Whether you’re working and want to switch careers or are currently unemployed, finding a job is downright difficult. The recession has thousands of people flooding a shrinking job market, and one well-advertised job opening may draw hundreds of resumes from talented people, all of whom are competing with you for the position. The good news is that hitting up the classifieds or popular online job boards are not the only, or even the best, ways to go about looking for a job. Here, we’ll explore six job search resources you might not have thought of.
- Contacting recruiters. Professional recruiters can be an excellent resource for finding jobs that have not been posted on common forums, or even at all. Recruiters are retained by companies across the nation to help with filling open positions with people who meet or exceed qualifications for the job so that the company can avoid the tedious process of sifting through resumes and screening job-seekers. Before contacting a recruiter, make sure you are contacting one that specializes in filling the type of positions you are seeking. You may need to contact multiple recruiters. Learn more about what it’s like to work with recruiters from this article from WorkTree.com.
- LinkedIn networking. LinkedIn, a social network for professionals, has become an excellent way to network. After you have targeted the type of job you are looking for, kick off your job search by creating a list of companies you are interested in working for. Using LinkedIn, search for people in those companies through LinkedIn, and start to reach out to them individually. Let them know you’re interested in the company and would like to learn more about it. Finally, once you’ve built a rapport, ask if they’ve heard of any job openings or if they can connect you with someone knowledgeable. With a little Web research, you can find the names of a few people in mid-level management, or even those involved with hiring, so that you’re reaching out to the right people.
- LinkedIn job board. Aside from a world of networking opportunities, LinkedIn also has a jobs board. By clicking on the jobs tab, you can see job openings in your immediate area and industry or do an advanced search to search for jobs in other locations and industries. While other LinkedIn members will have access to these jobs as well, you will at least be going beyond the best-known online job boards.
- Networking through Facebook. Many means are available to use this popular social network on the job hunt. First, letting your Facebook friends know you are on the job hunt often prompts many of them to point you to openings they know of. Secondly, you can join groups related to the jobs you’re seeking and reach out to that group’s members concerning your job search. Learn more about how Facebook can be utilized in a job search in this article from USA Today.
- Professional contacts. People were networking through professional contacts long before social networks like LinkedIn and Facebook came along. Begin with your current contacts, such as former employers and co-workers, or former professors if you’re recently out of college, and work your way outward. For each person you contact, ask for one or two people you can get in touch with about a job. In this way, your web of professional contacts can expand exponentially, helping you to tap the hidden job market.
- Volunteering your way toward a job. You may have heard stories about a guy who couldn’t get hired by a company, so he volunteered to work for free, convinced that once the boss saw his work ethic, he’d get hired in no time. While this certainly isn’t a surefire way to get hired, volunteering does help you build jobs skills while you’re between jobs, and even offers networking opportunities. It can also beef up a thin resume, especially if you achieve a measurable goal while volunteering, like fundraising a certain amount, recruiting more volunteers, or revamping a nonprofit’s website. Learn more about how volunteering can lead to job opportunities in this SmartMoney article.
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