I was recently on the phone with a coaching client and his main struggle was that he sincerely did not know how to look for a job. Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t because he has been lazy and never worked, but that all of the jobs up to this point had come to him. Now, he finds himself in a different environment because the jobs are not as plentious at the moment.
I think many people are in this same boat. Either we have worked at the same place for so long that we forgot the fundamentals of a job search or we have just lucked out and always had jobs come find us. You need to develop some job searching skills in order to navigate in today’s environment.
I want you to have a better job search strategy then just refreshing the online job boards. Job boards should be part of your strategy but not your entire strategy. I am going to break down the basics of how to look for a job from the most effective to the least effective. The idea is that you should probably be doing all of it, but I would spend more time on those activities that are at the top of the list.
- Online Networking - I think online networking is one of the best ways to locate a new opportunity. You are able to touch so many more people than you are when you just show up at one networking event. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t get out and mingle, but I would definitely be figuring out how to use Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter as job search tools.
Offline Networking – I would look up networking associations in my area and try and get out to any meetings they might have. You will find that many people are helpful and they can be a great resource. We all know that some people are natural connectors. Sometimes all it takes is connecting with one person who seems to know everybody.
- Word of Mouth – this could also be classified as networking to some degree. People often find out about jobs through family, friends, gym members, church members, and acquaintances.
- Working with Recruiters – headhunters in your niche know about hidden jobs that are not advertised anywhere. Although every candidate is not placed, it still serves you well to get on their radar screen.
- Online Job Boards – I would still pay close attention to the job boards because the right position just might come along. However, when asked, less than 20% of employees in general said they found their position from an online job board.
- Newspapers – although much more attention has moved to the online job boards, your local newspaper could still be a nice place to find a job. There is less competition right now since more people pay more attention to the online job boards.
- Career Fairs – when polled, less than 10% of people found their job from a career fair. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go because after all 10% of job searchers are glad that they went. Just have a plan for making your presence known, meet people, give them your info and move on.