That means "focused" effort. Lifting a weight or getting a job, same rules apply.
I like the image of the weightlifter. He is focused on one single thing, lifting that barbell. He's not thinking about what he's going to have for lunch, or if he has another email coming in.
He's focused on the massive weight he has to lift.
One of the reasons knives work so well is that whatever effort you put into them is concentrated onto a razor sharp edge. If you put the same energy into pushing down onto the broad side of the blade, you would expect a very different outcome wouldn't you?
Can you see any similarities between cutting with a knife and what your job search looks like?
You need to know with precision where you want to cut something before you put the edge to it.
You also need to know with the same accuracy what it is you want to do with your career before you start applying your determination and force to it as well.
I was just reading an article by Jason Fried of 37 Signals. He explained that when he posts for a job opening, he gets plenty of "qualified" applicants. There is one special thing he looks for though that puts candidates to the top of the list.
How much effort does it take to send in a resume? How much enthusiasm or commitment does it show? Answer: not much.
If you demonstrate no effort or enthusiasm in applying for a position, how will employers expect that to show in the work you do once hired? Answer: a lot.
This is not rocket science. Spreading your energies around in volume (applying, and posting your resume everywhere) instead of focusing on a few openings that REALLY interest you is counterproductive.
The example Jason gave in his article was about a candidate that instead of merely giving a link to he LinkedIn page, he gave a link to a web page he made specifically to address how he could add value to 37 signals.
The last time I was looking for a job, I managed to get a brief interview with a local sales guy for a company that was based about 800 miles away. He was my lifeline into that company.
It was a job I was really interested in, but I was having a HECK of a time trying to get back in touch with this guy. I drove all the way across town in hopes of finding him in his office.
I left a handwritten note expressing my continued interest in the position and then ended the note with a comment about a tennis match at the US Open the day before (I remembered that he was a tennis fan).
That extra effort made the difference... and a HUGE difference in my career. The effort I displayed was also carried over into my job. I probably was not qualified for that position, but I more than made up for it with effort.
Find a way to get excited about what you want to do.
Find a company where you can take that excitement and explode into value for that company.
Take that vision of what you want to do and translate it into focused effort to find the position that you want.
If you can't find that passion in yourself, how can you expect anyone else to find it?