I am consumed in a job search right now. Actually, I have been working at it since I first came to college, and now it is picking up speed. Whether you’re working on it now, or plan to in the future, here are some tips to make your search more complete.
The key to a job search is not blindly applying to whatever pops up on Monster.com. The key to a job search, is finding a company, and doing everything in your power to get a job there. This includes:
- Knowing the company inside and out
- Knowing the people who can get you a job there
- Knowing their names, job titles, and even what their favorite books are.
- Asking to meet with these people
- Coffee, informational interview at the office, or whatever they are willing to do.
- In-person is key! It is much easier to get to know someone when you are face-to-face. Email and phone are nice, and better than nothing, but nothing beats face-time.
- Following their job board
- Some companies do not post their jobs on common job boards. They post jobs on their own website. You will miss these posts unless you are looking at their specific website.
Although I advise you to target specific companies; I do not mean to target a single company. Don’t get too attached to just one. You will not have much for options. Pursue many options. It is OK to have a favorite, and it is OK to focus on that one more than others, but don’t forget about the others! Hoping and working towards one single job could result in no job…
Networking is key! If you do not network in today’s job market, you will have a much harder time finding a job. The old phrase – it’s not what you know, but who you know – is incredibly true. There is a thing called the hidden job market. Look it up. It is true. The majority of jobs aren’t posted on job boards. Job boards like Monster.com, Indeed.com, and GoldPASS should still be used, and monitored… occasionally a hidden gem will pop up, but they should NOT be the ONLY tools. Networking doesn’t just happen at networking events. Networking can happen anywhere! Don’t consume your time with college parties and Netflix. Get out into your community and start attending citywide events. Figure out where the people who can hire you are going, and go there too. Find people on LinkedIn that you want to follow a similar path, and ask them to meet for coffee. If you don’t know what to ask, check out the Informational Interviewing section of the Career & Internship Services Handbook.
Also, get on LinkedIn! It can be a hub for networking, and also researching your target companies. If you aren’t sure how to start your profile, check out the Career & Internship Services Beginning LinkedIn Workshop or our LinkedIn Drop-In Hours on Thursday afternoons.
Yes, a job search is time consuming, but wouldn’t you rather spend a few hours a week/month over three years, instead of 40 hours a week during your last few months of college? Or worse, after graduation?
What tips do you have for finding a job?