5 Most Effective Ways to Look for a Job
Circling job ads in the newspaper is a thing of the past. Effective, successful job searches require a much more comprehensive approach. With changes in the job market and advances in technology and social media taking place at an accelerated pace, job hunters need to know different ways to look for a job.
A successful job search involves careful planning, a few specific tools and a variety of job search methods. A couple of the tools you’ll need are a resume and a personal branding statement. A personal branding statement is a quick, specific summary of your skills and qualifications that distinguish you from others who do what you do. It is used in resumes, cover letters, in networking and during interviews. It’s also important to seek assistance in your job search. Ask for help from career centers, job search groups, career counselors and friends and family who might know of openings or refer you to employers.
Pitch to your ideal company(ies)
Research your ideal company and pitch directly to them, whether or not they have advertised openings. Look up the company on social media such as LinkedIn and Facebook, find out about the people in the areas you want to work such as marketing or accounting, and look up current news about the company. Understand corporate goals, competitors and industry, as well as the best people to contact with your pitch. Be original and convincing in your pitch for the kind of position you want. Present your skills, experience, training, education and career aspirations to the company or companies you identify as your ideal workplaces. Your cover letter could be your pitch letter, or you might prefer to put together a powerful slideshow presentation or even a YouTube video. Include an explanation of exactly how you’d contribute in the position you want and for which you are qualified.
Networking is a way to build professional relationships. You can network online and in person. Check out job search and networking resources in your community. Many churches and local libraries host job search gatherings that connect businesses and job seekers. Find local networking events in your field of interest by searching online and reading the business and career sections of your local newspapers. Plan to attend at least one networking event per month. Look into and attend career networking events at local colleges.
Use social media
Use social media to look for a job. LinkedIn, a professional social network, is a good place to start. Create your profile on LinkedIn then list your career qualifications and post your resume. Connect to people in the industry. Let your LinkedIn connections know you are looking for work by saying so in your profile and asking for referrals. You can also join online communities such Facebook and Twitter to spread the word about your job search and ask for referrals.
Work with a career counselor
Get help in your job search from a career counselor. Working with a career counselor can help you more closely identify your worth in the job market, focus your job search on the most relevant openings and employers, and improve your interview and presentation skills. Recent college graduates can use the resources of their school’s placement office for these kinds of services.
Attend job fairs
A job fair is a great environment to get in front of employers and talk to an actual company representative without having an interview invitation. You can ask questions, learn about employer needs, find out about different industries and get an opportunity to present your skills and qualifications to employers. Preparation is very important before attending job fairs. Review the list of employers who will be there, select the top three to five companies whose representatives you want to visit, and research them. Bring enough copies of your most current, professional resume for the employers you want to see. Prepare a professional “elevator speech” or personal branding statement, such as “I am a recent engineering graduate looking for a challenging entry-level engineering opportunity. My areas of expertise are…”. Dress in business attire as you would for an interview. Ask recruiters what the next steps are after you talk to them, and write them down for follow up. Be sure to get contact information from every company representative you speak to so you can send thank you notes after the job fair.
• U.S. News: The Most Effective Ways to Look for a Job • 51 Ways to Find a Job Fast – Guaranteed! Kevin Donlin • Bankrate.com: 5 Networking Strategies to a New Job • Money Crashers: Using Headhunters & Career Counselors to Get a Job – Is It Worth It? • Job Choices Online: 10 Tips for Using Social Media in Your Job • Bureau of Labor Statistics: Job Search in the Age of the Internet