For most people, the job search process is something that's endured only a handful of times during one's professional life. This process cannot only be time consuming, it can also be stressful. The most obvious and one of the easiest method of finding job opportunities to apply for is to simply pick up a copy of your local newspaper and respond to a handful of "help wanted" ads. While this method of finding jobs should not be overlooked, other traditional job search methods include:
1. Contacting headhunters
2. Attending job fairs
3. Seeking the assistance of employment agencies
4. Visiting the
5. Cold calling and then sending out your resume to the human resources department of companies you'd like to work for, even if those companies aren't advertising job openings.
In addition to using the methods listed above to find the best possible job opportunities, if you have access to the Internet, you have at your disposal an incredibly powerful job search tool. Using the Internet you can:
1. Visit career-related websites to access thousands of job listings
2. Research companies (potential employers)
3. E-mail potential employers your resume/cover letter
4. Visit the websites operated by companies for which you'd like to work
5. Create and update a traditional printed resume and/or an electronic resume
Knowing that the majority of jobs aren't ever advertised, one of the very best ways to find opportunities is through networking. This means contacting people you know, personally or professionally, and asking about any job opportunities they know about and for which you might be qualified. According to a survey conducted by Manchester, Inc. (www.manchesterUS.com), a career management and consulting firm, networking was the number one method through which executives found new jobs. The results of the survey stated, "Networking accounted for 56% of successful job searches, while executives search firms were successfully used by 18% of executives. This was followed by answering help wanted ads (14%), the Internet (5%), mailed inquiries (4%) and self-employment (3%)."
For any level job search, even if you're looking for your first professional job, networking is a critical component of any job search. Networking can take on many forms. While many consider it a skill, networking can be easily mastered, allowing virtually anyone with friends, family, (former) coworkers, and professional acquaintances to find the best job opportunities, simply by striking up conversations with people and asking for assistance and/or referrals. Networking is one of the best ways to explore what many call the "hidden job market." As you begin your job search, contact people you know, starting with people currently working in the industry in which you hope to work. From the people you network with, you can typically:
1. Discover unadvertised job openings
2. Get referrals for other people to speak with about possible job openings
3. Get your foot in the door at a company by having someone make a personal introduction
4. Learn about specific companies (potential employers)
5. Meet others working in the industry that interests you
6. Obtain a letter of recommendation
7. Receive career advice and guidance
You can expand your circle of professional acquaintances by joining and becoming active in professional associations or by participating in Internet-based newsgroups and online-based mailing lists. Clients, customers, and other people you know from current or past jobs can also be incorporated into your networking circle and tapped when it comes to finding job opportunities. If you're first starting to develop a network, someof the other people you should consider contacting include, in addition to friends, family, and professional contacts, can be found among:
1. Accountants (with clients in a wide range of industries)
2. Your high school or college alumni association
4. Your local Chamber of Commerce
5. Church friends/clergy
6. College friends
7. Past teachers/deans
8. Commuting acquaintances
9. Doormen/security guards at office buildings
10. Employees of targeted company
11. Exercise club acquaintances
If you don't know anyone working in your particular industry, write down the names of between 10 and 25 friends, relatives, and acquaintances that you could call, right now, in order to ask about job leads or assistance in finding a new job. Even if you call each person on your list and none of them is able to help you directly, you're virtually guaranteed that someone on your list will know someone else who can help you find and land the job for which you're looking. When you correspond with a network contact that isn't a close friend or relative, be sure to refresh that person's memory about how they know you and when and where you met. If a friend tells you that one of their other friends can probably help you, make a point to first meet that person before asking for his or her assistance. Be sure to briefly explain to your network contact exactly what type of job you're looking for, and provide them with a short summary of your most impressive work experience and/or skills. You want your contacts to know something about you, so they can speak highly of you to their superiors, coworkers, or people in their network of friends and associates.
Developing a network is an ongoing process. Even after landing a job, you'll find these people will prove beneficial throughout your career. When it comes to finding a new job, the people you know can be as important as your qualifications. Networking can be a powerful job search tool, and networking in cyberspace makes meeting new people with similar professional interests fast and easy. In addition to contacting friends, relatives, former coworkers, past teachers or professors, previous bosses, clients, and business associates, you can use the Internet, and the major online services, as a networking tool.
All the major online services, offer special interest groups and professional forums allowing people to communicate with each other by posting public and private messages about specific topics. Through these forums, you can meet new people with common interests, discuss issues, get questions answered, and possibly learn about job openings. Live chat or conferencing areas, available through the major online services and the Internet, allow people to communicate in real-time by typing messages to each other. Within these virtual chat rooms, dozens of people can communicate about specific topics simultaneously. At any given time, literally hundreds of different chat sessions are taking place on the online services. Special events are also planned by forum leaders, which provide opportunities to participate in question-and-answer sessions with special guests, authors, and recognized experts in various fields and professions.
note: originally posted at Exposeknowledge.com under the same author.