Time Honored Ways to Enhance Your Job SearchApril 11th, 2013 | Articles, Job Search | No Comments »
Sitting in an enclosed space for nine hours a day filling out applications, revising cover letters, and explaining what makes you different in a hundred and fifty characters or less is not only painstakingly mind-numbing, it also only gets you so far in a job hunt. So what can you do when you have filled out an application for every job on every website you know of?
It may seem like a strange notion to all but the oldest folks in the work force, but there was a time when people looked for jobs without the aid of the Internet. There were no online applications, email contacts, or social networking websites. Job seekers used nothing more than a hard copy of their resume and some good old fashioned grit to find a job. While using the Internet is still one of the best sources for finding a job, there are some time honored techniques that can prove useful in helping you obtain that elusive position you have been working so hard to land.
The following are a few dusty but reliable ways you can supplement your internet job searching efforts:
1) Work temporarily; work for less; work for free.
Don’t expect to land the perfect position with a top notch salary right out of the gate. Many old timers will tell you about how they once worked for pennies. Never turn down any experience, especially if it is the only thing presenting itself to you. Many internships, temporary positions, or part time jobs have the ability to turn into the career you have been looking for. Are you coming off another job and are worried about taking a pay cut? Just remember that any paycheck is larger than what you are making now (unless you are still collecting unemployment). Plus, they are great ways to fill in the employment gaps in your resume, meet people, and they still leave you time to seek out full time employment, all the while lining your pockets with money for bills. So seek out a temp agency and get yourself employed in any way that you can.
2) Network, not the computer kind.
Networking is the best way to put yourself on the job market, and I’m not just talking about how many friends you have on Facebook or how many connections you have on LinkedIn. Physically meeting people is still the best way to seek and gain information. Tell every person you know, or meet, that you are on the market. Tell your family, your friends, even the people you meet standing in line at a coffee shop that you are looking for a job. You never know who might be connected to, or turn out to be, a hiring manager at the company you’ve been trying to get into. You might also meet other job seekers who can tell you what has and hasn’t worked for them in the past. You can learn a lot from people who are in the same situation as you, and there is always strength in numbers, even if you are competing for similar jobs
3) Leave a paper trail wherever you go.
So you’ve started telling everyone you meet you are looking for a job, but how do you get them to remember you? Business cards are a relatively cheap way of leaving your mark on a ton of people, especially if you are a freelance or contract based worker. Make an eye catching card with your name, title, and contact information on it and hand them out to every person you meet. It shows you are committed to your line of work and are willing to put yourself out there. Ask local business owners if you can leave them on their counters or post them on advertising boards wherever you find them. Cast as many lines as you can wherever you go. You never know what you will reel in.
4) Find your local employment office.
Do you know the location of your neighborhood employment agency? Most people don’t, but they still remain a great resource in helping people find employment. It is their job to help you find one. Are you a college graduate? Most universities have career placement centers that make it their business to track down employers looking for employees with your qualifications.
5) Walk out your door, and kick down others.
Emails are easy to send out; they are even easier to ignore. Many end up as piles of digitized trash that are never opened, much less read. There is no better way to get your foot in a door than to walk through one. Phone calls can be diverted to secretaries, but walking straight into an office cannot be ignored. This requires you to build up your self-esteem and put yourself in an embarrassing situation, but walking through the front door to inquire about a job takes courage, and it is sure to get you remembered over an email. There may be an opportunity that has recently opened up and hasn’t been posted yet. Or they may not have any openings but know an office that does. The worst they can say is no, which leaves you no worse off than you were before you walked in.
by Kevin Withers