When most of us are looking for a job we typically limit ourselves to online job boards, social media and recruiters who simply happen to find us for a potential job opportunity. However, there are other places to look that have repeatedly proven to be much more effective, not only in uncovering those hidden opportunities, but also giving you better chances at getting hired.
Place #1. Your family and circle of friends. Aside from your close friends and family members this could include your church, your sports team (if you play any sport), your hobby group you meet with regularly, PTA meetings, twelve step groups, etc. You may brush them off, thinking what could they possibly know about your industry, but think again. You never know who they know and might just happen to know something or someone who could be a great resource for you. Again, the key is to tell them what you’re looking for and be specific about it so they can be on the look out for you. Remember, these are the people who care about you and they want to help.
Place #2. Jobs you previously applied for and didn’t get. This one is my favorite as it is the most effective, yet least sought of method. Most of us tend avoid places and people who have previously “rejected” us. I am not talking about interviews that didn’t go well where it was clearly the wrong fit. I am talking about opportunities you were really excited about, had a great time meeting the team and thought the interview went well, but for some reason didn’t get the offer at that time. So you got really disappointed, scratched them off your list and moved on. Sadly, you closed the door to a great opportunity. Chances are, they really liked you too, but it wasn’t the right time for you and they had to make a really tough decision. Next time they have an opening you could be the first one on their list, but only if you take it well, thank them for their time and continue to stay in touch instead of walking away with a grudge.
Place #3. Past coworkers or classmates. Don’t forget about people you used to work with or went to school with. I know sometimes it may feel awkward reaching out to a past coworker from a company you got fired or laid off from. Or a classmate who is more successful and moved on to a higher management level role. But if you put your pride aside, you may actually discover a great career opportunity for yourself. Stay in touch with them through social media, send them emails or personal messages every once in a while. Even better, meet them for coffee or lunch occasionally, you never know when they can turn out to be an excellent resource for you.
Place #4. Networking events and meetup groups. These may include social events sponsored by large organizations, meet up groups by interests or other industry specific events. Going to large social gatherings where you don’t know anyone can be quite intimidating, however you are not the only one. Other people there are just as likely to feel confronted and intimidated as you. Yet, the most amazing job opportunities are found through networking events. Imagine, they are there specifically looking for people like you, and you simply happen to be there. Yes, you would have to let them know you are looking for a job and be specific about it. They might know someone who could be the perfect person for you to talk to. And, being introduced to this person will put you ahead of anyone who applies online. Better yet, the job opening may not even be posted online at that point.
Place #5 Twitter. We all know about LinkedIn and possibly even looked into Facebook to look for jobs. But I bet it didn’t even occur to you to go to Twitter. One of my clients have recently pointed it out to me how successful Twitter was for him in his search. All you have to do if follow the right people in your industry – people who currently hold roles you are interested in or higher. Executives, managers and CEOs are known to use Twitter a lot. The beauty is, you don’t have to know them personally in order to follow them. Keep an eye on their tweets, they will often talk about public events they are attending, which could be excellent networking opportunities for you.