Job hunting 101: If you think a proactive job search involves applying to a couple of job board postings each day – think again. You might as well be doing yard work if you expect to see results with a strategy like that.
Finding a job isn’t easy – but it doesn’t have to be hard either. If you work smarter and not harder, you could find a new job in a matter of weeks.
What this article advocates is a three pronged approach: By leveraging the power of your three most accessible job seeking channels – Recruiters, Job Boards, and Networking – you can combine the strengths of each into one unified job seeking strategy.
The case for Recruiters: Staffing agencies and recruiters are often overlooked or utilized improperly. You should shop around for a few solid recruiters and take advantage of the services they can offer. Recruiters have a wide range of business connections and access to information that the average job seeker wouldn’t even know about. This includes job opportunities that are not typically advertised and insider tips to help you land a job. While recruiters may not be a magic bullet to bringing you the job of your dreams – they are a valuable resource and a necessary piece of your job hunting puzzle.
The case for Job Boards: The most popular boards have earned the reputation as job seeking black holes – and rightfully so. With millions of other applicants trying to be seen and heard alongside you, you’re most likely lost in all the shouting and noise. So what’s the point? That’s where niche job boards come into play. These smaller sites are typically designed for industry specific postings and there’s greater visibility for relevant and qualified candidates. If you’re still not completely sold on the idea then consider this viewpoint – Job boards are like batting cages: If you keep swinging long enough you might hit something. With job boards, you want to apply “along with the masses” on the major boards as well as determining your own “top ten” industry/professional job boards and then hitting those regularly.
The Case for Networking: The third (but most important) tool in your job seeking strategies toolbox, utilizing the people you know (or you’re about to know) offers unprecedented advantages when you’re looking for work. The advent of social media (i.e. LinkedIn, Branchout, BeKnown) has made it even easier to spark up a professional conversation with someone who may have an opportunity for you. Friends and family are of course additional channels to investigate for references and leads. What these technologies have done is make it easier to connect with people that you already know and then use their connections to meet others. They are a nice way to “warm up” to potential employers, hiring managers, and recruiters.
Combining all three: By proactively searching with all three channels you have more than tripled your chances of finding a job. The three pronged approach will get the phone ringing and the emails rolling in – but don’t relax just yet. Keep sourcing for great opportunities until you’ve heard the words, “You’re hired.”
The key to strategy in job seeking is not momentary bursts of activity or use of new tools – it’s consistency across multiple channels. Make a to-do list which includes activity in each of the three different strategies that we have discussed here. If you target and complete activities in each job search category on a daily basis, the leads should start flowing in. Good luck out there!