Applying online isn’t enough – you need to diversify your efforts to find a job. Here are five components of the best job search strategies.
Want to know why you still haven’t found a job? You’re thinking like a beggar instead of a strategist. Don’t blindly knock on every door – get your foot in the right ones.
The days of simply sending out a resume to get a job are over. With jobs at major companies receiving hundreds of applicants and 60-70% of jobs filled solely through personal connections, you need to diversify your job search strategy.
The best job search strategies center around five major components – you need to use all of them.
Read on to find out how to use them and land that dream job! (Click on the links for each header for more detailed instructional blogs on each component.)
5 Essential Parts of a Great Job Search Strategy
Let’s start with the most important fact of job hunting: you need to leverage your network.
There’s nowhere better to do so than LinkedIn. The platform has over 660 million users and 90% of recruiters use it as a resource for finding candidates, so it’s a crucial piece of any job search strategy.
If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile, stop reading this and go create one right now! I’ll wait.
Done? Cool. Now, let’s talk about how that well-crafted profile will play into your effective job search strategy.
LinkedIn has plenty of features designed to help you grow your network. You can find professionals who went to your school, worked at companies you worked for in the past, or even volunteer at the same organization you do.
Even better, you can turn on the “Open to New Opportunities” option to let recruiters know that you’re looking and ensure that you show up in their searches.
Remember to add connections with your next job in mind. We recommend targeting specific companies and positions over blindly adding your suggested connections (see the header link).
It’s also crucial to offer value when adding people – be sure to include a note when you invite them and comment on their posts to foster a genuine connection that could lead to a job.
Now that you have a good LinkedIn set up, use that network to go beyond the screen. Stay tuned to your LinkedIn feed and search Meetup in your city for live networking events.
Whether they’re industry-specific or targeted towards job seekers, events are a fantastic place to find new job leads and market yourself as a qualified professional.
You can meet connections in a format that lets your personality shine more than on your LinkedIn or resume. After all, companies want to hire a real person, not just a piece of paper.
Not one for mingling? Does the idea of a room full of strangers make you want to run away? Don’t worry! Introverts can still thrive at networking events, and can even use them as a low-pressure practice space for interviewing. Check out this podcast for help!
Take those initial connections you’ve made to the next level. Setting up an informational interview is an excellent way to get your foot in the door with someone at a company who might have a job offer (or at least connect you with other people who do.)
Informational interviews are simple and casual. You simply sit down (even over coffee) with another professional to ask them any number of questions about their work and industry.
You can use an informational interview to get vital information on the company they work for, a new industry you want to apply to, or any people they know who might be hiring.
These interviews are crucial for any job seeker because they allow you to tap into the hidden job market. That sounds spooky, but it’s real!
Some 70% of jobs aren’t even listed because they’re given to personal connections first. By getting into a senior staffer’s network with an interview, you could be one of those who are offered a hidden job.
Among jobs that are listed, however, online job boards are a solid place to look.
While you shouldn’t only submit applications to postings, it is wise to search through a variety of job boards for openings at companies you’re interested in. You’ll get a sense of jobs that are available and diversify your chances by quickly and easily applying for jobs you’re qualified for.
The major job boards have different features that can be helpful for different job seekers. So, we recommend using as many as you can (see link in header for in-depth reviews of each job board).
One word of caution: do not fall into the trap of submitting one resume to as many jobs as possible on these sites. Your resume needs to be tailored to each job, or you won’t stand a chance!
Finally, we recommend going straight to the source. It may sound crazy, but you can very well land a job by reaching out to a company and asking for one!
With such a large hidden job market, emails and messages directly to recruiters are ways to inquire about jobs you otherwise wouldn’t even get to apply for. Do they work? Sometimes. Can they hurt? Never.
These reach-outs can include cold emails sent directly to a company’s hiring staff or LinkedIn messages to their recruiters. Either way, the goal is to – very briefly – demonstrate that you’re a qualified professional who is interested in a role in their company.
Many factors go into a good cold email, including being direct, doing your research on the company’s values, and sending it to the right person. Whoever you send it to will be exceptionally busy, so it has to sell you very quickly and strongly.
Worst case scenario: your email never gets read. But if it’s well-written, it could lead to a job you never knew about.
The Ultimate Strategy: Persistence
Diversify your job search strategy with these five methods, and you’ll have maximized your chances of landing a job you really want.
However, no formula or amount of steps is a magic fix, and you need to keep the numbers game in mind while job searching. Estimates show that the average person’s job search can take up to 20 weeks or more. Plus, out all of the resumes submitted to a job posting, only about 2% get interviews!
Job hunting is a difficult process, no matter your situation. Keep your chin up, be persistent even in the face of rejection, and trust in this diversified job search strategy. It won’t get you a job tomorrow, but it will in the long run!
Have you tried all these methods and still not found results? The problem is likely your resume.
Submit your resume now over on our homepage for a Free Career Score. Find out how our business writing experts can get your application materials in shape!