete steps that make perfect sense. Better than a real-life career coach!

- angie_green

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