Today’s job market is all online. At least that is what we always hear. However, that is not always the case and even when looking online you need to know where to look. Some of the traditional job hunting methods still have a good track record and are worth your time to pursue in addition to the newer methods. Others have seen their better days and are not worth you spending your time and energy on.
Do These 2 Simple Tasks Before You Start
Define Your Goals
To help you clarify your goals and get energized for your upcoming search, start by assessing what you’re looking for and why you want to do that type of work. Knowing what you are looking for will help you determine where to look. Different jobs and industries will be advertised in different ways and will respond to different approaches by job seekers. Some industries have moved all online and will only accept candidates via online applications. Others still prefer a resume brought in person and a handshake.
Research your options and make a list of local companies you want to work for based on your goals. Depending on what you are looking for and where you want to be in your career will narrow your search. If you have specific businesses you are interested in working for (you may not, and that’s okay) you can research that company’s hiring procedures and potentially contact the hiring manager directly.
Believe it or not, this still happens. Businesses, especially those in smaller markets, will advertise their jobs through radio ads in the hopes of getting the attention of a broader audience. This typically happens when they have tried other methods but have not had success in finding the right candidate. This could indicate that it is a hard position to fill or that they are overly picky in their hiring preferences.
Much like radio, this method is still used by some employers. However, the jobs section of most newspapers is nothing like it used to be. This is a result of the newspapers, much like the hiring process, have moved more and more online. Most newspapers do offer something along the lines of a job board to cater to those advertising open positions which means rather than picking up an actual newspaper, you may find more success in visiting the website of your local paper to see if they have a designated page for job postings.
Referrals and word of mouth still proves to be one of the best ways to develop serious job leads. Spreading the word that you are looking for work to others around can get the word out exponentially. Your family and friends may know someone who is hiring or their friends and family may know someone. When following up on a job lead that comes from a “warm” referral like this your chances of finding a job are almost five times better than just sending your resume.
When it comes to job hunting at networking events, you have to be very careful. If the networking event is not specifically designated toward job seekers and hiring then those attending are most likely not interested in spending their time discussing potential opportunities with you. If the networking event is specifically geared toward job seekers, you may find yourself spending a lot of time talking with other job seekers rather than employers. Typically these and “job clubs”, where job seekers meet to discuss their job searches, have shown themselves to be of very little benefit. Your time would be better served looking for work rather than talking about looking for work.
Social Media Sites
Social media can be a great way to find job leads. Similar to asking family and friends, social media can get you exponential results in getting the word out that you are looking for work. Because there are so many social media options today, you will want to choose carefully where you spend your time looking. Sites like Snapchat and Instagram will generally result in less leads than sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. LInkedIn is unique in that it is social media geared specifically to professionals and information sharing. Many employers are using it for job postings but you have to know your market. Smaller, more rural markets will tend to use LInkedIn less than your larger, metropolitan markets. Facebook has recently added the jobs feature to their site that allows not only employers to post jobs but job seekers can submit their resume through the site as well. This gives you the option to see all the job postings in one place rather than trying to seek them out. This was previously unrealistic unless you go to specific business pages and happen to see their posting about an open position.
If you’re still at school/college you have a great resource in your school’s career center. This applies to alumni as well. Many employers, particularly those looking for a specific, higher-level skill set, will post their jobs at local universities or colleges. If a company is looking for engineers, they are likely to post at local universities that have engineering programs. At the same time, universities and colleges will often promote posting jobs to local employers in an attempt to have their graduates placed in jobs. Having their graduates gainfully employed helps their recruitment efforts for future students. Everyone can win in this situation.
Attend Job Fairs
Job fairs can be a great resource for candidates but much like other job hunting methods it depends on what type of position you are looking for. Job fairs can be targeted to certain industries, positions at a certain level, or general positions that cover a large spectrum. This can be a great chance to get facetime with multiple employers in a short period of time. Often times the host of the job fair will require that employers have multiple openings just to participate so you have an even better opportunity to discuss multiple positions.
Knocking On The Door
Even in this day and age of online resources and hiring methods, walking in the door to deliver your resume in person to an employer works 47% of the time. It tends to work best with small employers. While they may not have an opening at that moment, if you impress them they are likely to hold on to your resume for future openings or even create an opening for the right candidate.
While employment agencies have existed for a long time, the market has seen a significant rise in employers using them to fill positions at all levels. The hiring process takes longer and is more involved than it used to be so more and more businesses are outsourcing to employment agencies. Like any other resource, you need to research the agencies to make sure that they fit with your goals. If you are looking for a professional position, you won’t want to apply with an agency that specializes in day labor. Similarly, if you are looking for temporary or entry level position you won’t want to spend your time working with a headhunter to find a position.
Online Job Boards
Possibly the easiest way to start searching for jobs in today’s market is through the use of online job boards. These have become increasingly common and are used by employers in almost every market. You will need to research which ones are most commonly used in your market as it can vary. The large employers will have job boards of their own that are used to post all their open positions and are regularly updated. This allows you to see their current postings and watch for the one you feel is the right fit for you.
Employment agencies will usually have their own job boards as well. This can be a perfect place to start your job search and see a variety of positions that are available in your area.