Job Hunting in a Social World Part 1: The Search
Job seeking on the internet is extremely competitive and often frustrating. Sometimes you even wonder if your resume is getting through at all due to lack of response — after all, your job history is great and you’re perfectly qualified — or even over qualified — for the careers you’re applying to. Don’t give up hope. Many of the most popular job search sites or placement agencies have hundreds of great people applying for their open positions, so sometimes it can be tough to stand out. Below we lay out a handful of tips to help you navigate the landscape. Stay positive and put on your networking pants!
Networking Online and IRL
We get it. The safety net for rejection is a lot more cushy from behind the computer
screen. If you are serious about securing the job of your dreams, going outside your bubble is integral. Interact with business connections on LinkedIn or other platforms that are working in your field — you’ll be surprised how many will take the time to respond to a friendly inquiry asking if they have any leads. Also, don’t be afraid to get out there in the great wide open for some face-to-face networking. College alumni association happy hours, professional networking events or related talks, expos or conferences can be a great way to connect. It’s a little awkward to walk up to a stranger and start schmoozing, but the possible gain definitely outweighs the risk. Don’t forget to bring your biz cards!
Create Job Alerts
Signing up for online job alerts will almost certainly clog up your inbox, but it will yield positive results. Set them up via numerous placement services and listing websites and be both broad and specific. For instance, if you are a copywriter looking for a remote gig doing product description writing for a beauty retailer, create an alert for “beauty copywriter remote” but alternately create a general one for “copywriter” — you never know what kind of interesting opportunities will pop up. In addition to the obvious major sites, make sure to seek out more obscure services and smaller recruiters, as they may have local opportunities and might be more apt to take notice of your resume.
Go Right to the Source
You’ve got the time, so do the work. In addition to following the above tips, you should also seek out your dream job directly. Make a list of all the companies you’d love to work for and literally go to their website’s careers page (they almost all have them) and see what job listings they have open — you’d be surprised how many of them opt out of listing opportunities through job search sites. If you want to take it a step further, go ahead and send your resume to the hiring manager or careers e-mail with a short, friendly note saying that you love their company and wanted to pass along your resume in case they eventually have a need for someone with your skill set. It can’t hurt and who knows, maybe they have something you’d be perfect for that hasn’t been listed yet. Weirder things have happened.
Utilizing Social Media
Don’t discount the impact of social media on your job search. Not only can it be a huge resource, but it can also make or break whether an employer is willing to give you a chance. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are largely personal. They are places to share personal photos, opinions, news and the like. Before embarking on your job search, it’s wise to look through your posts and images and either delete or make “friends only” anything that may be construed as overly negative, offensive, political or religious. No one will expect you to have a completely impersonal presence, but there is such a thing as TMI. Ask yourself “What would Mom think?” and go from there. All that said, don’t be shy about putting it out to your friends and followers that you’re looking and would appreciate any leads. Your friend’s sister’s boyfriend’s cousin that you met at a wedding last year could possibly connect you with your dream job — you never know!
Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Your friends, family and colleagues are there for a reason. It’s not out of line to simply ask for help when you need it. Don’t be ashamed to drop them an e-mail or bring up your job search over happy hour cocktails. You’ll be surprised how willing and excited they will be to help you — these are the people that believe in you, so appreciate it. Even if they don’t know of anything directly, the fact you’re looking will stick with them and remind them to keep their eyes and ears peeled.
Photos courtesy of: flickr.com, pixabay, shutterstock