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The Best (and Worst) Ways to Look For a Job

Posted on the 14 July 2011 by Classycareergirl @classycareer
The Best (and worst) Ways to Look For a Job Recently, I was discussing "the job search" with a few unemployed classmates from my MBA program who are searching for their next opportunity.  They told me that right now the only way that they can get a call for an interview is if they are referred by another person.  What does that mean for you if you are searching for a job?  You need to go about your job search very differently than ever before. Listen up!
The Worst Ways:
According to What Color is My Parachute, looking for employer's job postings on the Internet is one of the worst ways to look for a job because it is only successful 4-10% of the time.  Other tough ways to look for jobs are job fairs, recruiters, resume banks, newspaper and magazine ads because less than 20% of job openings in a year are ever even published. There is a hidden, unpublished job market and you need to learn how to get into it!  So don't waste your time looking through Internet postings.   Instead sign up for emails with the keywords of jobs you are searching for and have them delivered to you.  This way you can focus on the best ways to look for jobs instead.  Sound good?
"Opportunities are usually disguised as hard work, so must people don't recognize them." -Ann Landers
The Best Ways:
The best way to start a job search is to make a list of everyone you know and ask for job leads.  Examples of these people include your family members, friends, alumni from your college, people in your community, your network on linkedin and other social media networks.  Everybody knows at least 50 other people and one of them is bound to know something about the industry or company that you want to get into.  Challenge yourself to conduct a certain number of informational interviews per month with people you don't know (I am doing 4 per month in my challenge) and a certain number of catch up meetings with people currently in your network you already know.
Targeted mail is another option that you would think would be a dead end.  But it truly works when targeting a company that may not be publishing that job opening yet (which is 80% of the time).  This letter will tell the employer all about the potential contribution that you can make to the company and why they should bring you in for an interview.  Once you determine what you want to do and the companies that would benefit, send the companies letters identifying a need that they are trying to fill and how you could fill it.  This will involve doing a lot of research about the company and staying up to date on the news.
Yes, this job search will be harder than your last search where you got a call right back for the first job you applied to online.  You now have to put much more work into the job search to make yourself stand out from the crowd.  But, when you get that perfect job it will be so worth it, trust me!
What do you think are the best and worst ways to find a job?

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