As a follow-up to my post entitled "Free Job Search Advice Links (tips, hints and more)", I thought it would be helpful to others if I listed some Job search methods that can be used.
First, some stories, then the links and stuff
Note: Everyone will tell you that finding people at your target companies is at least 4 (and as much as 8) times more effective than applying online. You want to get to the decision makers. These methods are ways of doing that. They recommend spending far more time on these types of efforts than on submitting your resume into online job listing sites (which many refer to as the "Black hole").
I had interviews with 5 companies, 3 of them came from recruiters who found me through searching LinkedIn and finding my profile. I believe what I've been told that being more active on LinkedIn and making sure you have keywords in your profile are a big help. I believe that is why these recruiters found me. I was making posts quite often: usually every working day of the week at prime internet times and using #hastags to draw attention to them. Also, make sure you change your settings to say if you are actively looking (and this flag is automatically reset after some time, so check it every few weeks).
The other two companies I had interviews with came from relationships I started and nurtured. Once came from when LinkedIn gave me the name of a recruiter who posted a job I applied to. Although, that perticular job didn't work out, I followed up often with that recruiter and we had several phone calls. Eventually they got to know me and helped me gain an interview for another position I saw that they posted. The other came from a technical meeting with that company. There are many meetups on Meetup.com and other sites that you can attend and build real strong relationships with people.
It's important to remember to be reciprocal and offer help to these people who are helping you.
- Network with a focus
- Network with generosity, giving, and listening.
- The goal is to find (and develop) folks to be advocates and champions for you. Sometimes you'll find people that you never knew before will help you a lot.
- Meet with people - preferably face-to-face for coffee or lunch. If you can't meet in person, then talk on the phone. Asking for a job isn't always going to help them to be successful in helping you. Ask for something that they can successfully help you with.
- Ask them for job search advice and referrals to other people you can meet for job search advice. You can say "I know you're a successful person, can you introduce me to other successful people that I can meet with and explain my career goals and hear about theirs"
- Go to Networking meetings, meetup groups - make valuable introductions, listen to their needs first and ask questions. Provide a paper that shows the parameters of your search (where, when, what, goal, target companies). Offer to help them in some way. Follow up with them.
- Connect to people who you usually meet: neighbors, churches, charitible organizations, volunteering activities, the gym, the barber/hairdresser, grocery store
- Go to Meetup.com events to find people with like interests or hobbies. Or, find a technical or business group in meetup.com - you may even find that a target employer has meetup events
- Reach out to people you have worked with before. Do they have a contact at a particular customer you want to contact? Do they have contact information?
- Connect to people on linkedin -
- You can search for people at your target company who are doing what you are looking for or manage those roles. Always include a personallized message when inviting them to connect.
- Lisa Rangel suggests you can send a message along the lines of "In the spirit of networking, I hope you will agree to connect with me" - then, once you are connected, ask them questions and offer to help them. You can ask about getting together for coffee or lunch. You can ask about the company culture or how to find connectiions there.
- Try making a connection with HR folks in your target companies. If you can get an advocate there, then you'll have help to get to a position.
- Make connections with recruiters and talk to them on a regular basis
- Post information (use hashtags) on LinkedIn, Comment and share articles, "like" posts to that you are more active. I've heard that this puts you higher in search rankings when recruiters look for people.
- Update your LinkedIn profile with keywords that recruiters would look for to find you (you can find these keywords in job descriptions you are interested in. You can also look for people who are in positions you are looking for and see what makes their LinkedIn profiles great. Do the same types of things with your own profile.
- Use LinkedIn groups to contact people with similar interests and goals (by industry, professional affiliation, professional groups, hobbies). Post and comment on articles in these groups.
- Contact recruiters (internal to companies and external, like executive recruiters): remember, they are working for the companies who seek applicants, they don't work for you. But, you can search linkedin for recruiters who have positions you are interested in.
- optional: find recruiters that work with the companies you are targetting -use a LinkedIn search to find them.
- You can use searchfirm.com to find recruiters
- Letter writing campaign - find people in the target company who would be the hiring manager for the position you are interested in. Ask people you are connected to in the target company for contacts or use google or LinkedIn to find these perspective hiring managers. Or, better yet, aim high to get someone at a level above your position to advocate for you. Send these people a postal letter, fedex, or USPS Priority mail explaining how you can help them. Tell them who you are in addition to what you can do for them. Tell something unique about yourself (maybe a hobby or volunteer work) and how it relates to your business strength. tell them how you differentiate yourself. Tell them you'll follow up in a week or two. Do that follow-up (find their phone number, email or use LinkedIn inmail). Ask for a meeting. Tell them that you're a successful professional as they are and you'd like to get to know each other by meeting.
- Unemployment or employement offices in your state might have services you can use. Also, if you attended college, many colleges provide help.
- Volunteer: By volunteering to do work you will gain people who know you, see your quality of work, see how you treat people, and want to be your champion.
- Look at eventbrite, meetup, or other places for events your target company might hold (or that people from those companies might attend). Attend and speak with people. Ask for follow-up meetings to get to know each other.
- If you know of other methods, please reply here with your comments!