Most people who are job-hunting use career sites, other online resources, head-hunters, networking and send out zillions of résumés. With so many out of work it seems like those who find a job have hit on some magic formula. If you aren’t one of the lucky few, maybe it’s time to shake it up a bit. Why not try the old-school 1:1, in-person approach?
A recent WSJ article described how 97-year-old Lillian Brownstein landed a job in 1938 by knocking on doors in an office building in New Jersey. One company she spoke to had just fired their secretary and hired Brownstein after a typing test. Now I’m not suggesting you just drop by companies and ask to speak to someone about a job. These days, the receptionist would probably call security.
But try to make the job-search more personal. According to the article above, only 9% of people looking for job opportunities think to contact relatives and friends. Instead 51% are opting for looking at ads and sending in applications. Remember that referrals from someone internal at a company or a trusted client will give you an edge.
If you read my posts you know that I really don’t like networking (it’s the introvert thing), but I force myself to dutifully grab my business cards, put on something a notch above my work-at-home “dressy” sweats and head out to functions with potential income-producing contacts. Being a freelance writer, my networking is often stopped dead in its tracks by the “Oh, have I got a book to write!” conversation. But I forge on because I do occasionally pick up work at these things.
Social Media Marketing
Not quite the same as face-to-face, but working the social media networks is a great way to get the word out that you’re looking for a job. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect when I recently decided to update my LinkedIn profile. I found out shortly after that a friend had mentioned me to her boss and he had checked me out on the site. There’s a nice potential gig opp. Oh, here’s a tip – if you have your settings only allowing your contacts/connections to see your profile, you’re really missing out. Reset it to “public.”
Facebook is a good job-hunting/networking tool, too. But personally, I’d suggest not mixing your personal page with your business page. I find it a bit jarring to read what someone did over the weekend and then a later post that promotes their business. Set up a separate page for business.
So, tell me what personal touches you’ve used to job-hunt and/or network?