To those of you who have peeked at my subject plan in the page about submitting guest posts, know – August is the month designated to discuss Job Search From All Angles. The search for work (or career) is a job in and of itself, requiring flexibility and creativity to be ultimately successful.
I have spoken of resumes in previous posts, this month I will share tidbits on finding the jobs.
Let’s start with how people traditionally search. When asked how to find a job, most people of a certain age will answer – “look in the newspaper”; the next generation after that one will answer – “Look on the internet”; and perhaps many of our current job seeking generation will answer with a combination of tweets and social media. The concept is the same, even if the media is different – the first thing someone thinks of is a posted job opening.
There are many ways to find the posted opening. Printed page, internet listing, websites that aggregate the listings, social media…to name a few. And these are good ways to start your search. But there are other ways to find out about job openings, ways that increase your odds of being seen, and perhaps selected for interview for those jobs.
The first and best way to find out about jobs is to network. I can already hear the introverts in the reading audience groaning. Yes, you have to talk to people. No, you don’t have to do it in person – some networking can be done in emails and social media.
You should follow some standard rules of etiquette, if someone tells you of a position. And I will outline those below.
If they say they do not know of anything – thank them and ask if they would please let you know if they hear of anything in your field or job type.
If they do, even if it is something you may not be interested in – thank them and take down the information. Ask if it is okay to reference them when you are following up on the position.
You might wonder why I said to take down all the information, even if you are not interested in the position. First, it is courtesy. And second, you have just been given information about a company or person who is hiring. If you do want to submit for a position at that company – you will have a name that referred you to the company, and that gives you an edge. Plus, you know (or should know) that if a company is hiring, there may be a position you ARE interested in, that your benefactor did not know about. You increase the odds of getting in the door if you know someone who has actively referred you.
If you do apply, and do get an interview – remember to send a thank you note not only to the folks you met at the interview, but to the person who referred you.
You may not know anyone to network with, because you are in a new city looking for work. What do you do then?
You will need to network with strangers. If you are shy, this may sound daunting, but it is a good skill to develop even if you are not looking for work. I suggest starting at the library.
What? You are thinking, she just implied that printed postings are not the best way to find a job… and that would be correct. But asking the librarian to direct you to reference areas that have job posting relevant to your experience opens up a discussion with a stranger…just as once you are in the periodical or computer area, asking the people there if they can direct you, may open up an opportunity to get a referral. Not to mention meeting new people and possibly making new friends.
Church or Temple are other good places to network for work, if you are new to a community.
And – SURPRISE – potential employers are also a good place to network. You stop in and ask if they are hiring, they may say “no”, before you leave, ask if they know of anyone else who might be hiring. Again, say thank you and ask if it is okay to say you were told about the position by that company. You never know when your courtesy and determination might make them take a second look at you and your resume.
More “Job Search from all angles”in the next post. Good luck out there. Let us know how it is going for you.