Job Boards are Necessary it’s What You do Before and After That Matters Most
You sit at your computer, log on to your favorite job board, put in your job search keywords, and because your resumé is already uploaded to the site you simply hit submit. Then you wait and wait. No response. No surprise. Sitting in front of your computer is not the way to find a job, not in today’s job market.
A more effective job strategy is to meet the employer vetted. This means, when you qualify for a position and are referred through a friend, a friend of a friend, a relation, a former manager, an alumni or a professional relationship you developed, you will get an interview. Even as a first-time job-seeker about to graduate college, this works. Why? Employers want people who are referred to them. It eliminates timely steps in the hiring process, and time is money. Everyone wins when employees introduce qualified candidates.
People want to help. You need to tell them how they can.
Networking has gotten a bad rap. Get rid of the image of standing on a street corner with a tin cup in hand. Networking is not about asking for a favor. Networking is communication, building and maintaining relationships, listening more than talking and it’s about being helpful to others. You do this instinctively with friends. You need to translate those skills to your job search.
When contacting people in your network are you saying I’m looking for a job, I need your help. Instead try, I’m looking for an introduction to ABC and XYZ companies. Each has an open position I know I’m qualified to do because the job requires social media experience. During my internship last summer I worked on the social media team.
Another effective approach to get people to help is to ask for information. Asking questions that get people to open up to you is a smart strategy. You learn about a career field and/or company and your behavior signals you are ready to be a professional—you are longer the goofy kid next door. When people see you as a professional they are more likely to refer you.
Stay in touch with your network
Just because you spoke with someone in September who offered advice and guidance doesn’t mean you are top-of-mind with them in December or October for that matter. Find ways to keep people in the loop without nagging. Sending an email with an attached article relevant to your last conversation with him/her can be very effective. If you were smart and asked to LinkedIn, you can keep people in your network informed by updating your profile page.
Job search steps
- Develop a list of employers of interest to you.
- Know the job titles where you will meet the qualifications. For college students these might include: coordinator, associate, assistant, junior associate.
- Develop a list of people you know and think can be helpful to you.
- Check the career section of your targeted employers regularly and if possible, set up alerts.
- Apply to positions directly through the company website not through a job board.
- Work your network to meet the employer vetted.
Job boards are necessary it’s what you do before and after that matters most.