Real-World Job Search Tips
There's no end the amount of advice available to job seekers. Some of it may seem too generic or theoretical. Forbes.com recently published a job-seeking article based on interviews of several people who shared how they found jobs in the last few months. I believe all the advice is valid -- but thought I'd expand on their thoughts and give you more ideas to consider.
1. Reach out to companies you admire.
2. Focus on quality, not quantity -- targeted letters/resumes, not e-mail blasts.
- By targeting your search, you can increase your odds of being considered for an interview. Many folks send out hundreds of resumes hoping to win a "numbers game." For very generic positions, this may work. But for jobs requiring specific expertise, you need to target your resume to the job. Highlight the experiences that you need the resume reviewer to read; don't bury them in a lot of generic information typically used for resume blasts to a large audience.
- By finding specific companies, you can mention in your introductory or cover letter why you are applying to their specific company. Managers like applicants who have a strong desire to work for them, not just land any job. Do your homework to learn about possible companies that match your interests. Resources like Hoovers or your local library's company databases can prove invaluable.
-- Applying for jobs? Click here to find out what they pay.
3. Use a blog to show off your expertise.
4. Tap online job sites
- Look beyond the mega-sites
5. Clean up your online profile
- Make sure you are self-Googling periodically
- Social media and job boards have grown multi-fold in the last few years. Although company and mega-job boards, like CareerBuilder, are great resources, also realize that jobs are posted in other unique ways. Twitter boasts TweetmyJobs. LinkedIn has groups for many areas of expertise, which often include a job posting section. People are even starting to leverage Foursquare to post jobs. Even Facebook has online communities that can share job leads. Some companies even off an option to be texted on your phone when a job is posted matching your interests. There are also job boards for many of the specific occupations -- use Google to find them.
- Good recruiters are posting jobs all across the Web. They are also conducting online searches that may find you if you are posting to a blog (yours or guest posting to others). With this in mind, you do need to make sure they don't find negative information about you. It may never come up in conversation (so you'll not know they found it), but it could knock you out of consideration. This includes negative comments on other people's blogs.
-- Find out what your dream job pays - click here.
6. Use a headhunter.
7. Use your network to make you look good
- Mutual friends can sing your praises.
- This is common advice all tied to leveraging a network. Consider how important it is to leverage your closest contacts. Many job seekers are afraid to talk about their unemployment; but remember, friends and colleagues who CAN help you, WILL help you. They may assume you've got your situation well under control, and won't reach out on your behalf unless you ask.
- Recruiters are paid by clients, not job seekers. Find recruiters who have similar job postings to the type of job you seek. The best way to get their attention is to e-mail them with the job title/number in the subject heading of your email. If there isn't a job posted you qualify for, you can state that you understand they haven't posted a job that you're a match for, but wanted to touch base for future opportunities. Of course, the best way to contact a recruiter is through your network, leveraging a common friend. Recruiters are more likely to help friends of friends.
8. Pound the pavement
- Drop off your resume at offices and assess companies.
9. Be persistent
- Call/email employers at least twice a week.
10. Stay organized.
- Keep track of everyone you talk to and follow up.
- You won't land a job by just e-mailing dozens resumes. You need to have a multi-faceted approach. I have told teachers, like the one mentioned in the article, to stop by schools and drop off your resume. If you leave a friendly impression, they may call you back. In some cases, they may interview you on the spot. Not often, but it does happen -- be ready for this.
- It's important to know who you've talked to you and when. Especially when working with recruiters and HR folks. When they call you back, you want to have your list handy so you know exactly what they are calling in reference to. Remember, you need to make the impression that you are very interested in their specific opportunity (even if you're interested in 20 specific opportunities).
- In addition to being persistent, you need to be patient. I know financially speaking, this can be very trying. But you need to plan for your job hunt to be long term (plan your spending accordingly); keep plugging away and the right job will come along. It did for all the folks mentioned in the article, and it will for you.