Vivian Giang

According to a survey conducted by JobVite, 61 percent of jobseekers say that it’s been harder finding a job this year compared to the previous one.

And this is the reason why those looking for a job should stop managing their job hunt and instead start leading it.

One of the biggest differences between a leader and manager is that a leader innovates whereas the manager administers. This means that the leader comes up with new ideas and moves everyone else in the organization into a forward-thinking phase.

This person has to constantly keep his eyes on the horizon and develop new strategies and tactics. He needs to be knowledgeable about the latest trends, studies and skill sets.

In a similar way, a jobseeker who is leading his job hunt needs to think outside the box in order to stand out in the crowd.

We speak to career expert Melissa Llarena who shares with us research from her soon-to-be-published book that explains the differences between managing and leading a job search.

1. The manager will create a LinkedIn profile whereas the leader will belong to groups and discussions.

LinkedIn is a massive networking opportunity for professionals and contributing to the discussion will present you as a thought leader in your industry. You should target the right groups and start conversations related to your areas of expertise.

2. The manager will think about job opportunities alone whereas the leader will evaluate these opportunities with others.

Leaders are aware of their blind spots and will ask for opinions from people they respect,” Llarena told us. “It’s a highly effective strategy to invite professionals to join this board of advisers who have a pulse in your industry, career goals, and intrinsic values.”

3. The manager will study the company’s web site whereas the leader will study the company’s social media sites.

When companies use their social media accounts, they are speaking directly to their audience and customers. You should also follow the company’s executives’ accounts. This will give you a better idea of what the people behind the company are like and what they believe in.

“You can follow them, engage in their conversations, retweet their messages and eventually you may find yourself engaging in a one-on-one conversation with a top executive at a firm,” she said.

4. The manager will connect with current employees, but the leader will connect with former employees as well.

In order to understand the organization better, you need to speak to the people who know it best — the employees. Although current workers are great sources, former employees can reveal the challenges within the company. Then, you can make a better evaluation as to whether the organization is a good fit for you.

“Talk to former employees because they will be more candid,” Llarena told us. “Current employees have their jobs at stake while former employees have comparatively less to lose.”