The Proactive Job Search

It can be easy to get caught up in the reactive job search, which involves perusing job boards and simply applying to jobs that are currently posted online. However, this approach limits your opportunities and can be a frustrating and time-consuming process. Instead, consider taking a proactive approach. One useful process for pursuing the proactive approach is the L.A.M.P. method, and it can transform your job search into something more targeted and strategic. Mohr Career Services resources, specifically this informational worksheet – the Networking & Job Search Strategy Guide, can guide you through this process.

The L.A.M.P. method (introduced in Steve Dalton’s book The 2-Hour Job Search) stands for List, Alumni, Motivation, and Postings. Let’s explore how this approach can help you in your job search.

  1. List: The first step in the L.A.M.P. method is to create a list of companies you’re interested in working for. We make a list to increase our efficiency, which ultimately reduces the amount of time we need to spend finding and applying for jobs. To make a list of top companies, use an Excel or Google sheet and begin adding your dream company (and their competitors), companies that employ a lot of Ducks, companies that have current job postings, and companies in trendy industries or functions. Here’s an example. You can also refer to the Top Companies List worksheet to assist you with this process.
  2. Alumni: To stand out in the job application process, it can make a huge difference to have internal advocates at the company you’re applying to. To find alumni at companies on your list, visit the “Alumni” tab of the University of Oregon’s LinkedIn page and, one at a time, add each target company to the “Where they work” filter. Give a company a “Y” in the Alumni column if they have alumni or an “N” in the column if you can’t find any. Once you’ve completed your L.A.M.P. list and identified alumni, request an informational interview. Informationals are a chance to learn about the company and the alum’s role there as well as a key opportunity to impress them. To prepare for an informational interview, check out our Informational Interview resources.
  3. Motivation: In the job search, without a prioritized list, you can start unintentionally prioritizing poor targets at the expense of better ones. To avoid this, rate each company based on your level of motivation to pursue a relationship with the organization, using only the information you know about each employer right now. Score each company in the Motivation column, with a score between 1-5 (5 meaning that you are very interested, and 1 indicating far less interest).
  4. Postings: Using job search engines (like and/or the company’s “career” page on their website, identify companies on your list that have active, relevant postings. Those with better postings are more time-sensitive (and therefore higher priority) targets. For the sake of efficiency, operate systematically. Search each employer for an ideal listing—if you find one, the employer gets a score of 3. If you don’t find one, search again for any listing—if you find one, the employer gets a score of 2; if not, the employer gets a score of 1.

Incorporating the L.A.M.P. method into your job search can be a game-changer. By taking a proactive approach, you’ll expand your opportunities, build your network, and increase your chances of finding the job of your dreams. So, start implementing the L.A.M.P. method today and take control of your job search!

By JD Van Alstyne (he/him)
JD Van Alstyne (he/him) Graduate Career Advisor