Add a push-and-pull strategy to your career

February 15, 2019 GMT

At some point in your career, most likely you were applying a successful marketing strategy that businesses have been using for years, called a “push-and-pull” approach. Push-and-pull strategies are designed to push marketing material out to potential customers and pull customers in by attracting interest.

When you are jump-starting your career or facing a transition, the first go-to mindset is to push information out to potential employers.

Getting your name out in front of decision-makers is a good plan, but to be a strong candidate you need to ramp up your activities using both tactics to ensure all bases are covered.


In today’s competitive environment with good jobs at stake, you can either be a candidate who reaches out to employers or one where employers reach out to you.

Most senior job candidates grew up with a push strategy of sending resumes and applications out employers. At one time, push marketing was considered the No. 1 way to job search by letting people know you were searching by using cover letters, resumes, contacting recruiters and notifying key contacts.

Any time you actively reach out to people asking for information or sharing your goals, you are using a push tactic, a significant part of a job search, however when combined with the pull approach you become a stronger candidate, one who is both attractive and influential.

When you start using a pull approach during your job search, you’ll impact people in a different way. Take your LinkedIn page as good example. When you post an article of interest or share a relevant work project, you are pulling people toward you.

Implementing a push-and-pull approach is often reflected by your attitude toward job searching. If your job search plan is producing a lack of results based on constantly pushing out information to others, it can leave you with a sense of desperation when your results are less than expected.

Desperate job candidates often create doubt within themselves when they keep up the same job search routine by reaching out to a small circle of people they know. The attitude of staying with what you know instead of stepping out of your comfort zone can leave you guessing about your employability.

Consider using the pull approach by thinking like an expert in your field instead of a job candidate waiting for positions to open. Take some time to rethink your job- search strategy and focus on building a personal brand that distinguishes you from others.


Developing your brand of knowledge, experience and value attracts others toward you. The pull approach comes into play when you share information that benefits others. For example, a cover letter using a pull strategy would be focused toward helping an employer solve their problems rather than communicating your job- search goals.

By focusing on helping employers with their needs such as increasing profitability or reducing risk, you set the stage for hiring manages to see your value to them.

If project management interests you, show your expertise by contributing to discussions in your field. Associating with other thought leaders gives you credibility and creates attention with employers.

A pull approach will often take more time than pushing your information. However, you can readily join groups, take a lead role in special projects and keep an active presence with online platforms.

Sharing your expertise with presentations, articles, participating in volunteer activities and brainstorming with other professionals all help to drive interests. As a senior candidate, combining a push-and-pull approach in your career is smart move for now and to achieve future goals.

Kimberly Thompson is a board-certified counselor. Send questions to kim@careerrescue.com or Houston Chronicle, P.O. Box 4260, Houston, TX 77210. Visit her blog at www.blogs.chron.com/careerrescue.