The 2-Hour Job Search (2nd Edition)

by Steve Dalton


Fantastic. Recommended to me by a good friend, this book is full of concrete approaches to the job search in today’s technological world. Based on statistics that hiring managers are inundanted with resumes, and that most jobs are filled with internal referrals, it’s focused on “speedrunning” that course: getting you networked into a company in a non-threatening and intelligent way. I’m not someone who likes the word “networking”, or the practice of it, but this book actually proposes a really approachable strategy for doing it in a way that respects both sides.

The book is divided into three parts: create a LAMP list, contact, and convince.

  1. The “LAMP” acronym stands for list, advoacy, motivation, and postings. You first list out forty employers you’d like to work for, and then (very quickly) rate each employer based on whether you have an advocate, how motivated you are to work there, and whether job postings are available. Then you have a list of forty, ranked in order of how likely it is that you can get a job there.
  2. The “contact” part involves a system of identifying contacts there in a systematic basis: reaching out to no more than five companies at a time, with certain actions triggered three and seven days after you’ve reached out to each contact.
  3. The “convince” part is about convincing each person to sit down with you to have great informational meetings, convincing them to become an advocate for you within the company—putting their reputation on the line to defend your name.

It’s not a book that covers the entirety of the job search process. For example, this blog article makes the point that

… for many job seekers, Step 1, determining your career objective, is the hardest and most time-consuming step. The 2-hour job search method makes the assumption that you have already figured this out. It would be difficult to successfully execute the “Contact” and “Convince” stages of the 2-hour job search approach if you are unclear about what you are looking for.

(In Dalton’s defense, he actually does spend some time pointing people to resources: the Odyssey Plan approach in “Designing Your Life,” Strengths Finder, etc. But it is secondary to the main point about creating the LAMP list, contacting, and convincing.)