A Winning Job Search Strategy
You've posted your resume online and are submitting resumes and cover letters for all the job openings that seem to fit you.
Is there anything else you can do to look for a job? Absolutely! In fact, the more diverse your job-hunting strategy, the more effective it's likely to be.
Here are eight tactics you can use to track down job opportunities:
Contact Professional Organizations in Your Field
National, regional and local professional organizations exist in great part to help their members with career development. Many organizations include field-specific job listings on their Web sites or in their printed publications.
Visit Company and Organization Web Sites
Many companies and organizations post their job openings right on their own Web sites (usually under an Employment or Career Opportunities link).
Apply Directly to Organizations That Interest You
Do you know you want to work specifically for Company X or Organization Y? If so, send a well-written cover letter and your resume directly to the company, either to its human resources office or, often more effective, to the person who would likely make hiring decisions for the part of the organization that interests you. It isn't always easy to find the right person to get in touch with; typically, you'll have to do some digging.
Network, Network, Network
Generally the most effective job-hunting approach, networking is simply talking to people to either track down helpful personal contacts or learn about job openings that may not necessarily be widely advertised or advertised at all. Start by talking to your own family, friends and acquaintances. Let everyone in your life know you're looking for a job, and give them an idea of what type of job you want.
Join Professional Associations
If there's a professional organization in your field, join it and start participating in its meetings and other events so you can get to know people in your area of interest. Work with a career counselor at your school to both tap his contacts and learn of alumni from your school who might be able and willing to lend you a hand in your search. Finally, don't forget to tap your professors' connections as well.
Participate in Job Fairs
Many cities, particularly large ones, host job fairs at various locations throughout the year. Most colleges and universities hold their own job fairs as well, either individually or in collaboration with other institutions. A job fair is a rare opportunity to have employers come to you, so make sure you attend whenever possible.
Use a Placement Agency or Recruiter/Headhunter
There are companies out there that specialize in helping people find jobs. Some of them even focus on working with college students and recent college grads. Maybe one of them can help you. A word of caution, however: While most organizations receive their fees from employers (and not you, the job seeker), some will seek money from you. So be careful, and make sure you know who's paying the bill.
Often, by working briefly as a temp for a company, you can position yourself to be hired for a full-time, permanent position that opens up later on. Even if that doesn't happen, however, temping can help you see various companies from the inside, meet people in your field of interest and earn some pretty good money.
The more diverse your job-hunting methods are, the more opportunities you'll uncover and the greater the chance that you'll find, and land, the job you really want.
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