These days, everyone is wondering how to find a job. Times are tough and everyone wants an edge. The answer is the same as it always has been, it’s just tougher now.
Methods of Finding a Job
There are a bunch of ways to find jobs. They include;
- The Internet
- Job Boards
- Work Centers
- Staffing/Recruiting Services
First off, many people knock nepotism. I myself have never tried it but I will never forget the words of a speaker at a commencement address. He had married the owner’s daughter and did quite well for himself. He said of nepotism, ‘Don’t knock it until you try it!’. While I can believe it, not everyone is lucky enough to be able to try it.
This still leaves us a number of choices. Each have their merits and limitations. I’m going to put aside all but two of these The Internet and networking because in some ways each of the others are related to these two. For example, now a days the ads in the paper are probably also in job boards.
This is probably the favorite way to look for a job. Everyone who is hiring has the ability to post a job these days. There are niche boards for specialty fields, there are job boards that focus on people who make over $100K. Even the social networking sites of the world like myspace and facebook are trying to get in the act.
On the surface, this seems like a great way to go. You can look at a job description and decide if you would like to do the job and apply! Then you will get a call, go for an interview and have a job! End of story…Yeah!
Sorry, the truth is that fewer and fewer people are being hired through job boards. Try as they might, they are becoming outdated. There are a lot of reasons but the biggest is that they are totally impersonal. You send in a resume that is captured in sort of automated applicant tracking system that matches your keywords and scores you according to your resume. Totally impersonal. There are other reasons.
If the Internet is the preferred way, networking is the best way. More and more companies are reaching out to their employees and asking them for who they know to fill positions. Recruiters, if they are good, are sort of a paid extended network. The reason is that there is just too much information to sort when doing a candidate search. Having a trusted person vouch for a candidate puts you in a better position than the anonymity of an email to an applicant tracking system with auto responder. This does not mean you should abandon the other methods. Just realize that networking is the best option.
The reason for this is simple, the sorting process is cumbersome and tedious. Put yourself in the position of a hiring manager. You post an ad for a position and get 300 resumes. How do you narrow it down to 3-5 good candidates? You start scanning and eliminate as many candidates as possible as quickly as possible. Do the math. If you average 30 seconds a resume it will take 2.5 straight hours to get through the pile. Imagine reading the same page of a book over and over were it says basically the same thing over and over just in slightly different forms. It is not pretty.
Make Networking Work
The reasons you build a network is to make it work when you need it. If you are trying to understand how to find a job with networking it is simple, find a company to target then ask your network of colleagues, friends, family, neighbors, associates, and group members if they know anyone that works there. Reach out and ask questions. I would not bother asking if they know who is hiring. Most don’t. All you need is a name. Contact that person on the inside and ask them 3 questions;
What is it like to work at that company?
How did they get hired?
Who makes the hiring decisions and what is the best way to get in touch with them?Then follow up as suggested. Don’t make a pest of yourself. If it does not work, move on to the next company.
Pay It Forward
Finally if you are ever in a situation where you can help someone make a connection that could land them a job, do it. You will never know when you might be the one asking the favor