You can hear a lot about finding the right job, networking and interviewing techniques and writing the resume from career coaches. How about getting advice from people who actually got the job?
Forbes magazine interviewed several people who recently got the job about job-searching techniques with some surprising results. Most of them received offers within three weeks of reaching out to a potential employers. Some found job through services like Craigslist or LinkedIn. Surprisingly, very few career coaches mention these services as effective tools to find a job. Use calls blogs and Tweeter to prove that they have what it takes to get the job.
One approach you might think of is to actively reach out to companies you admire. Amanda, an admissions officer and teacher in New York City, was gainfully employed when she started sending out feelers earlier this year. She had asked for a raise and gotten less than she requested, so she was ready for a change.
As an admissions officer, she works with many schools. At one school, Amanda thought the person who had the equivalent of her job might retire. So she sent a letter and attached a copy of her resume. She wrote about how much she valued the programs and the students the school produced. The school invited her in for an interview, and she got an offer three weeks later.
“This might seem obvious, but if you feel an affinity toward an organization or company, reach out to them,” says Amanda. “Tell them what specifically interests you.”
Another nugget of advice: Focus on quality, not quantity. After Kym Lino graduated from college in May she blasted her resume across the Internet. “I would sit on my couch for eight hours at a time and apply for every job that I qualified for, on every job site, and I didn’t get any feedback,” says Lino, 24. She used Careerbuilder, Monster.com, her alma mater’s job search website and regional career blogs like DCjobs.blogspot.com.
Eventually Lino saw a temp-to-hire PR position on Craigslist, and submitted exactly what the employer requested: a cover letter, resume and three writing samples. Six days later she heard back from the company, and within three weeks she landed an offer. “I wish I had focused less on volume and more on specific jobs that interested me,” she says now. “I got to the point where I sent out 100 resumes a day and just assumed that one of them had to come through. Then the one I paid a little more attention to actually worked out.”
Lino also suggests writing a blog to show off your expertise. When she applied to a public relations agency that maintains its own blog, one of her interviewers asked if she kept a blog and updated it at least several times a week. Lino produces three different blogs, and she says her side activity helped her to land an offer. “My blogs showed that I know how to self-edit,” she says. “I know the technology.”
Paul Gilmore found his job using a site few career coaches tout, LinkedIn. After months searching job boards, making cold calls and even dropping off his résumé in person, Gilmore used LinkedIn to land a recruiter position at the Fort Lauderdale branch of Synerfac Technical Staffing. Gilmore says he checked LinkedIn two or three times a week, searching for his ZIP code. When he saw the Synerfac posting, he followed up online and was contacted by a branch manager. After two weeks and three interviews, Gilmore got an offer.
Twitter can be a good way to identify and learn about prospective employers and take part in conversations related to your field. If you admire a particular company, follow it or its employees on Twitter to get a sense of its culture.