“Defense wins championships” is one of the oldest cliches in sports. This saying has endured for decades, which makes sense at first glance. If one team can keep the other team from scoring, they’re bound to win, right?

However, with the rise of advanced analytics, researchers have begun to question this old adage. A deeper dive into decades of data seems to show that a heavy offensive attack may be just as important as defensive might. Take the National Football League, for example. While NFL teams known for stout defenses, such as the Buffalo Bills, may dominate during the regular season, it’s often offensive superstars, like Kansas City Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, that seem to dazzle in the postseason.

Interestingly enough, there are examples of this ongoing tension – the battle between being proactive and protective – throughout our lives and careers. Consider the job search: Is it more important to aggressively pursue new opportunities, or is it a better idea to follow a safe, steady path to success? 

It’s time to settle this debate once and for all! We don’t need a Super Bowl to determine which side of the game reigns supreme. Here’s a look at ways to be offensive and defensive on the path to a job search championship: 

Offense

Apply, Apply, Apply

Some job seekers opt for quantity over quality when it comes to applications. While increasing the number of jobs you apply to might up the odds of finding a job, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll land the right job. It’s okay to be aggressive, but be sure to consider your interviewer’s time when choosing which jobs to apply to; no one wants to feel like they’re wasting valuable time on someone who simply isn’t interested.

Ask Around

Networking is a powerful force on the job search. While updating your status on LinkedIn and sharing your professional goals across social media is important, there are a lot more ways that networking can drive your offensive attack on on the job hunt. Networking events, lunch or coffee meetings and good old fashioned phone calls to acquaintances in your network are often to the key to being connected to that perfect opportunity. 

Defense

Update Social Media Profiles

Beyond your online presence being a powerful tool for tapping into important professional networks, it can also be a liability if you’re not careful. Just like you’re going on offense to research companies, companies are actively seeking out your information wherever they can find it – including on your public social media profiles. Go on defense by removing or updating the privacy settings on photos, videos and posts you might not want an employer to see. 

Own Your Past

“Why did you leave your last job?” is a fairly common job interview question. Thinking defensively, it might seem like a good idea to take this opportunity to share your ex-boss and colleagues worst qualities; resist this urge! Instead, try to share the lessons learned from a previous role, and pivot towards painting a vision for the future.

Similarly, if you have a gap in employment on your resume for whatever reason, it may be tempting to lie about it by fudging the dates. While this might be helpful in the short term, as time wears on the odds of your lie being exposed only becomes greater. The best way to defend your career history is to own it. Be upfront and honest about your career path thus far, and always lean into the promise and optimism of what lies ahead. 

Who Wins the Job Search Championship?

At the end of a hard-played game, does it really matter if it was the offense or the defense that got us to our final goal? Truth be told, no job seeker would succeed without a blend of both an aggressive outreach strategy and the courage to defend their career. 

Are you still trying to put together a winning game plan for finding a new job? Join the Medix Talent Community and let our hiring experts lead you to a job search Super Bowl: Careers.Medixteam.com