Phase four of a job search – Get involved in as many activities as you can
The job search process is not scientific or logical. Because of this, to be successful it’s important that you try a lot of different things in order to meet people who can help you generate leads. Here are some suggestions:
Your network – reach out to everyone you know. Be specific about what you are looking for, offer to help them and keep in touch with your network regularly to stay top of mind. Also, always ask for new referrals or introductions. LinkedIn is a huge element of business networking. Spend 15-20 minutes a day researching, connecting with people, and participating in LinkedIn groups.
Influential people – there are people whose jobs and success depend upon knowing large numbers of people. Sales people, vendors, heads of town and business chambers, politicians, and non-profit leaders are all professionals who meet and interact with tons of people they would be willing to introduce you to.
Media coverage – identify needs, opportunities, trends, and people through newspaper articles, company press releases, “people in the news” pieces, and calendar of events.
Trade and professional associations and organizations – look at their websites and attend local meetings. Don’t just attend meetings with members who are just like you. If you are looking for a job in finance, attend a meeting for marketing professionals. You will stand out and meet people you might not have otherwise.
Direct E-mail, snail mail and calling – while this is a “cold” method for communicating, you still may uncover an opportunity or be able to send your resume to someone you don’t know.
Events – trade shows, conferences and job fairs attract large numbers of people. Not only are these events staffed with people to talk to, the other attendees are great to network with as well.
Recruiters – Recruiters fall into two categories – contingency and retained/executive search. Recruiters typically only place professionals who possess the specific experience that their client company wants. So career changers or entry level people won’t have much luck being placed by a recruiter. If you want to find recruiters, the best method is to ask your colleagues who they have worked with in the past.
Posted positions – job boards (Indeed, Simply Hired, Ladders, Monster, etc.) post thousands of job openings. This said, it is very difficult to actually get an interview by posting your resume or applying on-line for a job. Too many people send their resumes and chances are high that you will get lost in the mass of applications. Companies also post openings. While you will have to apply for a job on their website, the best strategy is to also network into the company to raise awareness about your experience and interest.
It is a good idea to initiate something in each of these categories every week, keeping in mind that networking will always produce the most successful outcomes.