Guest Author - Dianne Walker
Looking for a job in any economy can be difficult. Looking for a job in a weak economy can be even more difficult. Stiff competition, new ways of looking for jobs can all lend itself to extreme frustration. Traditional methods of job search may not work. Here are some tactics which may help to expand your job search and others that wonít.
What wonít work?
Mass e-mailing or faxing your resume to employers. Recruiters will tell you that they tend to throw those away in the circular file for a number of reasons. First, because they do not accept unsolicited applications. Make sure you understand the proper method for submitting an application to a company. If they only accept applications through a website (which many do), youíve just wasted time and effort. Second, the company simply may not be hiring or forming a list of potential candidates.
Cold calling is even worse than blindly faxing or emailing your resume. Human Resources Managers are extremely busy. While dropping by may seem like a good idea to you, they may be either preparing for meetings or in the middle of a project. Usually the questions you want to ask, such as how to apply for jobs, is easily found on the Internet. There are times, however, they may actually have a few minutes and donít mind engaging in conversation. Make the time count! In other words do not ask about information readily available on the website, because you come across as lazy. Do ask questions about the company culture or how often positions are available. While itís hard to tell when a position may be available, you may gain insights as to how to go about being notified.
What does work?
-Consider putting together a portfolio of your work. The portfolio should include any information available about you in print, the outline of successful projects. Being able to present visual aids on your success is extremely helpful. Keep the portfolio in your car or bag. You never know when an opportunity may avail itself.
- Attend free library programs. Libraries often have programs on everything from job searching to financial planning. You never know who may attend and what conversations you may strike up. Make sure you talk to the presenter. Donít just approach them with the line ďI need a jobĒ. Find out how they got started and what they enjoy about their jobs.
- Attend association chapter meetings or seminars. If your profession has a local chapter of itís association, consider attending a meeting. Some groups have a designated time when they allow job seekers and potential employers to stand up to give their thirty second elevator speech.
- Try a Meet-up. While many are informal, there are many sites like Meetup.com which has thousands of groups available. If you canít find a job seekers group, pick a hobby and join a group. Increasing your visibility goes a long way to helping employers to find you.