Getting a job is difficult and sometimes it seems that there is no light at the end of the tunnel. I’ve been in the same situation when I almost gave up and figured that I can’t find a job, but gradually turned it around by getting out there and looking in these little known places.
A big piece of your job search should be networking, and everyone suggests it, but doesn’t tell you exactly how or where to network. So I’ve included some great places to do some low-pressure networking.
Check out meetup groups for networking and meeting new people with similar interests. What is a meetup? It’s a group of people with common interests meeting up periodically. If you are interested in anything from Finance to Pugs, you can find a Meetup group for that.
Sign up for all of the groups related to your industry and spend time at the meetups just getting to know people and having a good time. Meetups are more and more popular these days and you would be surprised who knows of what job openings. The best part? You will probably meet some great friends at the same time, I know I have.
I know what you’re saying, “Everyone uses LinkedIn to search for jobs.”
That’s probably true, but try a little known method on LinkedIn. Follow companies that interest you, and connect with all the recruiters that you can find. Check LinkedIn every day to see when the companies or recruiters post jobs.
Sometimes the recruiters or hiring managers will keep their name on the job posting, giving you the opportunity to contact them directly via InMail. This allows you to stand out instead of being just another one of the applicants in the list.
If the hiring info is hidden, there is also a section to find out who you know at the company that you could reach out to and see if they know about the job opening and who is managing the hiring for it. Never forget to use your current network too!
3. Industry Conferences and Speaking events
Depending on the industry you want to work in, you can do some rewarding networking at conferences, and not just the big ones. Industry trade associations often have regular small speaking events that are extremely cheap to go to and very informative. At the same time get talkative at these events and meet as many people as possible. Do a quick internet search for trade associations in your industry; many of them have an event calendar where you can register online.
What’s a good opener? Just ask other people attending the conference or speech what their opinion is about the topic. Start a dialogue and keep in contact with them afterwards. This is some of the most effective networking you can do because you can be sure you are networking with people in your industry, instead of people that might not be working in your industry and are less likely to know of jobs in your industry.
4. Your Local Newspaper’s Website
Going to newspaper classifieds for jobs is no longer old school. Many newspapers, even smaller ones, have local job listings on their website that you can quickly check. If you can’t find a job, these have a few extra benefits that aren’t commonly known. Many small businesses don’t have big budgets for hiring and don’t have accounts at the big job board websites. They most often use local newspapers and Craigslist.
Craigslist often has many job opportunities, but the competition on craigslist is huge! Each job ad gets hundreds of applications, while the ads on newspaper’s website don’t get quite as much traffic. For example, I used to live in San Diego, and San Diegans can look for local jobs published on the San Diego Tribune’s website.
5. Directly Contacting Companies
Forgo the job board option and get in contact with real people. I know countless people who have found jobs by just calling some local small businesses that they wanted to work for. Or for some extra face-time, use the old school method of showing up in person and expressing your interest in a job. (Don’t forget to have your resume handy!) It definitely sets you apart from applicants that are not met in person. Measures like this need to be taken in such a competitive job market.
Another alternative is to look up contact information for companies that you want to work for. Google their company and see if they have contact information listed on the site, such as email and phone number. You would be surprised how many that are easy to find. Then reach out to them directly and see if they are hiring and would consider you for an interview.