Think Outside the Box When Job Hunting
In these tough times, we need every edge we can get. Traditional job-hunting methods; pounding the pavement, visiting companies in person to drop off resumes, for example; don't seem to work as well. Why not try thinking "outside the box?" Of course, having an up-to-date resume in presentable condition or in electronic format goes without saying, so I'm leaving that off my list.
- Do your research. If you have an active library card, many libraries subscribe to a variety of business databases. My perennial favorite is Reference USA. I can access it for free using my library card website as a gateway. Each library's access is different; I called to learn how to get to the right page. I use my 16-digit library card number as my login, so have that information handy. The Reference USA database includes information on each company, as well as major decision-makers in departments such as HR, so you'll know whom to target when you contact them.
- Use electronic media wherever possible. There are multitudes of job-search sites, but careerbuilder.com is a good starting point. It's been awhile since I've job-hunted, but go to your favorite search engine and type "jobs" and the field you're in, and see where that takes you.
- Be prepared to upload your electronic resume and fill out online applications. The workforce these days is more computer-savvy, so HR departments readily accept emailed information. Don't forget to follow up by telephone after 2 weeks.
- Use networking sites. Spoke.com and Linkedin.com are both specific to those who are on the job hunt. There's a sort of resume tool at both. Enter your information, including information on past jobs, as if you were filling out an application. If you belong to Facebook, MySpace or any of the usual casual-networking sites, check out what tools they have. Let your own network of online friends know you're searching for a job, what kind and where.
- Be open to new adventures in employment. If I hadn't opened my mind after working in the secretarial field all my life, I wouldn't have found the unique company I've worked with for the past three years. Don't think in terms of job titles, think in terms of your specific skills and where else they might fit.
Happy - and successful - job hunting!
By JustPlainJo from Springfield, OH
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I like the "volunteer-for-hire" idea. Hubby has been in that position and offered the potential a "free trial." Worked very well for him.
Come to think of it, temp agency work can lead to permanent work. My youngest son got his current job that way. It's similar to the "volunteer-for-hire" concept, I guess, except you're getting paid by the temp agency instead.
If you can afford to, volunteer services often turn into employment.
Also, I visited many area employers as part of a career seminar for high school teachers. They all said they were mainly interested in hiring responsible people who could sort out their own conflicts with others. In other words, don't bring them problems, bring them solutions.
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