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Five Innovative Job Seeking Approaches

These days, job-hunting can feel like an endless journey. Job listings in the newspaper and online seem like black holes that rarely yield any responses at all. Patiently waiting for the phone to ring or for new postings to turn up is a process that quickly looses its charm. Well guess what, adopting a more active approach to job seeking can give your search the second wind it needs.

Updating your job-searching repertoire greatly broadens the reach of your resume marketing campaign. Instead of passively looking for jobs from the comforts of home, you must boldly venture out into the professional community. Here are several of the most effective job-hunting approaches:

  1. Attend Business Expositions, Trade Shows and Industry Conventions. This is possibly one of the most over-looked job seeking ideas out there, but often can be one of the most fruitful.

    Trade shows offer a plethora of contacts and provide you the opportunity to speak with literally hundreds of people from a specific industry. Conventions and trade shows are a great way to learn more about the industry and can introduce you to products and companies that you never knew existed. If you are in sales, attending any industry exposition is a MUST, as most of the exhibitors are from either the sales or marketing departments. These booths are often "manned" by the head of sales, which is ultimately the contact you NEED to meet.

    As the old saying goes, it usually is not what you know, but whom you know. Introduce yourself and spend time talking with people. Let them know you are in the job market, and you will be surprised how many ideas you will walk away with. Call around to local convention centers or the local chamber of commerce chapter to get a list of conventions and trade shows coming to your area. If you are really aggressive, perhaps even a trip to another city is in order.

  2. Register with Trade or Industry Associations. If you are not already a member of an association within your industry, you should definitely consider joining. Not only will it keep you active in the industry, it also provides another great way keep up on the latest news. Many associations send periodic newsletters members, which might contain valuable information regarding companies that are hiring and/or employment opportunities.

    In addition, these associations often sponsor monthly meetings or lunches where you can network with your peers in the industry. Use these opportunities to get your own name out there and spread the word that you are in the job market.

  3. Volunteer. If you are looking for a job in the non-profit sector, this is a great way to get your foot in the door, earn respect, and prove yourself. Offer your services to an organization you have an interest in working for, or at least one within your industry. You will benefit by gaining skills and experience relevant to that organization, which ultimately will make you a more qualified candidate.

  4. Attend Chamber of Commerce functions. Find out when your local Chamber of Commerce holds their monthly meetings and mixers. This is another effective way of meeting those that are seemingly impossible to contact during a more traditional search process. Donít be too particular with who you speak with, since a majority of the folks there will be representing local businesses. Feel free to inquire about how they got into the industry, as you might be directed towards the right people to speak with.

  5. Use the phone. Identify a few dozen companies you are interested in working for and give them a call. Do your homework about the company first and understand their product and culture. Do not be afraid to pick up the phone and ask whom you can talk to about employment. Your best strategy is to find out who would be "your boss" if you worked there and contact him or her. When you get this individual on the phone, express your interest in obtaining employment with their organization and that you wish to send them a resume. To remind them later on of your conversation, be sure to mention in your cover letter that it was a pleasure speaking with them.

    Taking a more proactive approach of seeking employment is much more effective than sitting at home and just blasting out resumes like everyone else. Get your name out there, meet those within the industry, and take charge of finding yourself a job.

-Mike Worthington
Resume Doctor provides resume-consulting services and FREE resume evaluations for job seekers in all industries at EvaluateResume also offers specialized job market expertise and content to media and employers.
Phone: (802) 865-4243
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