Four steps for finding a job

I’ve been getting quite a few calls from friends, their parents, relatives, neighbors, etc., asking me for job search tips.  As we all know, the current job search environment is quite competitive.  Here is a quick list of job search advice, by no means comprehensive:

1) Update your resume and your LinkedIn profile.  In my opinion, volume “self marketing” is the key to getting the word out about your availability.  To effectively do this, you must first have a cohesive message, which in this case, is your resume and professional profile.  Chances are, you haven’t updated your resume since you last looked for a job, and you now have a lot of relevant experience that you need to capture.  Do the same on your LinkedIn profile, and Facebook too.  When you update your status on these social networks, an update will be sent to your contacts, which should jump start your networking efforts.  An effective yet simple approach is to update your LinkedIn profile, then send a message to contacts in your email address book, as well as your LinkedIn and Facebook contacts.  A message like the sample below would suffice:

Hello,
I am currently seeking new job opportunities, and I wanted to reach out to you to let you know what I’ve been up to.  Please take a moment to look at my updated LinkedIn profile, and let me know if you (or anyone you know) may have a job opportunity that aligns with my expertise.  Please let me know if I can repay the favor!

http://www.linkedin.com/in/jubal

Thanks,

Your Name
Your Email

2) Post your resume and create job alerts.  Once you’ve updated your resume(s), post it on a few job boards.  I highly recommend posting it on Monster.com, since Monster’s resume database seems to be the most popular with recruiters.  If you are in IT, post it on Dice too.  I also recommend posting your resume on Craigslist, first removing all contact info (name, phone, email).  This will position your resume to appear when recruiters large and small conduct a search on any/all of those websites. 

All job boards offer some sort of job alert function, often called a job agent.  These allow you to save your job search criteria, and register to receive email alerts of new jobs.  Once you start receiving these agent emails, you can simply click a link in your email and go directly to new job descriptions.  Ultimately the best candidate gets hired, but it never hurts to have your resume submitted early.

3) Don’t depend on recruiters to “find you a job”.  This isn’t really what most of us do.  Most of us are paid a fee, by the employer, for finding them talent they can’t find on their own.  If you are a good candidate for a particular role, you’ll hear from us.  That being said, it is wise for job seekers to register with any staffing agencies in their niche for current and future openings.  Just be aware that our focus is not on placing every candidate.  It is on filling every job requisition we have.

4) Network Network Network.  This has become cliche, and anybody that has been networking unfruitfully will cringe when they read this, but it’s true.  Networking is the absolute BEST way to learn of unadvertised job opportunities.  You have to remember, companies are getting flooded with applicants, many of them unqualified, each time they post a new job.  I imagine this is leading them to network for referrals (more than normal) from their current employees, vendors, clients, etc.  You don’t necessarily need to know somebody at your target employer, just somebody that has some sort of contact with them, no matter how random. 

To network, start with the easiest methods and work out from there.  Connect with previous employers and colleagues on LinkedIn, and let them know you are available.  Engage them in conversation.  Join groups and connect with people you may not “know” in real life, but that you now share the group with.  Email or call people you know who have a good job, and ask them about their company.  People may know of the perfect lead for you, but may feel uncomfortable talking with you about your job search.  Break the ice and ask for help.  That’s networking.

Jubal Ince

Jubal Ince

A recruitment marketing geek based in Portland, Oregon, Jubal Ince is a the Founder and Chief Talent Strategist at HireMob.

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