The office of Career Services hosted its second The 2-Hour Job Search presentation by Steve Dalton, acclaimed author of the book by the same name. The presentation took place on Monday, October 10, in Wishnik Hall Auditorium on the Mies campus, with an impressive turnout of 136 students. Dalton is the Program Director for Daytime Career Services at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. Prior to entering the career services industry, Dalton was a strategy consultant at A.T. Kearney and an associate marketing manager at General Mills. Steve’s style of imparting his knowledge is fun, practical and very engaging.

“The 2-Hour Job Search” is a must-have for any person seeking a job. Firstly, it breaks away from the convention of applying to companies through job portals and through the company’s website, because, according to Dalton, this puts the candidate in a pool of hundreds if not thousands of other job seekers. The resumes are then evaluated by resume screeners to filter out candidates with desired qualities. This process is inefficient and tiring, not only for job seekers but also for recruiters, as this selects many candidates who either lie on their resumes or do not possess the skills required for that position.

Students found Dalton’s techniques and methods immensely useful. They develop a completely innovative approach towards the job search process. Here’s what some students had to say about Steve’s “The 2-Hour Job Search” workshop.

“It was an awesome presentation overall. Really glad I was able to attend.”

“[It] provided useful job search strategies, which I didn’t know.”

“Very well articulated.”

“Well structured.”

“Great presentation.”

Steve Dalton’s approach to the job search process is scientific. He primarily advocates focus on personal connections by utilizing LinkedIn and other social media to develop relationships with people who are working in the company the job seeker is interested in.

Here is a quick overview of Dalton’s 3-Step strategy that is now famously coined as “The 2-Hour Job Search”


Dalton suggests sorting out the most relevant companies from a pool of companies in the industry as this helps the candidate get more accuracy in his job search and also helps save time. Then, the candidate should create at least three unique identifiers to prioritize the company in order of preference and also to generate a metric based system for classifying companies. Examples of such attributes can be, Alumni (Yes/No), Motivation (scale of 1-5), and Hiring (1-5, where 1 is not hiring).


After selecting top five companies, the next step is for the candidate to contact employees from these companies. Dalton has ranked four types of connections in order of return on effort: Most recent alumni, undergraduate alumni, group connections and fan mail. The first three can be found on LinkedIn and the last on Google.

Dalton went on to exemplify how to connect to someone not in the job seekers network. He also gave students examples and guidelines for e-mails and messages that should be sent to these unknown employees for informational interviews.


Dalton very cleverly outlines a process for creating a connection with an employee without directly letting them know that you’re seeking employment opportunities in their firm. He encourages students not to sell themselves, but to be more ‘likeable,’ because not everyone can ‘sell,’ but anyone can be more personable. He then elaborates on how an informational interview should be conducted, be it over the phone or in person. He presents students with a very useful ‘small talk’ strategy that involves asking personal questions to the interviewee based upon his previous responses to build up a rapport with other person. These techniques are not only useful in one’s professional life but also personal relations. He also provides students with a sample follow up schedule for maintaining contact with employees and to filter out those that are not likely to help students out, a category of people he calls ‘Obligates’ and ‘Curmudgeons’. His strategy is to focus more on those who are most likely to help the job seeker out, people he labels “‘Boosters’.

In a nutshell, Steve Dalton’s methodology is to move away from a ‘Market Norm” where a person is judged by the professional traits and qualifications he/she possesses to a more ‘Social Norm’ where the candidate has a better chance of developing a long term relationship with the company employee.

As an active job seeker in my last semester, I found all these tools extremely useful. Personally, I have seen that references and connections can go a long way in the professional world. At least for seeking entry level jobs, the adage – ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ is empirically true.



Join the 2-Hour Job Search – Q&A Forum LinkedIn Group to receive 2HJS updates and ask questions. Steve Dalton can be followed on Twitter (@Dalton_Steve) and The Huffington Post.

written by Dennis Anand, MSF, 2016

Dennis Anand is a second year Stuart School of Business Masters in Finance student with a concentration in Financial Engineering. He completed his undergraduate degree in Commerce and Economics at Panjab University in India and his M.B.A in Finance at Army Institute of Management in India before working for three years in a bank as an Assistant Manager. Dennis enjoys playing the guitar and is an avid reader. He works as Communications and Social Media Assistant in the office of SASDI at Illinois Tech.

Streamlining Your Job Hunt Process: A Review of “The 2-Hour Job Search” Presentation
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