Get yourself out on the scene
It’s a difficult stat to digest, but around 70% of jobs go unadvertised and are usually filled through networking. Yet most job seekers still fear it. The beauty about networking is that there is no end. You can keep moving forward and be active.
Eat the skinny frogs first and start networking with your warm leads, which are usually former colleagues and friends. The people close to us want to help, but they can’t help if they don’t know we need help. Then move to cold leads – or the fat frogs.
It’s also not enough to simply make contact through networking. You must take positive steps to stay on the radar, because out of sight means very often means out of mind.
Don’t underestimate the power of social networking
Social media can support job search and how we manage our careers. The most popular tools include Linkedin, Twitter and Facebook. These tools make networking more accessible and they make less fearful.
Social media is more than just creating a profile; you must engage. On Linkedin you need to expand your network and communicate with through status updates and direct mail. You must engage in groups to help increase visibility and help expand your network. On Twitter you must follow, engage and retweet. On Facebook you can drop subtle reminders to your friends through your status updates.
Still, be careful not to fall into the trap of keeping all communications online. Strong relationships and trust will be built through real world engagements. Set yourself targets to meet or call people each week.
Realise the value of job boards
The appeal of job boards is obvious; a range of different companies recruiting in one place. Most job seekers react to advertised jobs, which is fine when you find something you’re looking for, but not so effective during a depressed job market when nothing really fits the bill. It’s therefore important to look beyond the job. Which companies are hiring? Will they also have other roles that you can target more proactively? It’s also important to keep up with events in the job market, and most job boards will report on recruitment spree announcements before they actually kick off.
Butter up recruitment agencies
Recruitment agencies are great if you’re a candidate that fits the types of jobs they have on their books, or if they have a role that appeals to you. If there aren’t any suitable positions, your job search can grind to a halt.
Remember though that recruiters can also be the epicentre of the job market. It’s their job to know that when someone moves or a company has any chance of hiring. So even if they don’t have the jobs now, they can be a valuable source of information.
It’s therefore important to keep them on your side. Use the duration of your job search to build relationships with recruiters and take responsibility for managing the communication. Don’t just send out a CV and sit back; keep in regular contact. Be careful not to stalk, though.