Friday, March 13, 2009

Tricks to finding employment

Everyone who is, or has looked for a job (especially in this tuff economy) already knows job sites ... i.e. craigslist , Hotjobs , Monster , Careerbuilders , etc (Indeed is the best).

If Twitter is one of the tools you are using, you likely already know some of the key players there i.e. - @employerbrander @jobangels @jobshouts @ @jobhuntorg @jobsnob etc.

So These three tips will hopefully be an "extra" that you might not have thought of in your job search.

Tip ONE:

A picture really does say a thousand words, and most recruiters and HR people now days will LOOK at your online profiles - even if they request a resume. Consider spending a few dollars to have head shots taken professionally. If you can not afford professional head shots you at least need to make certain that in one of your online profiles (i.e. LinkedIN or Twitter) you look not only well groomed and professional but MOST importantly SMILE. I see a lot of online profile pictures that even though the intent might have been to look serious and professional - appeared to look "glum". NO ONE wants to hire a downer...even if you're feeling down about your employment situation make CERTAIN YOU DO NOT SHOW IT!

Tip TWO:

The early bird gets the worm. Here is a clever method to locate businesses that WILL be hiring BEFORE THEY EVEN POST THE POSITION!! Every city should have a business paper, or magazine (Here in Phoenix Arizona they have "Arizona Business") with all the listings of new business incarcerations as well as newly leased commercial space. [ I am certain there must be online services that provide this-if you know of any PLEASE leave the link in my comments section] These listings provide an excellent source of both newly forming businesses and businesses that are opening up new locations - or perhaps expanding. This will usually give you a multi-month lead time over other job seekers. Once you "filter" which businesses might be relevant to your experience put it to work using the next tip.

Tip THREE:

I am a hunter by nature (having worked as a stock broker for 15 years) and now with the advent of the Internet you have NO EXCUSE for not being able to locate a company insider. When all else fails try out Jigsaw (An online repository of business cards that you can search via location/title/company/etc) a "pay per business card" website.

Do not just hunt for "HR" people - but search within those companies for your peers as well. So as an example, if you are in sales - hunt down not only other sales persons - but the sales manager as well. Once you have located some goto guys - use the next tip.

Tip FOUR:

When I actively searched for a job, I would send out as many as 20 cover letters, resumes or introductions daily - ALL BY EMAIL. There is a better way. First thing you should do with those "goto guys" you earlier located is to search for them on the various social networks. LinkedIN is the best resource, however Twitter and Facebook can also work. LOOK and SEE if you have any common friends - after all NOTHING works better than being personally introduced when it comes to getting an interview.

Even if you do not find an "introducer", take note of their personal info (ie. there interests and hobbies) and see if you can find a commonality there. Once you have taken these steps consider the next (and last) tip.

Tip FIVE:

Remember earlier I mentioned I had sent out all my introductions and cover letters via email. That is ok, however please consider that for every position available there are likely HUNDREDS of others that are sending their resumes via email. Think about that...the odds are stacked against you right from the start. DO NOT BE AFRAID TO GET ON THE PHONE AND CALL THEM HUMAN TO HUMAN. I know that may sound strange, but many will appreciate that you made the extra effort to call. Especially if you are in a sales related position (many are) - they will appreciate that you are not afraid of the phone.

Good luck to all of you - I have been unemployed and it is not fun, and this time it is likely more difficult than ever. You will need to do EVERYTHING you can to get an edge.

PS - Don't forget to say "Hi" to me on Twitter.





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4 comments:

gpaskill said...

Tip ONE recommended improving your online photo.

However, we have always been advised to not submit a photo with a resume. If you Google the words "include picture with resume," you'll see many advocate against doing so. Employers do not want to be accused of not following EEOC anti-discrimination regulations.

You're right that HR now looks at online profiles. Companies are Google'ing candidates now more than ever. Therefore, why would one post a picture of oneself online when one is otherwise told to NOT submit a picture with a resume?

gpaskill said...

NOTE: In my original citing of a Google search, it was Google "include picture with resume" WITHOUT quotes.

Andrew Finkle said...

My suggestion to have a good online photo is a specific suggestion regarding one's social network i.e. LinkedIn where most everyone has a photo. - I agree with your comment not to send a photo with a resume, and did not mean to imply otherwise.

JigsawCEO said...

Andrew,

Thanks for the kind mention of Jigsaw!

Jim Fowler, Jigsaw CEO